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Liverpool set to battle Manchester United for midfielder who could be an upgrade on Endo

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By Siddharth Juyal

Liverpool are ready to battle Manchester United for Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Morten Hjulmand during the upcoming summer transfer window

In summer, Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Morten Hjulmand has caught the interest of both Manchester United and Liverpool as they seek to strengthen their midfield. The 24-year-old has played a pivotal role for his Portuguese club this season after joining them from Lecce last summer.

Sporting CP are at the top of the Liga Portugal, seven points ahead of rivals Benfica with six games remaining. They have also qualified for the Taca de Portugal final under Ruben Amorim by beating Benfica in the semi-finals.

Standing at 1.85 metres, Hjulmand is a physically dominant defensive midfielder and plays ahead of the three-man defence in a double-pivot. The majority of Hjulmand’s responsibility is to cover the spaces between the midfield and the defence and cover the attacking fullbacks.

Sporting's Danish midfielder #42 Morten Hjulmand (R) heads the ball with Benfica's Portuguese midfilder #87 Joao Neves during the Portuguese League football match between Sporting CP and SL Benfica at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on April 6, 2024. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool are planning to bolster their midfield during the summer with Sporting Lisbon midfielder Morten Hjulmand as a potential candidate. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

The 24-year-old has strong positional awareness and reads the game well, anticipating the opposition’s moves to eliminate any potential threat. He makes several interceptions and well-timed tackles to recover possession of the ball in the middle phases.

The Denmark international is very progressive on the ball, making quick passes to more creative players in the team. He makes himself available to the teammates on possession of the ball to circulate the passes in the possessional play system.

The 24-year-old has a big build and close control to shield the ball in congested spaces and counter the pressing. Hjulmand has made 45 appearances for Sporting CP in all competitions, contributing with four goals and four assists this season.

According to HITC (h/t Express), Liverpool and Manchester United want Hjulmand during the summer to bolster their midfield. The 24-year-old is a well-known Arsenal fan but the interest from the Gunners is currently unknown.

According to Manchester Evening News, Sporting CP would demand £69 million for the 24-year-old to let him go. The Portuguese club’s price tag is understandable considering they just signed the Danish player during the last summer transfer window.

Liverpool needs a proper defensive midfielder to bolster their squad especially as they faced problems in recent games. The Reds have Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo as the number six options but they signed Endo as a rotation while he has played regularly.

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Liverpool needs a long-term solution for a defensive midfielder even if Trent Alexander-Arnold makes a permanent move to midfield. They are also losing Thiago Alcantara as his contract expires at the end of the current season. Hjulmand fits the profile that the Reds desire in a defensive midfielder but before they secure a Jurgen Klopp successor, every name in the transfer market is merely a speculation.