Liverpool learn asking price for title-winning midfield target as rivals drop out but Arsenal linger
Liverpool have discovered how much they will have to pay if they want to sign Orkun Kokcu from Feyenoord, per a report.
Kokcu has just captained Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title and has put himself in the shop window in the process. A Premier League move might be possible for the Turkey international.
He has already been linked with Liverpool, who are aiming to revamp their midfield after releasing James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arthur Melo.
There have also been links between Kokcu and an ambitious Aston Villa. But one of his longest-lasting admirers has been Arsenal – who might bid farewell to Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey this summer.
Now, an update from Record has revealed that Liverpool and Arsenal can be classed as the main contenders to sign Kokcu this summer.
That’s because Benfica – another long-term admirer of Kokcu – have dropped out of the battle for his signature.
Feyenoord’s asking price has proven to be out of reach for the Portuguese side. Reports are claiming that the Dutch champions will demand a transfer fee of €40m (£34.7m).
The competition from Liverpool and Arsenal has also forced Benfica to concede defeat. It seems increasingly likely that Kokcu’s next step will be to arrive in English football.
Record has not hinted at which of Liverpool and Arsenal will be the standout favourites. But the competition could be narrowing down.
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This season, Kokcu has played 45 times in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and adding five assists. His whole spell with Feyenoord has included 32 goals and 27 assists within 174 appearances.
Kokcu, who was born in the Netherlands, came through the ranks at Feyenoord and has spent his entire career to date with them.
Only under contract for another two seasons, though, he might leave them this year while his stock is high.
Liverpool or Arsenal – where should Orkun Kokcu go?
If Feyenoord accept offers for Kokcu this summer, he will have a lot of thinking to do about his next step.
Still only 22 years old, he has become a key player for Slot’s side, who he might be outgrowing. Yet it will be important for him to still find continuity.
Due to the changes that are coming in the Liverpool and Arsenal midfields, he could find a role in either.
Arsenal have the added bonus of being able to offer Champions League football next season, which is unlikely for Liverpool.
However, in recent years, it has been the other way round, which should remind Kokcu to consider the bigger picture.
Both of his suitors are big clubs with illustrious histories. Therefore, it should all come down to where he will have the biggest responsibility.
As someone who features almost exclusively in a box-to-box midfield role, but has played as a number 10 – which is the shirt number he wears – in the past, it might be better for him to choose Liverpool.
In Jurgen Klopp’s 4-3-3 system, he could feature on either side of the midfield pivot, which would give him licence to contribute in either direction.
At Arsenal, in contrast, he might clash tactically with Martin Odegaard, who is Mikel Arteta’s captain and so has a lot of responsibility.
Unless Kokcu was to develop into a more defensive midfielder, like Xhaka and Partey, he might not have the same kind of impact.
But he has matured aspects of his game in recent years, so could be capable of making that kind of transition.
Therefore, the battle for his signature should remain open as the summer transfer window approaches.