Liverpool surge ahead in Leeds, Arsenal transfer battle after manager relents

Netherlands trio Noa Lang, Nathan Ake and Memphis Depay 2021

Liverpool have taken a shock lead in the race to sign a Dutch winger linked with Arsenal and Leeds, and his manager’s comments suggest a January deal is viable.

Over the past few months, the future destination of Netherlands flyer Noa Lang has set the rumour mill spinning. The 22-year-old moved to Club Brugge on a permanent deal this summer after impressing on loan from Ajax last year.

Lang’s displays have been of such a high standard that he was recently called up to Louis Van Gaal’s Dutch side. He was handed his first and second caps in their World Cup qualifier victories over Latvia and Gibraltar last week.

Lang had been heavily linked with Leeds in the summer window prior to Daniel James’ arrival. He reportedly remains on their radar and could ultimately succeed Raphinha at Elland Road if the vultures come calling.

Arsenal were then deemed to be ‘eager’ to land the wide forward and were contemplating a January raid.

But per Sport Witness (citing Italian outlet Calciomercato), it is Liverpool who are fronting the queue.

They state the Reds are ‘in the front row’ in an article that centred on AC Milan’s interest in Lang. The Rossoneri’s chiefs reportedly met with Lang’s representatives during the international break to gauge the finances of a potential swoop.

Liverpool's search for a winger

Liverpool's search for a winger

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Per the report, a figure of around €25m would be enough to see a deal sanctioned in January.

Quotes from Club Brugge’s manager, Philippe Clement, also shed further light on the situation.

Via Sport Witness, Clement acknowledged his side “won’t be able to stop” Lang from leaving in January if their demands are met.

Noa Lang celebrates scoring for Club Brugge, August 2021

“I am realistic when it comes to these things,” said Clement.

“If an impossible to refuse offer comes in for him, we won’t be able to stop him in January.

“I’d rather he finishes the season, takes a title and is important, but we’ll see what happens in January”.

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Meanwhile, Liverpool have no plans at this stage to try and sign Raphinha from Leeds next summer – with Jurgen Klopp reportedly setting his sights on an alternative.

Raphinha is the man of the moment after scoring two and assisting in another for Brazil as they ran out 4-1 winners over Uruguay. That form has increased talk of a move to Liverpool, with his agent Deco confirming their interest.

Fabinho has even talked up a move, but according to the Daily Express, it is Jeremy Doku who is Klopp’s No 1 target.

The Rennes winger has hit the high notes in Ligue 1 and looked unplayable at times during Euro 2020. And having tracked him for a number of years, he’s the man Klopp wants to bring to Anfield.

Any deal will cost around £50m – but that seems cheap compared to the minimum £70-£80m Leeds value Raphinha at.

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