Premier League • England

Klopp delight as Euro giants pull out of Liverpool midfield chase, leaving Reds with one final challenger

Khephren Thuram and Maxence Caqueret, Nice vs Lyon

Khephren Thuram battles Maxence Caqueret during Nice vs Lyon

Jurgen Klopp will be ecstatic after finding out Liverpool will no longer face competition from Bayern for one of their midfield targets, according to a report.

Having allowed James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita to leave on free transfers, Liverpool were always going to make at least two midfield signings this summer. They got their business up and running by landing Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for an initial £35million, though the deal could eventually rise to £55m depending on add-ons.

Liverpool have since followed that up with the capture of Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig. The Hungary international has signed a five-year contract at Anfield after Liverpool agreed to pay his €70m (£60.1m) release clause.

Klopp’s side are now on the hunt for a third midfielder who can play a slightly deeper role to Mac Allister and Szoboszlai, which means they could become Fabinho’s successor.

Liverpool are known to be interested in Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, though they will face competition from Arsenal and Chelsea for him.

If Lavia does go elsewhere, then it is likely Liverpool will pursue alternative option Khephren Thuram. They have already held initial talks with the Frenchman about a move.

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Liverpool chiefs have been in contact with Nice as well. In these discussions Nice told Liverpool they did not want to sell Thuram until 2024.

But the Reds potentially missing out on Lavia would see them get more desperate for Thuram’s signing and therefore offer Nice more money.

Liverpool given lift as Bayern focus on other targets

Reports in France have repeatedly named Bayern as competitors for Thuram. The German titans are hunting for a new midfielder who can partner Joshua Kimmich and the 22-year-old has resultantly been linked.

However, in a major boost for Liverpool, German source Kicker (via Get German Football News) report that Bayern will not be pursuing Thuram as they have different players in mind to fill the void.

It looks like the fight for Thuram is now between Liverpool and Newcastle. Even after adding Sandro Tonali to their ranks, various outlets including Foot Mercato have backed Newcastle to move for Thuram as well.

Nice have set their asking price at £40m, though they could end up receiving more than this if Liverpool and Newcastle get into a bidding war. Klopp will be wary of this as Newcastle have far more money to spend this summer than Liverpool.

It will be tough for Thuram to choose between Liverpool and Newcastle if Nice accept bids from both Premier League sides. Newcastle have qualified for next season’s Champions League, and that may give them an advantage as Liverpool will only play in the Europa League next term.

But Liverpool will be hoping to convince Thuram to move to Merseyside by using the fact he can play under Klopp, who is known to get the best out of rising players. And Klopp himself will try to convince Thuram on a move by outlining his plan for getting Liverpool back to where they should be.

Meanwhile, a report has claimed Liverpool will also battle Newcastle for the capture of a Premier League ace.