Liverpool’s hopes of signing Lazio striker Keita Balde Diao have taken a nosedive amid claims the player has agreed terms over a move to Juventus.
The Reds were reportedly planning a bid for the Senegalese forward – and hoped his friendship with Sadio Mane could help them beat several rivals to his signature.
Balde has just a year left on his Lazio deal and is expected to be sold after he refused to sign a new contract.
The Senegalese striker has also been linked with moves to Tottenham, Manchester United and AC Milan – but it seems Champions League finalists Juventus may trump them all to the player’s signature.
Italian outlet Calciomercato claim the forward has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the Serie A champions ahead of a summer move to Turin.
The Reds are pushing hard to sign Roma forward Mohamed Salah and it may take a deal of at least £35m to sign the Egyptian after their initial £28m bid was rejected.
However, the Reds are seemingly not just content with signing one forward this summer and Jurgen Klopp reportedly wants to add another striker to his pool, with Daniel Sturridge expected to leave.
Liverpool were again linked with a move for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette on Thursday, while other (more fanciful) reports have suggested a move for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
However, Balde could have proved a more obtainable, and certainly cheaper option, with reports suggesting Lazio would allow the £40million-rated forward to leave for £26million this summer, with the player entering the final 12 months of his contract.
But any hopes the Reds may have had of landing Balde appear to be over amid suggestions Juventus have all-but secured his signature.
Balde is a product of Barcelona’s world-renowned La Masia youth setup but joined Lazio in the summer of 2011 at the age of just 16.
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