Liverpool waiting for trigger to up ante with want-away midfield target
Liverpool could elevate their interest in Boubakary Soumare if contract talks with Georginio Wijnaldum continue to stall, claims a report.
Spanish outlet Sport claimed last week that the Premier League leaders had already begun negotiating for the Lille star.
However, they claimed there may be an obstacle in their pursuit, as the Catalan publication also claimed that Barcelona had identified Soumare as a possible target – if they cannot sign Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes.
That scenario may well be too advanced with regards to Liverpool’s interest Soumare, who Newcastle failed to land with a £35million bid in the January transfer window.
Now the Evening Standard believe that “his profile is that of the sort of player Liverpool might be keeping tabs on”.
The paper report that Jurgen Klopp is happy with his midfield options, and is thought he would rather add a superstar forward to his squad with Jadon Sancho, Kylian Mbappe and Timo Werner’s names recently doing the rounds.
However, Klopp’s thoughts could change if Wijnaldum does not extend his contract on Merseyside.
Earlier this month talks between the Dutch midfielder and the club were are at an “advanced stage”, according to the Italian journalist Nico Schira via the Daily Star. The powerful midfielder had entered into discussions with the Premier League leaders over extending his deal, which expires in 2021.
As yet though, nothing concrete has come to light and if Wijnaldum’s future is not resolved by the summer and with Naby Keita’s injury worries, Klopp could be tempted to look elsewhere.
Klopp is desperate to tie the 29-year-old down to a new deal, but 21-year-old Soumare could well become of more interest to the Reds if a deal is not forthcoming with Wijnaldum.
Lille boss Christophe Galtier revealed that there was “tension” appearing between Soumare and the Ligue 1 club back in February.
Manchester United and Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for the France international, before Newcastle boss Steve Bruce revealed that the Magpies had an almost club-record bid rejected for his services.
Soumare was a surprise omission from Lille’s clash with Marseille last month however, with Galtier opting to give Jean Emile Onana, 20, his Ligue 1 debut.
Lille lost 2-1 and as such, Galtier was asked about his reasoning behind keeping Soumare out of the team.
The manager told a press conference [via L’Equipe]: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on.
“In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.”