Liverpool are reportedly on the brink of submitting an official offer for Rodrigo de Paul – with claims of their interest prompting a response from Udinese’s vice president.
The Argentine playmaker was strongly linked with Leeds United over the summer. However, a deal failed to get over the line with this report revealing just how close they were.
That was also despite hints from De Paul that he wanted the move.
However, it seems Leeds won’t be alone in their pursuit for De Paul, with Juventus and Inter also keen. However, reports this week stated he was also on Liverpool’s radar. They claimed the Reds had held talks with his agent over a prospective move to Anfield.
The report suggested that Jurgen Klopp saw the 26-year-old as a replacement for Georginho Wijnaldum.
Wijnaldum is out of contract in the summer and talks over a new deal at Anfield have not gone smoothly. In fact reports have claimed the Dutchman has rejected their latest proposal.
Indeed, reports in Italy have stated Liverpool are now ready to make a firm approach to Udinese for De Paul.
Corriere dello Sport are adamant that De Paul is the man Klopp has set his heart on. That, however, comes with a warning. Udinese had set the price to Leeds at €35m in the summer. Liverpool’s interest, it seems, has prompted a price hike from the Serie A side, with €40m now his going rate.
Indeed, Udinese’s vice president, Stefano Campoccia, has suggested a deal for De Paul won’t come cheap.
“De Paul is a talented player and a point of reference for our team,” he said.
“He is a jewel and the jewels cost. The proposals did not meet our requests, for less than €40m he does not move.”
The paper now states it will now take ‘an official move’ from Liverpool to ‘try and force the hand’.
This season, De Paul has scored three goals and boasts three assists.
Bissouma also on Liverpool radar
Transfer expert Duncan Castles, meanwhile, insists talks between Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards on Wijnaldum’s replacement are well underway.
With a host of names linked, Castles insists the man on their wanted list is Yves Bissouma.
The Brighton star has had a major impact on the south coast since a £15m switch in 2018. Indeed, his double is said to have doubled in that time.
And Castles told The Transfer Window Podcast of Klopp’s personal interest in the Malian star.
Suggesting Bissouma is the one top of Klopp’s wanted list, Castles made the following revelation.
“Bissouma’s contract runs until 2023, so he’s getting into that danger area for the club who holds his contract,” Castles said. “If they don’t sell him in the coming summer, he starts moving into the second last year and transfer value reduces drastically.
“So Brighton will probably need to extend Bissouma’s contract or look seriously at any offers they receive for him.
“I think if you look at Liverpool, it’s clear that Bissouma is being thought of as an option to replace Gini Wijnaldum. That’s if he leaves under freedom of contract at the end of the season.
“He’s a similar type of player, performs a similar type of role. But he’s much younger, you mentioned the statical high rating at present. We know that’s one of the filters that Liverpool use before presenting to Jurgen Klopp as options for new signings.”
“My understanding is that Klopp has done some work to ask questions about Bissouma to people who know him well. Again this suggest that this is something Liverpool have on a potential list of replacements.”