Exclusive: Liverpool’s chances of landing Manu Kone, likely asking price, Schmadtke involvement, and more

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The summer transfer window has yet to officially open, though it seems Liverpool are already hard at work in pinning down their midfield signings.

One name that could waltz through the doors of the AXA training centre in the coming weeks is that of Gladbach’s Manu Kone.

SportBILD’s Tobi Altschäffl gave the seal of approval on Twitter to colleague Christian Falk’s update on talks with the Frenchman’s management on Wednesday morning.

We at Empire of the Kop got in touch for a deeper dive into the player, the differences separating him from a former top target in Jude Bellingham, whether he fits the bill as a potential Schmadtke signing, AND MORE!

1) Manu Kone has been previously described as the alternative to Jude Bellingham for Liverpool. From a Bundesliga perspective, just how similar are the two players?

I have to admit Jude Bellingham was much more in the focus this season. He’s the bright start of the Bundesliga and Manu Kone is a promising player for the future. He has very good abilities.

He can grow to become a big star but they’re not playing in the same positions – Jude is more of a box-to-box player, more of an 8, Manu Kone is like a holding 6, more of a defensive midfielder than a box-to-box player.

2) Could you tell us the midfielder’s main strengths and weaknesses? Would he be a good fit for Premier League football?

His main strength, I think, is that he’s physically a really top player; he has a strong body, he’s very good in tackles and he’s just a powerful guy – so that’s perfect for the Premier League.

I think he needs to have a club that is very ambitious, to have good teammates because his problem at Gladbach was that the team was struggling and there was a French connection (five or six speaking French) and he was in that bubble and he didn’t really come out.

He showed his best performances, for example, when Gladbach played Bayern Munich when they won in the DFB Pokal 5-0. He played outstanding. And also when Gladbach won in Munich 2-1, he played really well. He shows what he can do, but he doesn’t show it in every match.

He maybe needs the Liverpool mentality to show his full potential.

3) There have been plenty of links to the Premier League before. We know it’s early days but are Liverpool emerging as strong early favourites ahead of the summer window opening?

The situation is very clear. Liverpool and Klopp – they want three new midfielders and they are looking for them in the Bundesliga.

You have Jorg Schmadtke and the guys that know the Bundesliga very well, so it’s obvious that Kone is one of those players.

I think Gladbach know they have to sell him. If Liverpool are pushing, I think they’ve got very good chances of getting Manu Kone.

4) Your colleague, Christian, mentioned that Liverpool have already started talks with Kone’s management… is there any indication that these are going well so far? And could you tell us about anything that has been discussed at this point?

I think there is contact between Liverpool and the people around Kone, the French guys. They are talking and they know Liverpool want Kone.

They have to find a solution with Gladbach, but if you ask me, yes I guess there are already talks.

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