Borussia Dortmund have admitted that Manu Kone will be allowed to leave if the price is right as Premier League giants Liverpool schedule talks with the Bundesliga midfielder.
Make no mistake, the bargain £35 million signing of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Hove Albion this week was not the end of Liverpool’s midfield rebuild. More like the beginning.
Mac Allister, so impressive as Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, applies a fresh lick of paint to a Liverpool side which had started to look old and tatty last season. Further additions are required, however, if a Reds side who missed out on Champions League football for the first time since 2016 are to renew rivalries with Manchester City at the top of the table next term.
This is where Manu Kone comes in. And Khephren Thuram, for that matter.
Two more midfielders following Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool?
Fabrizio Romano wrote on Thursday that Liverpool plan to open talks with the agents of both Kone and Thuram next week.
Reports indicate that ‘Gladbach may be willing to accept £44 million for the former.
And while sporting director Roland Virkus did not confirm or deny whether those figures are true, he did admit that Kone would be allowed to leave if Liverpool meet their demands.
“Our attitude is well-known,” Virkus tells Kicker. “If there are sums involved that a club like Borussia has to think about, we will do it (sell him).”
22-year-old Kone – like Nice’s Thuram – is a midfielder tailor-made for Klopp’s high-octaine football. As you might expect given that Marcelo Bielsa once tried to sign him for Leeds United; the former Toulouse starlet is athletic, aggressive and has no problems getting around a pitch.
Kone will add some much-needed bite to a Liverpool side which looked toothless at times during a difficult 2022/23 campaign. With 2.5 per game, he averages more tackles per game than any player currently at Klopp’s disposal. Kone also copped 12 yellow cards for Gladbach last season. A tally which highlights his enthusiasm and tough-tackling streak (WhoScored).
Liverpool, meanwhile, have confirmed that James Milner, Arthur Melo and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all heading for the exit.
Naby Keita also sealed his move back to the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen on Friday.