Liverpool, Man Utd battle ignites as Klopp moves to sign £70m star in Dominik Szoboszlai repeat

Xavi Simons, Emil Forsberg and Lois Openda of RB Leipzig

Xavi Simons, Emil Forsberg and Lois Openda of RB Leipzig

Manchester United will have to fend off Liverpool if they want to sign RB Leipzig striker Lois Openda, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having entered the race for him, according to one journalist.

Openda is a 23-year-old attacker who spent time at Standard Liege, Club Brugge and Vitesse before signing for French club Lens in July last year. Openda excelled during his only season at Lens, scoring 21 goals in 42 matches.

That excellent form helped Lens finish second in the French top flight, gaining them a spot in the Champions for the first time in over 20 years. However, Openda did not stick around to bask in that glory.

RB Leipzig came calling and the Belgian resultantly joined the German side in a club-record transfer worth €45million.

Openda is living up to that price tag, having netted five goals in 10 Leipzig appearances so far. That includes a goal and assist in their 2-2 draw with Bayern on September 30, as well as Leipzig’s only goal in the 3-1 Champions League loss to Manchester City on Wednesday.

Openda’s stay in Germany might be short, though. Earlier this week, Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri revealed Man Utd are ‘interested’ in the goal-getter and have already been in touch with Leipzig to discover how much he might cost.

READ MORE: Liverpool decide on ‘primary’ January target, with player’s wish to be fulfilled by selling club

Sky Germany recently stated that Openda has a release clause in his Leipzig terms worth between €80-€90m (£69-78m).

But according to the latest from Bild reporter Christian Falk, Man Utd are not alone in wanting Openda as Liverpool are also keeping tabs on his great performances.

Liverpool, Man Utd both want RB Leipzig ace

During an interview with CaughtOffside, Falk also confirmed that Openda has a release clause, though it does not activate until 2025.

“Leipzig are a little relaxed at the moment, as next summer there’s no active release clause for Lois Openda,” Falk said.

“It begins in 2025 and I heard it’s a bit higher than the €80m that has been reported elsewhere.

“I’m sure that clubs like Liverpool will be keeping an eye on him. You’ve already seen with Dominik Szoboszlai that they’ve had a mostly positive experience with RB Leipzig players.

“It’s also worth noting the similarity in style between the two clubs, which is obviously of benefit to Liverpool.”

As Falk mentions, Openda could follow Szoboszlai’s lead in starring for Leipzig before moving to Anfield. The creative midfielder is already a big hit among Liverpool supporters after starting the season brightly.

In the past, Liverpool have also raided Leipzig for defender Ibrahima Konate and midfielder Naby Keita. Klopp will be hoping Openda performs more like Szoboszlai and Konate than Keita if he does make the switch to Merseyside.

It is interesting that both Liverpool and Man Utd have been linked with Openda. After all, Klopp can already use Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota at centre-forward, while Man Utd recently spent big on Rasmus Hojlund.

But perhaps both clubs feel like they need an extra striker on their books in order to properly challenge City and get back to the top of the Prem.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United have joined Liverpool in the pursuit of a perfect Mo Salah successor, according to reports.