Liverpool to stun Man Utd with first move for £52m title winner also wanted by Real Madrid

Odilon Kossounou, Liverpool and Man Utd target

Liverpool will try to sign a defender before Man Utd

Manchester United are admirers of Bayer Leverkusen star Odilon Kossounou but Liverpool are ready to try and sign him first, a report has claimed.

Kossounou played in the Ivory Coast, Sweden and Belgium before arriving at Leverkusen in July 2021. The Bundesliga outfit signed Kossounou for €23m and he has gone on to play 101 times for the club.

The right-footed centre-half, who can also operate as a right-back, has helped Leverkusen enjoy their best ever season in the club’s history.

He has made 33 appearances as Leverkusen have become the first Bundesliga team to go Invincible, winning the German title by a huge margin.

Incredibly, Xabi Alonso’s side are also unbeaten in both the Europa League and DFB-Pokal (German Cup) as they hunt an unprecedented treble.

While the likes of Alonso and Florian Wirtz will be staying this summer, other key members of Leverkusen’s success including Jeremie Frimpong and Kossounou might move on.

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In February, it was revealed that Tottenham Hotspur will provide Man Utd with competition for the latter.

According to an update from CaughtOffside, Man Utd and Tottenham remain interested in Kossounou, while Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are also keen on him.

Liverpool transfers: Talks planned for Man Utd target

However, it is Liverpool who are leading the busy race for the 23-year-old’s services, with Fenway Sports Group CEO Michael Edwards aiming to strike yet another brilliant transfer deal.

Liverpool will soon ‘open talks’ with Leverkusen as they try to beat the likes of Man Utd and Tottenham and take Kossounou to Anfield.

The defender has seriously impressed Liverpool scouts and there is now a ‘concrete chance’ he will depart Leverkusen.

Alonso’s side have handed Kossounou a €60m (£52m) price tag ahead of the summer transfer window opening. Leverkusen do not want to lose the Ivory Coast international but know that this fee would still give them a significant profit.

Given Edwards’ brilliant ability to negotiate, it would not be a surprise if Liverpool captured him for less than that £52m sum.

It has previously been stated that Arne Slot wants Liverpool to sign a new left-sided centre-half to eventually succeed from Virgil van Dijk. Kossounou is a right-side centre-back, though a move for him would still make sense.

Ibrahima Konate has struggled at times this campaign, so Kossounou arriving as competition may help the Frenchman to get back to his best. Liverpool also need to replace the departing Joel Matip.

There is the potential for Liverpool to bring in a new left-sided centre-half too, as they are also keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Inacio and Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt.

It could cost Liverpool more than £100m to land two new defenders this summer, which is clearly a lot of money. But if the Reds want to continue being hugely successful under Slot, these are the kind of ambitious move they must make.

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