Liverpool have begun talks with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone, who is seen as an ideal alternative to Jude Bellingham.
BILD in Germany claim that Jurgen Klopp’s management team had already enquired about a price for the 22-year-old midfielder, and could now hand negotiations over to new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke.
Gladbach are asking for €40-45million [£34-38m] for the Frenchman, which is seen as an entry price for talks to begin.
Liverpool are said to have a ‘real and big’ interest in Kone, who, like many of his teammates, struggled under former Norwich manager Daniel Farke during the past season.
However, the previous campaign saw the defensive midfielder shine at Borussia Park, with his reading of the game and ability to break through the lines boosting his reputation since arriving from Toulouse.
He particularly made headlines by running the midfield against Bayern Munich in a 5-0 demolition in the DFB Pokal.
And he could now fit the bill for the Reds, who in April pulled out of the running for Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham with his price tag skyrocketing towards the £150m mark.
It was understood that Klopp made the move after a troubled season in midfield that saw Liverpool end up missing out on Champions League football and only lifting the Community Shield.
Instead Liverpool will look to sign multiple recruits in the middle of the park, and are seemingly trying to add Kone along with Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister.
Anfield also said goodbye to James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of the season, with midfield upgrades an area of extreme need.