Liverpool show serious interest in 33-goal attacker as Man City join race; price tag ‘certain’ to rise

Johan Bakayoko next to the Liverpool and Man City badges

Liverpool are rivalling Man City for Johan Bakayoko

Liverpool are refusing to abandon their plans to explore the signing of PSV attacker Johan Bakayoko, but Manchester City are one of three major rival suitors to have been revealed by a new report.

Bakayoko was initially linked with Liverpool last summer, in which, as TEAMtalk revealed in August, Brentford also tried to bid for him. However, he instead entered a second full season in the PSV first team.

Premier League clubs were on Bakayoko’s trail again ahead of the January transfer window, but he wanted to complete the season in Eindhoven. Chances are, though, it will be his farewell year for PSV.

According to Voetbalkrant, Liverpool are showing strong interest in Bakayoko once again, but they are just one of four contenders in the transfer battle as things stand.

Manchester City are said to have joined the race for the Belgium international, who could link up with compatriots Jeremy Doku and Kevin De Bruyne at the Etihad Stadium.

In addition to the two regular Premier League title contenders, Bakayoko is attracting interest from European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, the reigning champions of France and Germany respectively.

Whatever his destiny, it seems highly improbable that he will stay at PSV into next season, despite them having him under contract until 2026.

With his departure already pencilled in for this summer, his current employers will be planning what their asking price for his transfer will be.

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PSV increase asking price for Bakayoko

According to the report, it is ‘almost certain’ that PSV will raise the demand above €40m (£34m).

The fact that four clubs are interested in the 20-year-old raises the prospect of a potential bidding war, which could be music to PSV’s ears.

For now, they will continue to enjoy his talents for the remainder of the season, in which he has scored six goals from 33 appearances and produced 13 assists.

Johan Bakayoko and the Eredivisie assists table

Johan Bakayoko is joint-second for Eredivisie assists this season

Indeed, focusing on just the league, only his teammate Joey Veerman has assisted more goals than Bakayoko’s eight in the whole Eredivisie this season.

PSV are still unbeaten in the 2023/24 Eredivisie, boasting a 10-point lead over defending champions Feyenoord at the top of the table after 20 games.

Overall, Bakayoko has scored 13 goals for them, as well as 20 for their B team before that.

As well as his 33 goals between those two levels, Bakayoko has 34 assists for either PSV’s first team or reserves (who play in the senior pyramid of Dutch football).

Having also featured for them in the Champions League, Bakayoko has built up enough of a reputation to be considered as someone who could adapt to playing for a high-ranking Premier League club.

Where would Bakayoko fit at Liverpool or Man City?

As a left-footed right-winger, his links with Liverpool would seem to be in case they lose Mohamed Salah to Saudi Arabia, but there has been talk of the Egypt international extending his contract – and incredible goal record – at Anfield instead.

Nevertheless, Bakayoko is 11 years younger than Salah and could become a long-term successor to one of Liverpool’s greatest ever goalscorers.

Alternatively, Man City could add him to their evolving attack, which welcomed Doku but lost Riyad Mahrez and Cole Palmer in the summer.

The reigning Champions League holders are planning to sign Savio from sister club Troyes too after his breakthrough loan spell with Girona, coincidentally coming after a similar spell in the same club as Bakayoko last season.

Savio and Bakayoko shared a pitch six times for PSV and perhaps both could have futures at Man City.

Because Savio is already in the City Football Group network, his arrival in Manchester will have fewer obstacles than Bakayoko’s would.

Indeed, when it comes to the current PSV winger, it is still all to play for in the battle to determine his destiny.

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