Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea have been handed a major boost as they look to prize Karim Adeyemi away from Red Bull Salzburg.
The centre-forward, 19, is one of the hottest properties in Austria right now. He is already on 15 goals in just 22 appearances for the campaign.
That includes 11 in the Austrian Bundesliga, where Salzburg are top with a 14-point lead. He has also managed three goals in the Champions League. Salzburg look set to reach the next round too, after picking up seven points from four matches.
Adeyemi is following in the footsteps of Erling Haaland by scoring goals for fun with Salzburg. Liverpool and Chelsea are joined by Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona in the hunt for his signature.
The German’s contract runs until 2024, meaning his current team are in no rush to sell this winter.
But Salzburg president Harald Lurzer admits that a major switch could soon take place. During an interview with Bayern Insider (via HITC), the chief said: “We are aware that Karim will probably take the next step next summer. We don’t want to put any obstacles in the way.”
Lurzer also confirmed that Adeyemi has no release clause in his contract, contrary to various reports. German journalist Christian Falk reckons Salzburg are demanding more than the £18m they received for Haaland in January last year.
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Whatever the price, Liverpool and Chelsea will be open to matching it. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is searching for Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s long-term successors on either flank.
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, could look to replace the out-of-form Timo Werner with his compatriot.
Dortmund believe they can once again win the race for a wonderkid. They are preparing a £30m offer for Adeyemi, as well as terms amounting to £80,000 a week. They could land him by pointing out their exceptional ability to create world-class players.
Liverpool facing ‘strange’ situation – Klopp
Meanwhile, Klopp has compared Liverpool’s current midfield shortage to the defensive problems they suffered last term.
They are without Naby Keita, James Milner, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott. They also need to make decisions on Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, the latter being in line to train on Friday.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash against Arsenal, Klopp said: “It’s not easy [having to change] but if it was you would not need to pay so much money to sort it. Would I like to play same three? No, we have too many games but it’d be cool to have more options (less injuries) and training days together.
“Last year we had a strange situation with the centre-backs and it looks like this is the one now for the midfield. We need to find a solution for Arsenal and that is what we do.”