EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool fend off Barca interest to secure striker to new deal

TEAMtalk can reveal that Liverpool have fended off major interest from England and abroad to persuade Taiwo Awoniyi to sign a new deal with them.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City were all ready to take on 20-year-old Taiwo, who signed for Liverpool in 2015 after being spotted in a Coca Cola sponsored football tournament in London.

Barcelona and Inter Milan have also made moves for the Nigerian forward, but Liverpool believe they have something special and have agreed new terms on a five-year deal.

However, Taiwo, because of work-permit criteria will be loaned out again. Patrick Vieira had hoped to take him to Nice, but former Chelsea director Michael Enemalo has teed up a two-year loan deal for his club Monaco.

Taiwo has been capped six times at Under-23 level for Nigeria and has previously spent time on loan with FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen and Mouscron, where he scored 10 goals and claimed seven assists last season, and he now looks set for another two years on loan at Monaco.

Taiwo, who signed for Liverpool in 2015 from ex-Wolves midfielder Seyi Olofinjana’s Imperial Soccer Academy for £400,000, has had work permit issues meaning his Anfield career has yet to get going.

“For me, my main concern is to keep working hard for Mouscron,” Awoniyi told the Liverpool Echo in March. “It’s about scoring as much as I can, assisting goals.

“With the national team, the administrators and the coaches know the quality we have, and they know about me. There are a lot of Nigerian players in Belgium for them to watch, and hopefully I can catch their eye.”


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