Talks ongoing: Liverpool could snap up 23y/o colossus for under £40m; stalling on contract offer

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There could be a window of opportunity for Liverpool to win the transfer race for an in-demand centre-back this summer.

As reported in The Daily Briefing for CaughtOffside, talks are ongoing over a potential €45m (£38m) swoop for Odilon Kossounou, who features prominently among the Reds’ wish list and is also regarded highly by Manchester United and Newcastle.

The 23-year-old is deemed an ‘affordable’ option for the Premier League trio and has been offered a new contract at Bayer Leverkusen, although he’s yet to decide on whether or not to remain with the Bundesliga champions and is reportedly open to moving on from the BayArena.

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If Kossounou were to join Liverpool, hopefully he could bring with him the regularity of tangible success that he’s enjoyed in the first six months of this year, having won a domestic double with Leverkusen and also tasted Africa Cup of Nations glory with Ivory Coast in February.

The 23-year-old is an exciting centre-back who excels with the ball at his feet – as per FBref, he ranks among the top 1% of positional peers in Europe’s five main leagues over the past year for successful take-ons and progressive carries per 90, along with the top 2% for progressive passes and top 4% for shot-creating actions.

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However, he falls down for defensive essentials such as tackles, aerial duels and clearances per game, while his predominant right-footedness corresponds with each of our current options in that area of the pitch rather than complementing them.

Still, he could be a very worthy squad option to consider, given his contributions to a historic season for Leverkusen and his reliability in terms of being available for selection – he’s only missed eight games through injury in his career so far (Transfermarkt).

With Kossounou stalling on the contract offer from his current club, seemingly open to a move elsewhere and available for a less than bank-breaking amount, he appears to be a more than viable transfer target for Liverpool to pursue strongly this summer.

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