Liverpool are reportedly among four Premier League clubs vying to sign a young prospect who’s enjoyed a scintillating start to the 2023/24 season.
According to Football Insider, the Reds are joined by Everton, Burnley and Crystal Palace in the race to sign Johan Bakayoko from PSV Eindhoven during the final week of the summer transfer window.
The Merseyside duo are continuing to monitor the winger’s situation, while the Clarets have already seen two bids for the 20-year-old rejected by the Eredivisie outfit, who face Rangers tonight in a crucial Champions League play-off second leg which’ll determine which team qualifies for the group stage.
The most recent offer from Vincent Kompany’s side came to £17.2m, which indicates that it’d likely take £20m+ to persuade PSV to sell.
Bakayoko’s stock has risen significantly in recent weeks, with the young winger supplying four assists in three Champions League qualifying games so far, having set up both of his team’s goals in their 2-2 draw at Ibrox last week (Transfermarkt).
Liverpool’s hopes of landing the Belgium international may be helped by their previous working relationship with PSV, from whom they signed Cody Gakpo in the final days of 2022 despite the Dutchman being widely touted to join Manchester United at the time (BBC Sport).
The Reds’ need for a right-sided winger could heighten if Mo Salah is lured to Saudi Arabia by the riches of Al-Ittihad, with fears of such a move perhaps growing after an update from Jan Aage Fjortoft this morning.
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Bakayoko obviously wouldn’t be at the level to immediately replace the Egyptian legend just yet, so ideally he’d come in as an understudy to the 31-year-old, offering valuable squad depth and potentially getting minutes in the Europa League.
He’s already shown this season that he can make his mark on the continental stage, so that competition could be the perfect platform on which to unleash him.
Admittedly the forward line isn’t Liverpool’s main priority in the market right now, with a centre-back and defensive midfielder set to lead the agenda for Jorg Schmadtke before Friday’s transfer deadline, but we certainly wouldn’t say no to the PSV prospect coming in if the opportunity arises.