Liverpool have entered the race to sign the highly sought-after Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde following the Frenchman’s failed move to the Premier League last summer.
According to Spanish news outlet Marca, Jurgen Klopp’s list of defensive targets features the 23-year-old’s name close to the top as the Reds look to address their problems at the back.
Despite Virgil van Dijk’s return to the fold following a season-long absence due to injury, the Merseysiders have not been as rock-solid in defence as they used to be.
That is despite Ibrahima Konate’s big-money arrival from RB Leipzig and Joe Gomez’s return to full fitness after an injury-riddled 2020/21 season.
In fact, the latter has only been handed 12 minutes of Premier League action this season and is said to be contemplating his future at Anfield in the World Cup year.
Indeed, Joel Matip has been Van Dijk’s most trusted partner this season.
However, the Cameroon international’s performances have flattered to decieve as he has struggled with inconsistency.
With Gomez entertaining the idea of leaving the club for regular first-team football elsewhere and Matip failing to convince Klopp, Liverpool are now in the market for a high-profile defensive signing.
Kounde, who emerged as a top target for Chelsea and Manchester City back in the summer, has now ended up on the Reds’ wishlist despite his stratospheric price tag.
Per 90min, Sevilla have pinned a substantial €70m price tag on their in-demand prized asset as part of an attempt to fend off potential buyers amid Diego Carlos’ uncertain future.
Kounde’s highly-rated partner has caught the eye of Newcastle United, who are frantically looking for reinforcements ahead of the second half of the season.
With fears over a possible relegation to the Championship looming over St James’ Park, the wealthy new owners have approached Sevilla to understand the feasibility of the deal.
Though the Andalusians have every intent on squeezing every penny out of the free-spending Tyneside outfit, Carlos’ potential switch to the Magpies could hinder Liverpool’s bid to land Kounde.
It is hard to expect the La Liga title contenders to give up both of their first-choice centre-backs in the middle of the season, especially given their hot pursuit of leaders Real Madrid.
That is likely to postpone any deal involving Kounde’s move to Liverpool until the end of the season.
The Reds are also assessing the possibility of launching a massive contract offer for Barcelona whizz-kid Gavi amid the Catalans’ financial struggle.
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