Premier League • England

Paper Talk: Liverpool ready to hijack Arsenal move for Ajax talent

Noussair Mazraoui battling with Derrick Kohn

Liverpool are considering swooping for an Arsenal defensive target this summer, while Newcastle have been tipped to seal a stunning deal for a Tottenham legend, there’s also a crushing blow for Declan Rice and news on Franck Kessie’s future – all according to Friday’s papers.

Ajax star emerges on Liverpool radar

Liverpool are considering hijacking Arsenal’s proposed summer move for Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui, who will be out of contract in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp is said to want to add more competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold in the summer, just as Kostas Tsimikas has proved to be a more than capable understudy to Andrew Robertson.

James Milner, Neco Williams and Joe Gomez have all filled in for the England man in the past. Milner, however, is very much in the latter stages of his career, while Williams could be loaned out again – as he has this season. Gomez’s long-term Reds career is also under the spotlight, with the England centre-back now fourth-choice behind Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate.

Landing another international defender to the mix would give Klopp strong competition across his whole back four, as reported in the Daily Express.

Mazraoui, who has won 12 caps for Morocco, has been a regular under Erik Ten Hag in Holland. Indeed, he has scored 10 goals in 127 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch giants.

The Reds also have a history of buying from Ajax. They landed Ryan Babel in 2007 and then Luis Suarez four years later, so a move for Mazraoui could well be on the cards.

Robbie Fowler calls out Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool weak point

Robbie Fowler calls out Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool weak point

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has said that Trent Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool’s weakness during Inter Milan match

As for Arsenal’s interest in the player, the Gunners want more cover for summer signing Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The Japan star made an impressive start to life in north London before suffering a calf injury that has ruled him out for several weeks.

He is, however, expected to be back in action against Brentford this weekend.

Newcastle tipped for stunning summer deal

Newcastle are being tipped to sign Gareth Bale if, as expected, his time at Real Madrid comes to an end this summer and he becomes a free agent.

Bale’s former club Tottenham are already said to have agreed a deal for his permanent return this summer.

Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in action for Real Madrid

However, Brazilian legend Rivaldo believes the Wales skipper could end up at St James’ Park.

Speaking to Betfair, Rivaldo said: “The most likely scenario should be a return to England to a league he knows well, but that is also more demanding than any other.

“I definitely wouldn’t rule out a move to Newcastle as I think there is a chance they might convince him to return to the highest level as one of the stars of the team next season, in what will presumably become a very interesting squad.”

Rice dealt crushing Chelsea blow

West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has seen his hopes of joining Chelsea hit after Thomas Tuchel decided to integrate English midfielder Conor Gallagher into the Blues’ first team next season.

The Standard claims the Blues could save themselves upwards of £100million by dropping their interest in Rice and promoting Gallagher.

Declan Rice of West Ham

The 22-year-old has made a big impression on loan at London rivals Crystal Palace this season. And the report adds that Tuchel is known to be a big fan of the player’s qualities.

The Stamford Bridge are already strong centrally, with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic on their books. However, there are major doubts over the futures of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley’s futures, while Saul the on-loan Niguez will return to Atletico Madrid this summer.

That looks set to leave a space for Gallagher to finally make his mark in west London.

As for Rice, Chelsea’s decision leaves the door open for the two Manchester clubs to make their own moves.

Kessie still on the market

Finally, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie has reportedly not yet agreed a move to any club this summer, despite talk of a done deal with Barcelona.

The 25-year-old Ivory Coast is set to become a free agent in the summer when his deal with the Italian giants comes to an end.

Frank Kessie December 2021

Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with Kessie, and the report in The Sun has given them all hope.

Trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed that while Barca are in contact with his representatives, they have not yet tied him down.

He said: “Franck Kessié has still no full agreement with any club. Barcelona are in contact with his agent since December, they are waiting for him – Kessié has not made his final choice yet.

“Race still open, other clubs also interested.”

READ MORE: Manchester United officials buoyed as key transfer target has big incentive to leave Barcelona