Premier League • England

Battle lines drawn for Liverpool and Gerrard as mega midfielder price tag is set

Yves Bissouma is challenged by Abdoulaye Doucoure during Brighton vs Everton, August 2021

The battle lines have been drawn for Liverpool and their former captain Steven Gerrard as they’ve learnt the mega price tag for Yves Bissouma.

The Reds have been long-term admirers of the Brighton midfielder, who has put himself on the radar of the top six sides with his performances. Gerrard’s Aston Villa have now also joined the race.

That’s according to a recent report by Sky Sports. And that claim has since been reinforced by a fresh report from The Athletic.

With Villa keen and a whole host of other clubs sniffing about, Bissouma’s club have set the amount they want for him.

As they have no reason to let him go in the January transfer window, the figure the Seagulls deem suitable is around £50million.

Bissouma is one of the key reasons why Graham Potter’s side have only lost four Premier League games this season.

They have suffered the least amount of defeats outside of the top three teams of Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

It is an impressive record which sees them sat in ninth position. While there’s little danger of relegation, losing Bissouma now would be damaging.

However, the 25-year-old has only 18 months left on his contract. And it seems unlikely he would put pen to paper again on the south coast.

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Therefore, if Brighton’s valuation is not met in the winter window, they will have to cash in come the summer or risk losing him for free.

A number of clubs are said to be scouting him at games. That interest is yet to develop into negotiations at this stage.

Bissouma has left the Seagulls to link up with Mali for the Africa Cup of Nations. He could absent for as many as four games, with Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Leicester and a fourth round FA Cup tie all coming up.

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Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has told the club’s hierarchy who their top transfer target should be in 2022.

Reports put the Reds in the hunt for a number of top stars from around Europe. As their famed front three is around the 30 mark, Liverpool are looking at long-term replacements.

Porto ace Luis Diaz is on their radar. And the 24-year-old would certainly be an impressive capture – his record stands at 12 goals in 15 league games this term.

However, there are alternatives, should Diaz prove to be too expensive. French attacker Ousmane Dembele could become a free agent in June after the latest update on his Barcelona contract discussions.

But there is only one man on Carragher’s mind…

READ MORECarragher urges Liverpool to focus their transfer attention on one influential star