Liverpool are pushing forwards in their approach to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Kouadio Kone after the Bundesliga side named their price for his sale.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is looking to rebuild his midfield this summer after a forgettable 202/23 campaign. The Merseysiders, despite a late season rally, finished down in fifth, their lowest finish in a full season under Klopp’s leadership.
Furthermore, early exists in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League ensured a major drop-off for a side who the previous campaign had fallen just a few games short of the Quadruple.
Nonetheless, Klopp is vowing to get Liverpool back on track next season with some key additions this summer.
And the main aim for the Reds boss and new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke is on at least three new midfield signings.
Thankfully for the Reds, rapid strides appear to being made on that front. And capture No 1 appears to be advancing quite quickly with a deal for Alexis Mac Allister closing in and the player bidding farewell to Brighton.
The signing of the Brighton star will likely set Liverpool back a fee of around £60m. And with money still in the kitty for further reinforcements, Klopp is now turning his attention towards other prospective arrivals.
Indeed, the need for quality as well as quantity saw Liverpool abandon their planned pursuit of Jude Bellingham. His £100m-plus asking price was ultimately deemed too costly for the Reds.
And with the England teenager now on the brink of sealing a move to Real Madrid, Liverpool have been curating information on a number of alternatives.
READ MORE: Five cheap but brilliant alternatives to Jude Bellingham for Liverpool: Gravenberch, Veiga…
Liverpool links to Kouadio Kone confirmed
One name they are being strongly linked with is Gladbach star Kone.
The 22-year-old France U21 midfielder has been earning rave reviews in the Bundesliga having made 31 appearances this season.
Now, according to trusted German journalist Christian Falk, Klopp’s interest in bringing Kone to Anfield has been confirmed.
And the Bild journalist, speaking to CaughtOffside, claims Kone has been earmarked by the Reds as the best alternative to Bellingham.
“Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool see Manu Kone as a replacement for Jude Bellingham, who is going to Real Madrid instead of England,” Falk began.
“Liverpool have already contacted Kone’s management and expressed interest. The intentions of the Reds are ‘real and big’ so say the people surrounding the Frenchman.”
In confirming their interest, Falk also claims Gladbach have revealed to Liverpool their asking price for a potential deal.
“A possible fee for the defensive midfielder should be between €40m – €45m (£34.4m – £38.8m), that is what Gladbach hope.
“Before Liverpool were interested, €30m (£25.8m) was still under discussion. Kone’s contract with Borussia runs until June 30, 2025.”
Kone comparisons to Bellingham are unfair
Capable of playing at the intensity Klopp likes from his midfield, it is easy to see why Kone is admired.
However, if Liverpool fans are expecting a player of Bellingham’s qualities, they may be in for a disappointment.
Indeed, the player is far more a defensive midfielder than Bellingham is. And one goal and one assist this season attests to that fact.
Bellingham, meanwhile, who operated in a more advanced role this season, netted 14 times, adding five assists.
Therefore, the comparisons are wholly unfair. But Klopp would be landing a player of huge potential and one blessed with a massive engine.
Liverpool, though, do have other irons in the fire as they look to bolser their midfield. And Klopp is also showing a keen interest in a relegated Prem star too.