Marcel Brands has the chance to add depth to an otherwise sparse position in Marco Silva’s squad by signing Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa, after German publication Ruhr Nachrichten linked us with the Japan international.
They note that West Ham and unspecified La Liga sides are also interested in signing the 30-year-old, as he has no future at the Signal Iduna Park under Lucien Favre and will likely be sold as he enters the final year of his contract.
This is not the first time we have been linked with a potential summer move for the Manchester United flop either. The Turkish press had suggested we were keen on Kagawa back in April, amid claims that Besiktas were interested in turning his half-season loan into a permanent arrangement, but would be unable to raise the €12.5million (£11m) BVB were demanding.
That has proven to be the case, and after 14 Super Lig outings for the Black Eagles, the 97-cap international has returned to Dortmund to face his uncertain future.
A move by Brands for the £7.2million-rated midfielder, though, would raise more questions on Merseyside than it would answer.
Our Director of Football has often spoke about the importance of signing younger players the Blues can build around, while bringing through the talents emerging in our academy. Kagawa would be neither of those, and his form would suggest he would be nothing more than the back up for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
In his 19 outings across the campaign, Kagawa was only able to be involved in twelve goals, and five of those came during a German fourth-tier fixture in November while playing for Dortmund’s second string.
Rather than luring a player who would demand high wages to fill a sparse position, Brands would be better served focusing his efforts on retaining Andre Gomes or finding someone capable of filling that role, and leave Silva to hand Tom Davies the creative reins if required.
The 20-year-old shone in the role when given a chance during the boss’ first season at the helm, but will need more minutes if he is to make a more evident case for himself going forward.