People close to ‘phenomenal’ 22-year-old are convinced Liverpool really want to sign him – journalist

People close to Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Manu Kone believe Liverpool’s interest in the player is ‘real and big.’

Kone has quickly emerged as one of the most likely candidates to join the Reds this summer. And according to journalist Christian Falk, the 22-year-old’s entourage are convinced that the move is a real possibility.

“Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool see Manu Kone as a replacement for Jude Bellingham, who is going to Real Madrid instead of England. Liverpool have already contacted Kone’s management and expressed interest,” Falk wrote for CaughtOffside. “The intentions of the Reds are “real and big,” so say the people surrounding the Frenchman.”

The journalist also claimed that, although the price for Kone is relatively little, his club hiked it up considerably once they heard of Liverpool’s interest.

“A possible fee for the defensive midfielder should be between €40-45m [£34-39m], that is what Gladbach hope. Before Liverpool were interested, €30m [£26m] was still under discussion. Kone’s contract with Borussia runs until June 30, 2025.”

Liverpool looking for Kone bargain
It’s easy to see why Liverpool’s interest in Kone would be both real and big. Even if the fee ends up being at the top end of what Falk reports, it looks like a good deal for the Reds. As Mark Schwarzer said back in April, the France U21 star is a ‘phenomenal’ talent.

Given the prices the likes of Bellingham, Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo may go for this summer, anything under £40m for Kone should be considered a steal.

It’s true that he doesn’t quite have the pedigree of a Bellingham or a Rice. But his experience in the game, as well as his skillset, is somewhat comparable to Caicedo.

Both have a similar amount of games under their belts at senior level. The difference being that Kone has 71 appearances in a top five European league, Caicedo has just 45. The Ecuadorian does have 30 caps for his country though, with Kone’s national team involvement capped at U21 level, for now.

On top of that, Kone has experience is France’s second-flight and has played in two top European leagues. Meanwhile, over half of Caicedo’s senior game-time came in the Ecuadorian league. With respect to that competition, it’s surely no match for Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga.

None of this is to do Caicedo down, of course. He’ll be a super signing for whoever ends up with him. But looking at the comparison between him and Kone, you can’t see why one is valued at £100m, and the other not even half of that.

Still, the Frenchman will have to prove he can do it in the Premier League. If Liverpool have decided to take their interest this far, then they’re clearly already convinced that he can. This one seems to be moving quickly, let’s see what happens next.