Transfer Gossip: Incredible Liverpool hijack of already-agreed move emerges as Klopp pushes for three-time UCL winner to join; Chelsea star ‘blown away’ by rival contract offer

Liverpool have presented a serial winner with a contract offer in an attempt to scupper his move to a European giant, a senior Chelsea player is close to joining a hugely wealthy club after being ‘blown away’ by their proposal, while Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims Crystal Palace will soon announce the arrival of a Premier League star.

REDS IN LATE TRANSFER HIJACK
Liverpool have been trying to sign Marco Asensio from Real Madrid even though the winger has already agreed terms with Paris Saint-Germain, according to a report.

There has been plenty of talk regarding Asensio in the last few months as he headed towards free agency. He has been linked with Premier League sides Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villa.

Those rumours intensified over the weekend when Madrid confirmed Asensio would be leaving the Spanish capital after eight years at the club. In that time, he has helped Madrid win plenty of silverware, including three Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and four Club World Cups.

Given the Spaniard’s ability to score important goals, as well as his vast experience on the big stage, major sides across Europe were always going to make contact with his agent.

PSG believe they are close to announcing his arrival on a free transfer. As per the latest information from Fabrizio Romano, Asensio has agreed a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 outfit. He is expected to join alongside midfielder Manuel Ugarte, who was the subject of interest from Chelsea.

But things could have been far different for Asensio. According to Spanish outlet AS, Jurgen Klopp greenlighted a late Liverpool move for Asensio amid the PSG negotiations.

The report reveals Asensio had an offer ‘on the table’ from Liverpool. Reds chiefs believed he would be an excellent signing to bolster both their attack and midfield, as he can play either as a winger or as an attack-minded midfielder.

It would have been an incredible twist if Liverpool had managed to pull this move off. This would have once again demonstrated the pull power of the Premier League and that of Liverpool’s as well.

Liverpool may miss out despite contract offer
Unfortunately for Klopp, it does not look like he will manage to get the versatile star through the door. AS add that Asensio has turned down their approach and will indeed go through with his PSG switch.

The main reason for this is that PSG can offer him Champions League football next season, something he is used to given Madrid’s incredible record in the competition.

Liverpool cannot quite offer Asensio that as they finished fifth in the Prem, meaning they will participate in next term’s Europa League instead.

If Liverpool had beaten Aston Villa in their penultimate match of the campaign, then things could have been far different. They may have just snuck into the top four, and this would have given Asensio some serious thinking to do about his next move.

But it looks like the 27-year-old will head to the Parc des Princes, with Liverpool now forced to look at other potential signings. They are hoping to announce the capture of Alexis Mac Allister in the coming days, having agreed a deal with both Brighton and the player himself.

After that, attention will turn to another midfield arrival. Khephren Thuram, Manu Kone and Gabri Veiga are three rising stars on Klopp’s shortlist.

CHELSEA PLAYER TO DITCH POCHETTINO

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is unlikely to play any part in Mauricio Pochettino’s project at Stamford Bridge as he is getting closer to a Saudi Arabia move, according to numerous sources.

In a turbulent few months, Kante has been tipped to join Chelsea’s English rivals Manchester United and Liverpool as his contract winds down.

Last month, the Frenchman attempted to put the exit talk to bed by revealing he ‘wants to stay’ at Chelsea.

But the two parties have never been able to reach an agreement over fresh terms and this has resulted in Kante considering offers from elsewhere.

It now looks like he will join Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League, a move which will see him play alongside current Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema. The iconic striker has left Madrid on a free and moved to Al Ittihad on an initial two-year deal.

On Twitter, Romano revealed Kante is ‘on the verge’ of signing for Al Ittihad. Discussions are down to the final stages, with Kante set to earn a whopping €100m (£86m) per year until 2025.

Delegates from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, who own Newcastle United and have just bought Al Ittihad and three other big Saudi clubs, are in London to discuss the transfer with Kante’s entourage.

Fellow journalist Ben Jacobs adds that the World Cup winner has been ‘blown away’ by Al Ittihad’s contract offer. He is expected to sign for them officially ‘in the next 48 hours’.

Kante has had a very successful spell with Chelsea, helping them to win a Premier League title, Champions League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

However, his last season in West London has been marred by injury and he has only managed nine appearances across all competitions as a result.

PALACE TO BRING IN BOURNEMOUTH ACE
Crystal Palace will announce the signing of Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma today (Wednesday) after agreeing a contract with him.

Lerma has been at Bournemouth since August 2018. However, he is now available on a free after running down his deal with the Cherries.

Lerma appears keen to remain in the Prem and has therefore opted to sign for Palace. As per Colombian transfer reporter Pipe Sierra, who broke the story alongside Romano, the 28-year-old can already be considered a Palace player.

He will be announced as their latest signing later today and will be tied down until June 2027. He will battle the likes of Cheick Doucoure, Will Hughes, Luka Milivojevic and Naouirou Ahamada for a starting spot in the Eagles’ midfield.

The transfer is viewed as a brilliant one for Palace given the fact they are bringing in a Prem-ready player for no transfer fee.

Interestingly for Lerma though, he does not actually know which manager he will be playing under next term. Roy Hodgson did a great job after re-joining the South London club in March but only penned a contract running until the end of the season.

Palace have been linked with former Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach boss Adi Hutter, although they are yet to enter into advanced talks with him.