A Liverpool attacking target is reportedly on the verge of joining a ‘European superpower’, with the Reds being strongly tipped to make a move.
According to Voetbal24, the Reds liked what they saw of Rennes winger Jeremy Doku at Euro 2020, despite Belgium being knocked out in the quarter-finals. They were particularly impressed by his performance in the game against Italy that saw Roberto Martinez’s men eliminated.
Doku almost joined Liverpool a few years ago, holding talks with Jurgen Klopp. However, he did not sign with the club in the end and has since established himself with Anderlecht first and Rennes now. Still only 19, his retains big potential and further announced himself to the world by featuring for Belgium at Euro 2020.
In an interview in March, the winger said he had no regrets about not joining Liverpool when he was 15. But he conceded: “If Liverpool came for me at 15, if they like me, they will come back later that is for sure. It is up to me to be good.”
It appears that scenario may be materialising, because the latest reports from Voetbal24 claim that the youngster is close to joining a giant European club.
Doku would be viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Divock Origi. His direct attacking style is more suited to coming off the bench late in games.
He only scored twice from 30 appearances in the French top-flight last season, in his debut year following his move from Anderlecht. But he did add three assists and showed signs of progression.
Rennes are currently asking for €45m for the forward, given his performances over the summer. But it remains to be seen whether the Reds would be willing to fork out that much for a squad player.
Opening offer lodged for Liverpool star
Meanwhile, a seemingly inevitable Liverpool transfer has had its wheels put in motion after an opening offer was lodged, according to a report.
Of all the traditional top six clubs this summer, Liverpool have been the quietest in the transfer market thus far. Ibrahima Konate arrived for £36m to ensure their defensive debacle of last year will not happen again. But beyond the Frenchman, Reds transfer news has mainly focused on who will leave.
Georginio Wijnaldum left for PSG as a free agent. Furthermore, squad players Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic, Taiwo Awoniyi. Liam Millar and Kamil Grabara all left on permanent deals to generate approximately £33m.
Shaqiri detailed his desire to experience a new challenge to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport last month.
“I told Liverpool board I feel ready for a new challenge,” said Shaqiri. “They accepted my decision and will now consider bids to sell me. Liverpool won’t stop me this summer. I’d love to come back to Italy, and I’d like to play for Lazio.”
Lyon make first move
Lazio remain interested in acquiring the Switzerland international by all accounts. However, the Athletic reveal it is Lyon who have made the first move.
The Ligue 1 outfit have reportedly seen an initial offer rejected. That bid ‘fell a long way short of the club’s £12 million valuation.’
Hoping to recoup the vast majority of the £13.75m fee they paid Stoke in 2018, Liverpool will not sell on the cheap.
And per the report, Liverpool retain a club option on the 29-year-old’s contract for an extra year that can effectively keep him at Anfield until 2023.
That fact was apparently unknown to many suitors, It will strengthen Liverpool’s hand as transfer guru Michael Edwards tries to get the best deal.
Shaqiri was left out of the club’s final pre-season outing versus Osasuna on Monday. That sparked speculation his exit would be imminent, though there is clearly still significant work to be done.
Nevertheless, with Shaqiri intent on leaving and Lyon willing to back up their interest, a departure looks to be on the cards before the window concludes.
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