Liverpool and Arsenal target being blocked from dream transfer

Imre Himmelbauer
Imre Himmelbauer
  • 7 Jun 2023 10:43 BST
  • 3 min read
Orkun Kökcü, Feyenoord
© ProShots

Liverpool and Arsenal’s prospects of landing Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu are being helped by the Eredivisie club playing transfer hardball.

Feyenoord are currently standing in the way Kokcu’s move to Benfica, Record reports.

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The Portuguese newspaper writes that the 22-year-old midfielder is the top priority of the Portuguese champions and that Kokcu himself is also very keen on a switch to Lisbon.

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The Eredivisie side are holding out for the player’s asking price, with Arsenal and Liverpool both interested in the player. There is a belief at Feyenoord that the two English clubs will be willing to pay upwards of €40 million for the player.

FootballTransfers has previously revealed that Kokcu is high up the shortlist of Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp.

Kokcu, though, reportedly wants to move to Benfica for two reasons.

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Firstly, the club has performed well in the Champions League in recent seasons: the Portuguese club has reached the quarter-finals in the past two editions of the European tournament.

Another factor is that the 20-time Turkey international thinks he has more chance of playing time in Portugal than in the Premier League. The reunion with Fredrik Aursnes, who left Feyenoord for Benfica in the summer of 2022, is also seen as a 'trump card' by Benfica.

Orkun Kokcu
© ProShots - Orkun Kokcu

Kokcu’s transfer fee a sticking point

Feyenoord want at least €40m for the player - which is too much for Roger Schmidt’s side. Benfica would be willing to pay a maximum of €30m.

The Portuguese are hopeful that the Dutch side relent on their demand for an up-front fee and instead accept a percentage of the player’s future transfer fee. A maximum figure of 20% is being discussed.

Benfica previously already applied such a strategy to Enzo Fernandez. The 22-year-old Argentina star came over from River Plate for just €10m in the summer of 2022 and moved to Chelsea six months later for €121m. The Argentine side therefore recouped an additional €34m from the deal.

Kokcu was vital at Feyenoord this season as they won the Eredivisie for the first time since 2017. The midfielder scored 12 goals and 5 assists in 46 games. His contract runs until the summer of 2025 and his Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) is €24m.

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