Premier League • England

Klopp ‘insists’ Liverpool sign £68m forward as Real Madrid prepare to fight

Real Madrid quartet Toni Kroos, Vinicius, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to alleviate a looming issue with the £68m signing of Brazilian forward Rodrygo, though Real Madrid won’t make it easy, per a report.

Liverpool’s forward line has been the envy of most of Europe over the past few years. The Reds are currently the top scorers in the Premier League, with Mohamed Salah in particular blazing a trail of destruction through opposition defences.

However, both he and Sadio Mane are facing a lengthy spell away from Anfield in 2022. The pair are scheduled to take part in AFCON 2021 – due to take place between January 9 – February 6.

With that in mind, the Sun (citing Spanish outlet El Nacional) revealed Liverpool fixed their gaze on signing Real hitman Rodrygo in January.

Their article stated Liverpool had been an admirer of Rodrygo while with Santos. However, Real stole a march for his signature in 2019 to the tune of £40m.

Since then, Rodrygo has been outshone by fellow countryman Vinicius Jr. Nevertheless, Real president Florentino Perez retains high hopes Rodrygo can develop into an undroppable member of their starting eleven down the line.

That plan was reportedly put in jeopardy by Liverpool who are said to have seen a £51m bid rejected over the summer. Now though, they are prepared to raise the stakes with a £68m offer reportedly in the works.

Klopp keen, but Real will fight for Rodrygo

Klopp is deemed a driving force behind any such approach, though according to trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Real won’t make it easy.

He tweeted Carlo Ancelotti’s side have ‘no plan’ to sell Rodrygo in January. Additionally, he confirmed Liverpool are yet to open negotiations.

Perhaps with the Reds’ interest in mind, Romano added a new contract for Rodrygo ‘will be discussed soon”. Of course, it’s possible tying the Brazilian down to fresh terms was in their minds anyway.

Liverpool target Bowen, Raphinha

Liverpool target Bowen, Raphinha

Liverpool's search for Mane and Salah's successors sees them target two from the Prem.

From the player’s perspective, the initial El Nacional report suggested Rodrygo may be open to a move.

He was described as beginning to ‘think about packing’ and heading to a club where he can ‘feel more important’. The vast bulk of his 15 league appearances this term have come from the bench.

Liverpool have also been linked with fellow forwards Raphinha and Jarrod Bowen. The Premier League pair would provide a more readymade solution to Liverpool’s impending AFCON issue in 2022.

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Brighton win Liverpool, Man City transfer race?

Meanwhile, Brighton are reportedly edging closer to the signing of a Polish wonderkid, with Liverpool and Man City set to lose out.

The Daily Mail write that the Seagulls are close to securing a deal for 18-year-old Kacper Kozlowski. He represents Polish outfit Pogon Szczecin but is set for bigger and better things.

The starlet made his first-team debut at just 15. He has been tipped for a move to one of Europe’s top leagues ever since. 

That transfer could finally take place this winter as Brighton are willing to meet his £8million price tag. Kozlowski will require a work permit but the Seagulls are confident a deal will go through.

Potter’s side want to loan him out to Belgian Pro League team Royale Union Saint-Gilloise for the remainder of the campaign.

Kozlowski has been scouted by Liverpool, Man City and AC Milan in the past. But it seems Brighton will give the young playmaker his big break in England.

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