Liverpool could seal double-winning defender transfer in cut-price deal amid Man United battle

Odilon Kossounou of Bayer Leverkusen
-Credit: (Image: Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Liverpool are locking horns with Manchester United over the signing of Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Odilon Kossounou. According to reports, the Reds have placed the Ivory Coast international near the top of their list of targets.

According to reports speaking to The Daily Briefing, Koussounou is wanted by the two Premier League clubs as well as Newcastle United. Leverkusen have offered him a contract to stay in Germany but interest from the Premier League is growing.

TeamTALK have claimed that Liverpool are trying to get ahead of their league rivals to sign the 23-year-old. However, no official move has been made yet.

READ MORE: Liverpool defender nears permanent exit after eight different loan moves

READ MORE: Arne Slot hands Newcastle £40m PSR lifeline as Liverpool get hint at future

Elsewhere, Liverpool are in 'pole position' to sign Wolves left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester City. The attacking wing-back joined Wolves in 2020 from Angers and has emerged as one of the most talented full-backs in the Premier League.

He has played 116 times for Wolves and is now a regular in the Algeria national team. Ait-Nouri has just two years remaining on his current deal at Molineux, with Wolves holding that right to extend that by a further 12 months.

With Kostas Tsimikas reportedly on the Reds' transfer list, Richard Hughes could be on the lookout for another option at left-back. According to journalist Abdel Hamed, Ait-Nouri will leave the Premier League side this summer and Liverpool are leading the race for his signature. Chelsea and Man City are also said to be keen.

Another transfer target identified by Arne Slot to bolster the defensive line at Anfield is goalkeeper Bento. According to reports in Brazil, the Reds have shown interest in the 25-year-old as a possible replacement for Caoimhin Kelleher.

Athletico Paranaense have already turned down a bid worth €15m (£12.7m) from Inter Milan before they signed Josep Martinez instead. Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian is expected to leave the club and Kelleher has also attracted interest.

Bento made his first-team debut in 2020 after a Covid-19 crisis left Athletico Paranaense without their regular goalkeeper. Since then, he has surpassed over 100 appearances.

As well as Liverpool, Portuguese giants Benfica and Sporting CP have shown interest.