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EXCLUSIVE: Kokcu, Thuram and Kone top Liverpool midfield shortlist
FootballTransfers is told that Feyonoord’s midfielder remains high on the recruitment list but it will be down to Jurgen Klopp and new sporting director, Jorg Schmadtke, to press ahead with a move.
We hear that talks with the Nice star Thuram are advanced. Indeed, Anfield appears to be the favoured destination for the France international, whose father, legendary defender Lillian, is leading the negotiations. Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the midfielder, and the player seems happy to join Liverpool over rival interest, which includes Paris Saint-Germain.
The Ligue 1 champions remain in the race for Manuel Ugarte and are only prepared to purchase Thuram on a purchase with installed payments.
As for Kone, matters are a little more complex. There are conflicting ideas about the level of interest from sources. What we know is that discussions have been held - as they also had been during the winter window, as we reported. We hear from sources that a fee of €35-€40m remains the figure that Borussia Monchengladbach are aiming for. Romeo Lavia is among targets as well, which we exclusively revealed in March.
Exc: Kouadio Manu Kone is expected to leave Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer and the Premier League is the most probable destination. Hear his price remains closer to €40m still. Liverpool and Newcastle admirers. Full story in @Transfersdotcom https://t.co/0IK812iI25
— Jacque Talbot (@jac_talbot) March 2, 2023
Newcastle United are at the table for both French players as well, however. The Magpies held preliminary discussions with the Kone in the January transfer window, while there have been further talks with the 22-year-old and Thuram ahead of the summer. They remain keen, although there seems to be a drive to find players in the Premier League over the foreign market for the Magpies, with Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth favouring experience. Furthermore, both players are pushing for a move to Liverpool above all else.
Liverpool's major targets
Meanwhile, Mason Mount is nearing a move to Manchester United but both the side and Chelsea must agree on a fee, something that Man Utd's takeover is holding up. Klopp and the club had put in months of legwork to ensure the England international arrived but it seems the prospect of Champions League football and a higher wage packet has turned his head. The Reds had met with his father and agent as far back as last year.
Alexis Mac Allister, who Liverpool moved for after Jude Bellingham opted for Real Madrid, has almost agreed personal terms with the Reds.
As for Bellingham, it’s only a matter of time before he joins Los Blancos, though the club are still yet to make an official bid. Despite what’s been briefed elsewhere, we hear that Liverpool was always his first choice and a series of meetings had taken place last year at the club’s London offices. News of favouring a move to the club Bellingham is about to join has been unsurprisingly denied at this stage in the process of his move to Madrid.