Liverpool could be set to spring one last surprise of the transfer window by triggering a late window swoop for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Sangare amid reports Jurgen Klopp had been made aware of his tempting exit clause.
The Reds’ need for fresh blood in midfield is well documented in the wake of several exits this summer. While Liverpool long expected the exits of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita – and also had no hestitation in not taking up the permanent option on Arthur Melo’s loan – the exits of stalwarts Fabinho and Jordan Henderson came more out of the blue.
To that end, Liverpool’s attention for much of the summer months has been on assembling a new all-star cast in their engine room. Deals for Alexis Mac Allister and new fans’ favourite Dominik Szoboszlai were quickly agreed. A fortnight ago, Liverpool were also able to add Japanese No 6 Waturu Endo from Stuttgart to bring their total new recruits to three.
But with the aforementioned six departures, Klopp and Co still find themselves a little light in midfield.
As such, efforts to bring in a fourth new midfielder before the window shuts are well underway. One name who can almost certainly be crossed off is Cheick Doucoure. Crystal Palace’s £70m asking price on the Malian is likely to have ended the Reds’ interest.
The likes of Ryan Gravenberch and Kouadio Kone continue to be linked with moves, though both transfers face unique obstacles which the Reds may find tricky to overcome.
To that end, the last couple of days has seen some fresh names linked with talks held internally over a possible move for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
Liverpool tipped to move for PSV star Sangare
A more surprising link then emerged on Tuesday afternoon when it was suggested the Reds could make a late approach to gazump Nottingham Forest and Bayern Munich’s interest in departing Leicester midfielder Wilfried Ndidi.
However, the Merseysiders now find themselves linked with another potential option in the form of PSV star Sangare.
The 25-year-old Ivorian is one of the best holding midfielders around and would surely prove an upgrade for Endo at No 6. Extremely mobile, strong in the tackle and with a great passing range, Sangare has gathered many admirers during his three full seasons at the Philips Stadion.
As a result, it perhaps surprising that Sangare still remains on PSV’s books given the quality of interest in his services.
That said, a report on Tuesday morning claimed West Ham were planning a late raid to bring Sangare to the London Stadium. The midfielder has a tempting £32.7m (€38m) exit cluae in his deal, making a pathway to his signature relatively straightforward for his suitors.
However, with ESPN also noting Liverpool interest in Sangare, the Reds are being tipped to gazump the Hammers to his signature.
One man who believes Sangare is ready to take the next step is legendary Netherlands midfielder Ronald de Boer.
Sangare compared to Chelsea legend
Now 53, the former Ajax and Rangers legend won 67 caps for his country, so knows a thing or two about what it takes to shine in midfield.
And he reckons Sangare has all the qualities needed to reach the top, even comparing the player to another iconic figure in Chelsea and Real Madrid old boy Claude Makelele.
Predicting Sangare’s exit clause will this week be triggered, De Boer told Voetbal Nieuws: “I think he’s a great player.
“I think PSV cannot keep him. He will still go to a real top team such as Liverpool. Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain? In my opinion, he can handle that.”
De Boer added: “I always say; if you give him the Claude Makelele role – (where he can) take the ball and pass it on to someone who can play football well – then he is a golden player for your team.
“You need those kinds of players in your team.”
Sangare is contracted to PSV until summer 2027, having arrived in a bargain €7m move from Toulouse in summer 2020. He has 15 goals and seven assists for the Dutch outfit from 139 appearances.