Liverpool have been linked with a surprise move for Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr.
The Reds are seeking more cover and competition in attack this summer ahead of a Premier League title defence.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had looked in pole position to sign Timo Werner, but pulled out citing the costs involved. That allowed Chelsea to step in; Werner is clearly excited to get going.
Reports in Germany claim Jadon Sancho would prefer a move to Liverpool over Manchester United. But with the player rated at a huge €120m, that fee is way beyond the Reds.
Instead, they could look to poach Sarr away from Watford. The Hornets are likely to be stripped of their major assets following relegation – and Sarr is a man in demand.
The 22-year-old has been a leading light this season for Watford and was visibly upset by their demotion last weekend.
Sarr cost the Hornets a club record £30m when he signed from Rennes last summer. Since then, he’s scored six times in 30 appearances. While that’s not the kind of return that will set pulses racing, he’s hugely rated and plenty reckon he’d thrive playing elsewhere.
Indeed, Gary Neville described him as a “big talent” and he catapulted his name into stardom earlier this season. That was after Sarr put Liverpool to the sword in February. The Senegalese star scored twice to inflict their first Premier League defeat of the season.
Now the Daily Express claims Klopp is keen to bring him to Anfield after witnessing at first hand his talents.
They believe the player has the qualities that suit Liverpool; pace to burn and the ability to play off either flank. It’s a formula that has served them well with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
It’s not known how much Watford would demand for Sarr but they would likely be seeking their money back for the attacker.
Mane key to Sarr signing
Should Klopp pursue a deal for Sarr, the Express claims he has the perfect middle man to help him in Mane.
Mane is like a big brother to Sarr as well as his role model. He has taken him under his wing for the national team while Sarr has also followed a similar path through the Generation Foot academy based in Dakar before joining Metz.
“The first day he signed I sent him a message to say good luck and that I was happy for him,” Mane said nearly a year ago.
“He’s rapid. I think defenders will struggle. Last time I was speaking to Robbo (Andy Robertson) I said ‘ Watford have a really good player. I will need to help you more otherwise Ismaila Sarr will kill you, because he is a good dribbler and very, very fast’.”
The admiration too is clearly mutual.
“Mane is not only a Senegal team-mate of mine but he is my inspiration and idol,” Sarr said.
“It will be perfect for me to play against him again. For me he is the best player in the world. For sure, the best African player in Europe.
“He’s our national team leader but he’s also a nice guy and I love him.”