Liverpool have heavily scouted an intriguing alternative to Aurelien Tchoumanei in the form of Ibrahim Sangare who helped scupper Erik ten Hag’s farewell at Ajax.
The Daily Express recently reported Liverpool may settle for just one major acquisition this summer. Luis Diaz had been earmarked to arrive from FC Porto at season’s end. However, late Tottenham interest in January forced the Reds into bringing that move forward.
With contracts for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino still to resolve, Liverpool’s comings and goings might be altogether quieter than most this summer.
The one area they are reportedly looking to address is central midfield.
Jurgen Klopp already has an abundance of talent at his disposal in that department. However, their recent business has showcased Liverpool’s strategy of buying to address a part of their squad before it becomes an issue, not after.
Indeed, both Ibrahima Konate and Diaz’s arrivals were viewed by some as luxury signings. Yet at the back end of their first seasons at Anfield, both players are already integral parts of the squad.
A blockbuster move for Aurelien Tchouameni has courted headlines of late. The Monaco ace, 22, could be available for between £50m-£59m this summer, though Chelsea, Real Madrid and PSG will provide competition.
Tchouameni could be seen as the long-term successor to Fabinho. Liverpool’s back-up options in the holding role – Jordan Henderson and James Milner – are now 31 and 36 respectively.
The 23-year-old holding midfielder plies his trade for PSV Eindhoven. He played the full 90 minutes in all but four of the 29 Eredivisie matches he featured in this season. However, his most telling impact came in the Dutch Cup final.
Sangare shone in the showpiece occasion against Ajax and provided the assist that kickstarted PSV’s comeback. Eindhoven’s 2-1 victory ensured Ten Hag was not able to bow out of Amsterdam with a domestic Dutch double.
Liverpool scouts in attendance
The Dutch report states Liverpool scouted Sangare throughout the latter stages of the season. He is also a target for Newcastle, Aston Villa and Leicester, though it’s the Reds who have Sangare ‘firmly in their sights’.
What’s more, the Ivory Coast international is guaranteed to be available for far less than Tchouameni.
Sangare has a release clause within his contract that remains valid until 2025. The article states he can be signed for €37.5m (£31.75m).
Should Liverpool pull the trigger for Ibrahim Sangare?
The Reds have previously shown a willingness to wait for the right target once identified. Indeed, they initially tried to sign Virgil van Dijk in the summer of 2017, but were rebuffed after getting caught making an illegal approach.
But instead of signing the next best option, Liverpool bided their time and wrapped up an agreement the following window. It’s unarguable the right call was made in that regard given the impact Van Dijk has made.
If Tchouameni is indeed the man Liverpool think can succeed Fabinho, then they should take a similar approach.
That would mean foregoing Sangare who is a player seemingly destined for a move to England. He possesses strength, an innate defensive awareness and excellent timing in the tackle. Though they are all traits Tchouameni possesses too.