Roy Hodgson has called into question the veracity of links between Liverpool and Cheick Doucoure this summer.
The Crystal Palace head coach was directly asked about the Malian’s future and appeared to hint that the Reds’ interest was pure speculation.
“I want to keep all of the players, there’s no doubt about that. I’m the manager, the club getting money for players doesn’t help me. It would be very, very difficult, I think, with whatever money we get to replace those players,” the former Reds boss told reporters at his presser (as relayed by Liverpool World & Yahoo!Sport).
“If you’d have asked me to sit here and talk about speculation, Sky [Sports] News fills 4-5 hours a day on the subject on transfers alone.
“I’m afraid, to say, without being any way disrespectful, if most of it wasn’t speculation it wouldn’t be four hours, it would be 40 minutes.”
The Merseysiders, for their part, remain keen on landing another midfield signing beyond Wataru Endo, formerly of Stuttgart, in the current window.
To that end, they are understood to have placed the player high up on their shortlist, according to one update from Fabrizio Romano.
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With James Pearce reporting that we’re no longer keen on signing a specialist No.6, perhaps Hodgson’s latest comments do bear more than an ounce of truth.
The profile of choice is now understood to be a multi-skilled midfield operator, of the likes of which perhaps Ryan Gravenberch and Khephren Thuram, to name two, could be good fits in that regard.
Given that a pursuit of Doucoure would also require us to fork out a potentially huge sum and enter into another long, protracted transfer saga, we could understand the club keeping an open mind when it comes to the next man in through the doors of the AXA training centre.