Liverpool fighting Chelsea for ‘the best midfielder in Italy’, as Klopp readies stunningly high bid

Inter Milan midfielders Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu

Liverpool and Chelsea are converging on the same midfielder for the third time in six months, and a report claims the Reds are prepared to spend an eye-watering sum despite the player’s age.

The Reds and Blues both fought for the signatures of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia over the summer. Liverpool saw a club-record £110m bid for Caicedo accepted by Brighton, though Chelsea refused to be pushed aside.

Brighton left the door ajar for Chelsea to make an improved bid and once they committed to a package worth £115m, Caicedo was bound for Stamford Bridge. The Ecuadorian’s preference for joining Chelsea over Liverpool also aided their cause.

Liverpool then reignited their interest in Lavia, though he too only had eyes for Chelsea. A £58m bid was accepted by Southampton, with Liverpool going on to sign Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch instead.

Endo is the only specialist holding midfielder Liverpool signed from their four summer recruits. However, the Japan international has been used sparingly in the league, with Alexis Mac Allister often player out of position in the deeper role.

Now, according to Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Liverpool are becoming a real threat to sign Inter Milan ace Hakan Calhanoglu, potentially as early as January. But unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp, Chelsea are once again in the mix.

TMW state ‘Chelsea and Liverpool are trying’ to unlock Calhanoglu’s signing amid his impeccable displays this season.

The Turkey international, 29, has been converted from a box-to-box midfielder into a holding one and the move has proven a masterstroke.

Inter sit atop Serie A and have scored the most goals and conceded the fewest this season. Their mark of just seven goals conceded in 15 matches is truly remarkable and Calhanoglu has played a starring role when shielding his defence.

Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella is quoted as naming Calhanoglu ‘the best midfielder in Italy, perhaps even of the world.’

Liverpool to put up €50m?

Understandably, Inter do not wish to lose Calhanoglu and are protected by the fact he’s under contract until 2027.

Nonetheless, Liverpool and Chelsea are seemingly intent on posing the question and according to Inter Live, the Reds are prepared to spend big.

They claimed Liverpool are willing to bid as much as €50m (£42.9m) to get their hands on Calhanoglu next month.

That is a hefty fee for a player who’ll turn 30 in February. However, if Calhanoglu’s mid-season arrival helped Liverpool win the Premier League, it would quickly prove money well spent.

Inter Live concluded a bid in the €50m range would be difficult for Inter to turn down.

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