Liverpool advance transfer for £40m kingpin and set up Friday talks with agent

Martin Odegaard Yves Bissouma TEAMtalk

Liverpool officials will hold exploratory talks with the agent of midfielder Yves Bissouma on Friday, according to a report.

Bissouma’s name has been mentioned in connection with Liverpool over the last few months. The Brighton man will have two years left on his contract this summer. He also has interest from Arsenal and Manchester City. According to The Times, the Mali international has learned of the interest in his name and has subsequently asked Brighton if they can listen to offers for him.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been scouting the player heavily, assessing his “character” and “off-field behaviour”.

And now “a source close to” Anfield Central claims Liverpool have advanced their interest and have lined up a meeting with Michael N’Cho.

Liverpool will meet with N’Cho at their London offices on Friday to explore the possibility of landing the 24-year-old.

Bissouma is believed to be a boyhood Arsenal fan. However, Liverpool’s qualification for the Champions League has put them in pole position.

Sporting director Michael Edwards is very close to a deal to sign Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for around €40m. The club are believed to be ready to pay the release clause of the centre-back.

According to German outlet Bild, Konate has already “reached an agreement” with Liverpool for a five-year deal that will run until 2026.

It is also reported that he “has already passed the medical check.”

That just leaves Liverpool to trigger his release clause. And once that is in the bag, they will push ahead with a move for Bissouma, who joined Brighton for £15m from Lille in 2018.

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£40m-plus price tag for Bissouma

He has been a tower of strength for Brighton in a central midfield slot this season with 35 Premier League starts. His value has rocketed. The Athletic claims the Seagulls will only do business if they receive an offer they cannot refuse.

It’s understood any club trying to sign the enforcer will have to pay upwards of £40m. Brighton owner Tony Bloom is under no pressure to sell.

Speaking about the transfer speculation last month, Bissouma gave nothing away.

“I don’t have much to say about that because I’m at Brighton for the moment,” Bissouma told The Argus.

“I consider myself a Brighton player, so the most important thing right now, as I said, is to stay up.

“We’ll try and stay up, and God willing, we’ll see how things go next season.”

READ MORE: Newcastle offered summer deal for unwanted Liverpool stop-gap