Premier League • England

Klopp greenlights €45m Liverpool deal for exceptional French star seen as upgrade on failed summer signing

Nice star Khephren Thuram is a transfer target for Liverpool

Khephren Thuram is a transfer target for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has reportedly instructed Liverpool to make contact with Nice over a deal for Khephren Thuram after deciding the French star is the perfect man to complete his new-look midfield at Anfield.

The Merseysiders spent all summer rebuilding their engine room after the departures of six players in the department over the close season. And while the £145.2m Liverpool spent on acquiring Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch has rejuvenated what had been a leggy area of the side last season, there remains a feeling that Klopp and Co are not finished yet.

Indeed, while Szoboszlai has been the star of the show and Mac Allister and Gravenberch have shown fleeting glimpses of what they’re about, the jury remains very much out on £16.2m signing Endo.

The Japan midfielder has made 14 appearances so far, though with just two Premier League starts to his name, it remains unsure if he is seen as a long-term answer for Liverpool.

And with some observers claiming the Liverpool summer signing is ‘not up to standard’, it’s strongly rumoured Klopp is ready to delve back into the transfer market in January to find a new defensive midfielder capable of filling Fabinho’s boots.

The more cruel have already branded Endo a ‘failure’ and while, at 30, he was only ever seen as a temporary fix, it seems Liverpool are ready to cast their net and bring in an upgrade in 2024 – and possibly as soon as January.

To that end, Liverpool have been linked with two Brazilians in the form of Gabriel Moscardo of Corinthians and Fluminense star Andre Trindade.

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Liverpool push forwards with Khephren Thuram swoop

But with the former seen as too raw and the latter seemingly on the way to Fulham, Klopp is now reportedly ready to put his entire focus into signing Nice star Thuram as the final piece in Liverpool’s new-look midfield jigsaw.

Now reports in Italy claim the Merseysiders are instead ready to push through their year-long interest in signing Thuram by making an official approach for his services.

The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the best DM’s in France with some solid displays that have unbeaten Nice pushing PSG for title glory this season.

And having watched his displays closely in recent weeks, Tutto Juve claims Klopp is ready to mount a serious bid for his services in January and is willing to pay as much as €45m (£38.8m) for the player in the winter window.

Juventus are also reportedly keen on the one-time capped France star as they look to bring in fresh legs in their midfield. However, the report claims the Bianconeri simply cannot compete with the Merseysiders’ wealth and the size of their offer will simply blow them out of the water.

Per the report, Liverpool have already established contact with Nice and are ‘ready to invest’ their money into the player.

Nice weighing up Liverpool offer

With contact made, it’s reported Nice are weighing up their next move, and whether to accept Liverpool’s offer, which would be a club-record sale for the French Riveira club.

That currently stands at the €30m (£25.9m) Fulham paid for Jean-Michel Seri in summer 2019.

But while the sale of Thuram would comfortably earn them a new record mark, the club, who are owned by incoming new Manchester United investor, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, are leaning more towards rejecting the sale – for now.

That’s because, with the club fully ensconced in the Ligue 1 title race, coach Francesco Farioli is wary of doing anything that might upset his side’s momentum midway through the season.

To that end, Nice would likely prefer a sale of the player at the season’s end and will likely look to delay Liverpool’s attempts to land the player, who is contracted to 2026, until the summer months.

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