Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will have to act swiftly if he is to land a quartet of leading midfield targets amid claims that all four players are now subject of hefty bids from their Premier League rivals.
The Merseysiders have already drafted in Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton in a deal worth an initial £35m. But after losing the influential James Milner, as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, there is a need for the Reds to further add to their midfield.
To that end, Klopp and Co are currently working on off a transfer shortlist of around six midfield targets.
One of those who figure highly on their wishlist is Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram. Capped by France at senior level, the 22-year-old has enjoyed a tremendous season on the Côte d’Azur.
Indeed, playing in a defensive midfield role, he caught the eye with a series of impressive displays. Furthermore, he played a part in six goals (two goals, four assists) to add another string to his bow.
As a result, reports claim he has emerged as a top target for Klopp. And with personal terms reportedly no issue, Liverpool have been locked in talks with Nice over the potential deal.
However, Monday’s Transfer Gossip provided details of how Newcastle have hustled their way to the front of the queue. Eddie Howe’s side are prepared to meet his €40m (£35m) asking price. Furthermore, with Champions League football on offer, there is an apparent belief on Tyneside they can win the race for his signature.
Thuram is due to represent France at the Euro Under-21 Championships. But he could be allowed to step away from duty in order to tie up a transfer.
Liverpool could also miss Barella and Palhinha
In addition to seeing Newcastle move for Thuram, Klopp is also facing up to being usurped over two other top targets.
And according to Fabrizio Romano, West Ham are preparing to make a move for Liverpool-linked Joao Palhinha.
The Portugal star had a sublime debut season in the Premier League with Fulham. Costing a lowly £20m, he comfortably made the most tackles in the division, with 147. To put into context, Moises Caicedo was his nearest rival with 100.
Now the Hammers are looking to sign the 27-year-old as a replacement for Declan Rice. Furthermore, they appear ready to spend half of their likely £100m windfall to land the Cottagers star.
And while Romano claims any deal will be “difficult” to pull off, they plan to make contact with their London rivals this week to discuss a potential deal.
The Reds are also trailing in pursuit of Nicolo Barella. The attacking midfielder helped Inter Milan reach the Champions League final, where they pushed Manchester City close.
And while Inter are willing to sell, their demand for €90m (£77m) looks too costly for the Reds. As a result, Chelsea are reportedly set to step in with Mauricio Pochettino looking to rebuild his midfield.
Indeed, talks between the two clubs are already underway with Chelsea also keen on goalkeeper Andre Onana. In return, the Nerazzurri are keen on a few unwanted Chelsea players in Trevoh Chalabah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea look to beat Liverpool to Gabri Veiga
In addition, Chelsea are also looking to beat Liverpool to another target in Gabri Veiga.
The outstanding Celta Vigo star has been compared to legendary Brazilian star Kaka. And with a €40m (£35m) exit clause in his deal, it is hard to see the 21-year-old staying with the LaLiga club.
To that end, the likes of Arsenal, Newcastle, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Napoli are among those tracking him.
However, The Sun claims Chelsea have asked Celta Vigo about the player and look well placed to hijack the deal.
Their interest has since been confirmed by Romano, though he states Liverpool remain ‘well informed’ on the potential deal. However, their immediate priorities appear to lie elsewhere, allowing the Blues to potentially nip in and land Veiga.
All four players could cost a combined £197m. But unless Liverpool get their act together quickly, they could find themselves missing out on the quartet to their Premier League rivals.