Liverpool will prioritise ‘higher value’ transfer targets over entering a bidding war with rivals Manchester United for Darwin Nunez. That’s in line with Liverpool.com, who claim the Reds are prepared to repeat former sporting director Michael Edwards’ stance and avoid overpaying for the Benfica star.
Sadio Mane’s bombshell on his future following the Champions League final defeat has left Jurgen Klopp scouring the transfer marketplace for a substitute. The Senegal international has one yr left on his contract at Anfield, and has been heavily linked with a switch to Bayern Munich.
Mane returned from the African Cup of Nations triumph and shone in an unfamiliar central role, with Golden Boot winner Mo Salah and January signing Luis Diaz on either flank. The 30-year-old was Liverpool’s top scorer within the second-half of the season, and his expected departure leaves Klopp looking for a high-calibre forward able to playing across the frontline.
Nevertheless, the issue for Liverpool is the each day headlines surrounding Mane’s desire for a latest challenge has put selling clubs on alert to make the most. No matter whether the Reds bank in excess of £35 million for the previous Southampton forward, they may almost definitely need to contend with inflated price tags consequently.
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The Times report the Liverpool hierarchy have been impressed by Nunez, and are keen to bring the forward to Anfield next season. Nevertheless, the Premier League runners-up aren’t prepared to seal the deal ‘at any cost’.
Liverpool have already shown restraint this summer, with the club refusing to match Real Madrid within the pursuit of France international Aurelien Tchouameni. The Monaco midfielder has reportedly agreed a switch to the Champions League holders in a deal said to be value as much as £85 million.
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Julian Ward is facing as much as the unenviable task of replacing Edwards because the sporting director at Anfield, and hopes of a quiet introduction to the role have been shattered by Mane’s desire to depart. Ward’s predecessor was widely praised for his nuanced role within the club’s recruitment, which helped Klopp’s side compete with Manchester City on the summit.
Diogo Jota’s signing in September 2020 was an example of Edwards’ steadfast refusal to pay over the chances. Liverpool moved for the Wolves forward quite than matching Timo Werner’s release clause at RB Leipzig, with the Portugal international happening to consistently impress for Klopp’s side.
And the most recent reports suggest that is an approach Ward is ready to duplicate ahead of the anticipated bidding war for Nunez. The Benfica forward is viewed as a viable substitute for Mane, however the Reds have already shortlisted several more cost-effective alternatives to fill the void.