Arsenal and Newcastle battle it out for Brandt who Klopp ‘wanted over Salah’

Arsenal and Newcastle are reportedly set to battle it out for Julian Brandt’s signature next summer. The Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder was once preferred over Mohamed Salah by Jurgen Klopp to play in his ever-changing Liverpool system.

According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have been tracking the player for quite some time while Newcastle’s interest peaked during their recent 2-0 defeat to BVB in the Champions League. Brandt recently signed a contract extension at Signal Iduna Park until June 2026 but that hasn’t stopped potential suitors from sniffing around. 

The 26-year-old was one of Dortmund’s standout performers during the 2022/2023 campaign in which Die Schwarzgelben would have secured their ninth top-flight German title were it not for a devastating slip-up against Mainz on the final day of the season.

Brandt contributed nine goals and eight assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances last year and has continued his fine form this season with four goals and four assists from his opening 11 games. Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen are slowly moving away from the rest of the pack at the top of the Bundesliga table in 2023 but BVB’s Champions League dreams are still alive heading into the New Year.

It is therefore unlikely that Dortmund will allow their star man to leave in January so any moves from his English admirers are expected to arrive next summer. This is not the first time Brandt has attracted interest from Premier League clubs.

Back in 2017, Klopp identified the German as the perfect addition to his Anfield rebuild but bought Salah instead after both parties failed to come to an agreement. “I had that chance to take that next step to join Liverpool, but the time wasn’t right for me,” Brandt told The Athletic. “I was aware that they were also looking at Mo Salah at the time. It’s a shame because I would have loved to play for Klopp.”

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A report from the Liverpool ECHO back in June 2017 claims Brandt, then plying his trade at Bayer Leverkusen, turned down Liverpool’s offer over concerns his game time would be slashed ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Explaining his decision further during a revealing interview with Danish Publication Focus,  Brandt said: “If you make the move, there is no guarantee that you’ll play. I believe that it’s important that I get a lot of games next season, and that is a given here at Leverkusen.”

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