Liverpool have reportedly made contact with Serie A giants Napoli to try and strike a deal for a midfield playmaker with a whopping £94million exit clause.
The Reds have been linked with Poland international Piotr Zielinski for some time and reports on Tuesday claim that interest has stepped up a notch. The Naples star has also been linked with Arsenal recently but it looks like Liverpool have made a concrete bid to get their man.
An exclusive report from Calciomercato states that Anfield officials have made the first move to try and sign the 27-year-old.
The report adds that Zielinski is an ‘old obsession’ of Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. The Pole is expected to end up in the Premier League, although it could come at a cost.
Calcio claims that Napoli would accept a reasonable offer for the player. However, given that he has an exit clause £94m, that could be upwards of £60m.
Zielinski remains under contract at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona until 2024. That length of deal gives Napoli a better chance of recouping the sort of fee they desire.
The attacking midfielder scored 10 goals and added 13 assists in 47 games for Napoli last season.
If those sort of stats from midfield were added to a Liverpool team that already boasts a free-scoring attack, it would give Klopp a new dimension to his side and get them back on track after a difficult 2020-21 campaign.
The Reds are in the market for a new midfielder after allowing Gini Wijnaldum to leave on a free transfer.
Zielinski certainly fits the bill to fill that void and has already notched up 63 caps for Poland.
He failed to make much of an impact at Euro 2020, however, after the Poles crashed out at the group stage.
Liverpool warned away from Bayern man
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been warned away from Kingsley Coman by Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn, who nevertheless hinted that they have a limit when it comes to his salary.
Coman has been mentioned as a possible target for Liverpool in recent weeks as they look to replenish their attack. Doubts continue to linger about the futures of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, both of whom turn 30 next year. Salah was the only member of their famous front three to reach his usual levels in 2020-21.
Diogo Jota showed that a new signing can breathe new life into their attack after his move from Wolves. Therefore, they may look for another attacking signing.
Coman could be their man, with reports late last month suggesting they had already made an opening offer.
Only two years remain on Coman’s contract with Bayern, so he may be starting to consider his options. He has an extraordinary record of winning the league title in every season of his career, between spells with PSG, Juventus and his current employers.
The winger will be looking to continue that record if he moves away, and 2019-20 champions Liverpool would hope to benefit.
Talks underway over new deals for Bayern duo
However, Bayern CEO Kahn has now revealed that the Bundesliga giants are in talks with Coman and his teammate Leon Goretzka over new contracts. He appeared to indicate that a transfer away was unlikely, but did over a glimmer of hope to Liverpool if they cannot afford his salary demands.
“We’re in talks with Goretzka and Coman,” Kahn said (via the Mirror). “Absolute top players want to be paid accordingly; we’re not naive about that.
“That’s perfectly fine. With us, there is a limit, which is very clearly defined.
“With [David] Alaba, you saw that at a certain point, we were no longer willing to go further. We don’t push into salary regions that don’t suit FC Bayern.
“We are in very, very good talks with both players. I am optimistic. We have a great package to offer here.
“They always have the chance to win big titles with us and can help shape an era.”