Liverpool have opened talks over the signing of Boubakary Soumare, but Barcelona have identified him as an alternative to their top target, according to reports in Catalonia.
Lille midfielder Soumare has his heart set on a move to a top six club after turning down Newcastle United in January – although the Magpies remain hopeful of having an outside chance of signing him in the summer.
Liverpool and Manchester United are the most closely linked clubs expected to be playing in Europe next season, with Sport revealing that the Premier League leaders have already begun negotiating.
However, there may be an obstacle in their pursuit, as the Catalan publication also claims that Barcelona have identified Soumare as a possible target – if they cannot sign Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes.
Camavinga is in high demand following a breakout season in France, making 24 Ligue 1 starts despite only being 17 years old.
Liverpool themselves are also linked with the player, but Sport say he is high on the agenda for Barcelona.
Should they fail to win the race for Camavinga, though, the La Liga giants have their eyes on two other Ligue 1 players – Soumare and Toulouse player Ibrahim Sangare.
They came across the latter when scouting defender Jean-Clair Todibo before his signing in 2019, and asked for first refusal when the time came for him to change clubs.
However, they are alert to Soumare as well, although the midfielder may have his sights set firmly towards England as he plots his next move.