Premier League • England

Liverpool transfers: Talks accelerate to sign £70m Prem star as Klopp learns £43.8m fee needed for Italy maestro

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp - pic via LFC TV

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp - pic via LFC TV

Liverpool have reportedly stepped up talks to sign a talented Premier League midfielder fast emerging as one of Jurgen Klopp’s top targets of the summer window.

The Reds have suffered a disappointing season and currently face a tough battle to finish in the Champions League places. In the six full seasons under Klopp’s control, Liverpool have never finished lower than fourth. To that extent, the drop-off this season has been truly significant.

As it stands, they currently sit in eighth place, but are 12 points adrift of Manchester United, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League place. Truth be told, they can ill afford any slip ups if they are to somehow close that gap.

However, even a near-faultless run-in may not be enough to usurp their rivals.

As a result of their struggles, Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane locked horns over the reasons behind their struggles. Astonishingly, Carragher is contemplating the end of the German’s cycle at Anfield.

Klopp, though, fully intends to stick around and oversee a major rebuild of his squad.

The root cause of Liverpool’s issues – as many see it – has come in midfield. And with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost certain to move on, the Reds will likely sign at least two new players for their engine room.

That said, they could even look to make more wholesale changes with some even doubting the long-term futures of Thiago and Fabinho.

Neither have been at their best this season.

To that end, Liverpool are being linked with a whole host of midfield targets. And it seems like each day brings about a new link to an emerging target.

READ MORE ~ Transfer Gossip: Liverpool recruitment duo enthralled by new Championship midfield target

Liverpool step up hunt for Alexis Mac Allister

Now, reports in Spain claim the Reds are upping the ante for one of those targets in Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister.

The Argentina star has made a real name for himself over the past 12 months, capping it by helping his nation to glory at the 2022 World Cup.

As a result, Brighton will not let him go without a fight and are seemingly placing a £70m valuation on the player. However, reports claim that is a price Liverpool are willing to meet.

And now reports in the Spanish media claim officials from Liverpool have deepened their negotiations to lure Mac Allister to Anfield.

Chelsea are also seemingly keen as they look to reunite the player with compatriot Enzo Fernandez. But it is Liverpool who lead the chase and there appears a growing belief a deal can be struck.

Mac Allister is capable of playing across the midfield, but it’s as a No 8 where he has really thrived. Driving forwards from midfield, he has contributed to 12 goals (10 goals and 2 assists) from 29 appearances for Brighton this season.

As a result, it is easy to see why they rate the player so highly. The Seagulls have proved in the past that their players can leave for the right price. But as a club they are also known to no pushovers. That was certainly illustrated in January when turning down a £70m offer from Arsenal for Moises Caicedo.

Klopp learns fee needed for Nicolo Barella

The Reds are also looking at other targets too, however. As a result, they might just be tempted to sniff out an emerging transfer bargain from Serie A.

That’s after reports claimed Inter Milan are lowering their asking price for star midfielder Nicolo Barella.

The Reds have been tracking the 43-times capped Italy star for some time but have regularly been put off by his price. Previously valued at around €70m – €80m, that price has seemed just too high for the Reds.

Now, however, Calciomercatoweb reports that Inter have reduced his asking price to just £43.8m (€50m) amid financial troubles.

And with the club facing up to a possible Champions League miss next season themselves, sales will likely be needed to balance the books.

Understandably, that is a price that is sure to tempt a raft of suitors. And it seems Liverpool are very much among them.

The 26-year-old has a phenomenal record this season, despite his side’s struggles. To date, he has six goals and eight assists for the Nerazzurri from 38 appearances. That amounts to a goal contribution every 2.7 matches so far this season.

Jude Bellingham remains Liverpool’s No 1 target, though his fee is likely to be around £120m. As such, Liverpool may be sorely tempted knowing they could land both Barella and Mac Allister for less.

READ MOREThe 51 midfielders Liverpool have been linked with in the transfer gossip columns: Bellingham, Nunes…