Liverpool have upped their interest in signing Boubakary Soumare from Lille this summer after one transfer expert claimed they have made contact with the player’s agent over a big-money transfer.
Soumare was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle in January in what would have been a club record deal for the Magpies, but he turned the opportunity down.
The 21-year-old retains a desire to play in the Premier League, though, with Manchester United and Liverpool mentioned as possible destinations.
And while Newcastle are reported to be keeping a watching brief, it seems they have taken a backwards seat after reports claimed league leaders Liverpool have already opened talks over the potential signing of the midfielder.
Meanwhile, claims of Liverpool’s interest grew last weekend when the Spanish media claimed Jurgen Klopp was ready to make Soumare a ‘priority signing’ for the Reds and that the midfielder was, rather intriguingly, a player that he ‘is in love with’.
However, it seems Newcastle won’t take no for an answer and transfer expert Duncan Castles claims they are already preparing a second approach of €40m (£35m) to sign him this summer.
But Castles also reckons Liverpool are strongly in the running to sign him too and could already have a key advantage over the Magpies having already made contact with his representative.
“I can tell you that Newcastle United have again made an offer for Soumare for the summer window, whenever that will open,” Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast.
“I’m told that their offer is for €40m, not as high as they offered in January but I think that is going to be something we see throughout this next transfer market, that transfer fees will come down because there is significantly less money in the game of football because of the coronavirus epidemic.
“Basically none of the clubs can tell how much less money they’re going to operate with because they don’t know when they’re going to be playing again and they don’t know what future broadcasting contracts are going to be as a result of the damage the pandemic has caused to the sport.
“I’m also told that of the many other clubs interested in Soumare, Liverpool are one of those clubs.
“They’ve been watching the player I’m told for two years now and rate him highly, have been in contact with the player’s representatives to do their due diligence.
“Liverpool are probably one of the best clubs in the English transfer market in terms of assessing not just a player’s ability on the field but their qualities as an individual and how they would fit into a squad if they were to sign him.
“No official offer to Lille at this stage I’m told but an interest there and I think he is a player who is an obvious fit to the Premier League and I think he’s one of the players that Lille will look to sell in this window.
“They’re a club that are designed around the transfer market.”
A Liverpool approach to sign Soumare would likely put the European champions in the driving seat for a deal, with manager Steve Bruce defending their approach to sign him in January.
“You can have as good a striker as you can up the pitch, but if you can’t create enough to them… that’s where I think we fall a bit short.
“I think we have to be better, a bit more creative as a team.”