Liverpool are emerging as strong favourites to sign Jadon Sancho after a new suitor entered the race and Chelsea made a key transfer decision.
The Reds, along with Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the 19-year-old winger, though Jurgen Klopp has admitted that cost would “100 per cent” be an issue if his side were to pursue the Borussia Dortmund winger.
Recent incidents – including Sancho being fined after returning late from international duty – have reportedly led to a growing desire from the England star to leave Dortmund, although sporting director Michael Zorc has insisted that the issues have been resolved.
However, the Daily Express claims any decision on Sancho’s future is likely to be made at the end of the season – and the player will instantly rule out any side not competing in the Champions League. With it unlikely that both United and Chelsea will qualify for the competition next season – both appear to be competing for the final place via the Premier League, though United could still qualify by winning the Europa League – that would put champions-elect Liverpool in pole position.
The news comes amid reports in Germany that Bayern Munich have also entered the race to sign a player, who would likely command a fee in excess of £90million when he does leave the Westfallonstadion.
However, it’s believed Sancho would prefer a return to the Premier League upon leaving Dortmund, another factor playing into Liverpool’s hands.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are reported to have shelved their interest in Sancho until the summer, with boss Frank Lampard prioritising a new striker in January.
The Blues have already seen a cheeky £34m bid rejected by Lyon for Manchester United target Moussa Dembele, though it’s thought they will come back in with an improved offer, despite this stern response from the Ligue 1 giants.
Chelsea are also monitoring RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, though it is thought Dembele remains Lampard’s No 1 choice due to the comparisons being drawn between the former Celtic frontman and the Chelsea manager’s former teammate, Didier Drogba.
With all the signs pointing towards a move to Liverpool, former Reds midfielder Jason McAteer has explained why the England star would be a perfect fit for the Merseysiders.
He told the Racing Post: “I doubt Jurgen Klopp feels under any pressure to make any more moves in the transfer window though if there’s one player I’d love to see him bring to Anfield, it’s Jadon Sancho. Sancho looks like a Jurgen Klopp type of player. He’s young, immensely talented, looks ideally suited to the system which Klopp plays and would be learning off one of the top coaches in the world.
“Good managers take good players to the next level. Look at Raheem Sterling at Manchester City. Sterling might not have naturally brought into Pep Guardiola’s unique philosophy but he has and the upshot is that this once erratic talent is now one of the finest players in the Premier League.
“Klopp has a similar aura and Trent Alexander-Arnold is a classic example of a player who has flourished under the German where he may very well not have done under someone else. Sancho at Liverpool would be brilliant for him and the club. He could play anywhere along that front three and looks a genuinely class act.”
Klopp, at the start of December, spoke about Sancho, he told the Liverpool Echo: “He’s a very good player. I have no clue where these kind of things are coming from, but it cannot come from us because we never speak about it.
“If we would be involved, nobody would know about it apart from a person who wouldn’t speak about it. There’s nothing to say.
“Cost? That’s one issue, 100 per cent that would be an issue. But there’s nothing to say about it.”