Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer tactic tipped to fail with price hike predicted for midfield target already rated towards £35m

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram

Liverpool have been warned that delaying their bid for Khephren Thuram might actually play into the hands of Nice rather than themselves.

Thuram is the next midfielder Liverpool are focusing on after adding Alexis Mac Allister to their squad. Preliminary talks have already been held with his entourage, so the next step will be to make their approach to Nice.

The Ligue 1 side have Thuram under contract for another two years, but should now be bracing themselves for a bid by Liverpool.

Reports earlier this week suggested Liverpool would wait until after Thuram has finished his duties with France at the Under-21 European Championship this summer before putting their money on Nice’s table. At the latest, that could be up to July 8.

It has been claimed that Nice’s current valuation of Thuram would be a minimum of €40m (£34.5m).

And now, Liverpool have been warned by one of their former players that the price tag could increase if things go well for Thuram on the European stage.

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“Why are we waiting until after the U21 (European Championships),” Jose Enrique, who played for Liverpool between 2011 and 2016 and still regularly comments about the club’s activities to this day, asked via Instagram.

“If he does well there, then the price will go even higher,” the former full-back predicted.

Liverpool playing the long game for Khephren Thuram

France’s campaign at the U21 Euros commences today (Thursday) with a match against Italy, the country of Thuram’s birth.

Despite being 22, Thuram is still eligible to feature in the tournament. He goes into it on the back of a season at club level in which he played 48 times across all competitions, scoring two goals and assisting eight.

It was the most Thuram has ever featured in a single campaign. Son of former France international Lilian and brother of Marcus, Thuram started his career with Monaco but has made more of a name for himself with Nice, whom he joined in 2019.

Back in the 2020-21 season, he played in the Europa League with them. Liverpool will be in that competition next season after coming fifth in the Premier League this time around.

The Reds have been searching for more midfielders after allowing James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arthur Melo to depart. There have since been claims that Thiago Alcantara could be prised away as well.

Thus, buying Mac Allister from Brighton was merely step one of their plan to replenish the department over the summer. Thuram could be next, but Liverpool will have to get their timing right.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been listed among the many admirers of a striker who stood out at the recent Under-2o World Cup.