Premier League • England

Klopp determined as Liverpool make contact over transfer raid on Prem rivals; player ‘wants move’ as price is fixed at £70m

Cheick Doucoure of Crystal Palace is a target for Liverpool

Cheick Doucoure of Crystal Palace is a target for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp is strongly reported to be pushing Liverpool into launching a move for Cheick Doucoure with contact for the Crystal Palace star made and hopes for his signing seemingly growing.

The Reds are still short of numbers in midfield, having lost six players since the end of last season. And while they have already brought in Alexis Mac Allister, new Kop idol Dominik Szoboszlai and Waturu Endo, Klopp is desperate to add one more body to his ranks before the window slams shut in six days.

But with time running out in the window, Liverpool are likely to face paying an inflated fee to land on potential targets with clubs generally opposed to selling off players so late in the month.

The Reds did make a €30m (£25.5m) offer to Fluminense for Brazil international Andre. However, the Brazilian side have made it clear they have no wish to cash in on the player, informing the Merseysiders that no offer would be accepted for Andre’s sale.

As a result, Liverpool’s search appears to have locked in on three possible names. And while Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Kouadio Kone are untried at Premier League, the same cannot be said for Crystal Palace star Doucoure.

The Eagles star enjoyed an excellent debut season at Selhurst Park, being crowned the club Player of the Year. One of the first names on the Palace teamsheet, Doucoure has emerged as one of the leading defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

To that end, Palace have tried to ward Liverpool off by increasing his price tag to £70m. When Liverpool first enquired at the start of the summer, Palace were seemingly prepared to do business at £50m.

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Klopp unfazed as Liverpool are set £70m Cheick Doucoure fee

But the inflated fees spent on both Romeo Lavia (£58m) and Moises Caicedo (£115m) by Chelsea, together with the lateness any approach will now arrive in the window, means Palace are not prepared to budge on their new asking price.

Now, according to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool have made contact over the signing of Doucoure.

And with Klopp now firmly focusing on adding the Malian to the mix, a determined Reds boss has asked his board to meet Palace’s demands.

With Liverpool’s interest well documented now for a few weeks, it has reportedly been communicated to Klopp that Doucoure has made clear to Palace he ‘wants’ a potential move to Anfield.

Armed with that knowledge, Liverpool will reportedly firm up those plans to sign Doucoure in the next few days.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson though understands Doucoure’s value and hopes his side will not sell one of their star turns to the Merseysiders.

Speaking earlier this week, the 76-year-old said: “I want to keep all of the players, there’s no doubt about that. I’m the manager, the club getting money for players doesn’t help me.

“It would be very, very difficult, I think, with whatever money we get to replace those players.”

A playful Hodgson added: “If you’d have asked me to sit here and talk about speculation, Sky [Sports] News fills four to five hours a day on the subject on transfers alone. I’m afraid, to say, without being any way disrespectful, if most of it wasn’t speculation it wouldn’t be four hours, it would be 40 minutes.”

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