Watford have been aware of Liverpool’s interest in their winger Ismaila Sarr “for some time” and will not stand in his way if their valuation of around £40m is met, TEAMtalk can reveal.
Sources familiar with the discussions have suggested that contact between the clubs is at a formative stage and a final deal is a long way from being completed. However, both sides are eager to explore the prospect of the 22-year-old Senegal winger moving to Anfield.
We have been told that new Watford boss Vladimir Ivic would like to revive his squad with some new signings and the sale of Sarr could free up funds to launch the club’s effort to bounce straight back into the Premier League.
Watford’s finances have been stretched following their relegation to the Championship in a year when they have already been hit financially by the fall-out from the Covid-19 crisis. That is why they may be open to selling Sarr, who has also attracted interest from other Premier League clubs.
Manchester United have been mentioned as another club who are interested in signing the player who played 28 Premier League games last season. Watford though have yet to be approached by the Old Trafford club over a deal.
Liverpool agreed a deal to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara on Thursday after weeks of speculation linking the Spanish midfielder with a move to Anfield and now their attention could turn to Sarr.
Yet it remains to be seen whether a move for Sarr could be financed in this transfer window. Any deal may well depend on the prospect of fringe players leaving Anfield.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is a firm admirer of his countryman and would doubtless relish the chance to link-up with him at club level, but there remains several hurdles to clear before Senegal’s next big star moves to Anfield.
“Sadio is talking to me all the time. He advises me to ‘do this, do that’. He is a big brother for me,” said Sarr last December.
“When I arrived, he sent messages saying ‘welcome to the Premier League, welcome to England’ and we also talk when we are in the national team.
“He gives me tips, I try to execute them and to implement them. ‘If you don’t play, be calm, carry on, do your job, it will be OK’, that is what he says. So I try to do the same. If I do not play, no problem. I come and work on the following day.”