Liverpool face ‘desperate fight’ as Klopp ‘pushes the hardest’ for 23yo midfielder ‘content’ at club

Cheick Doucoure with the Liverpool badge. Credit: Alamy
Cheick Doucoure with the Liverpool badge. Credit: Alamy

Liverpool are pushing to sign Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure but Roy Hodgson is reluctant to let the 23-year-old leave, according to reports.

The Independent recently reported that the Reds are ready to make a decisive move for the Malian midfielder, who had a productive maiden campaign at Selhurst Park.

Doucoure is one of many midfielders who has been linked with a move to Anfield this summer.

As you already know, the Reds were beaten by Chelsea in the race to sign Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, putting Jurgen Klopp back to square one.

This has resulted in some old names cropping back up (Doucoure and Ryan Gravenberch), while some new names (Wataru Endo and Boubacar Kamara) have been mooted.

Transfer gossip: Liverpool eye Prem pair among midfield quartet to follow £16.2m done deal

Liverpool are reportedly close to completing the signing of Japan and Stuttgart captain Endo for a fee in the region of £16million.

Klopp is desperate to bolster his midfield having lost Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Arthur Melo this summer.

The German manager signed Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai earlier this summer but now needs to sign one or two new midfielders after letting Fabinho and Henderson move to Saudi Arabia.

Doucoure would be a solid option but it looks like the Reds will struggle to convince Palace to sell.

According to Standard Sport, the Eagles ‘will fight hard to fend off interest’ from their Premier League rivals.

The report says Liverpool’s interest began ‘midway through last season’ with French champions Paris Saint-Germain also interested.

Palace’s valuation of Doucoure is said to be £70m as they ‘point to the fees’ paid for midfielders in the summer transfer window, including Lavia (£58m).

Hodgson is extra reluctant to sell the former RC Lens midfielder having lost Wilfried Zaha to Galatasaray after he did not sign a new contract in south London.

Furthermore, it looks like French winger Michael Olise will leave Palace to join Lavia and Caicedo at Chelsea.

It is noted that Doucoure – who cost Palace £21m – is ‘open’ to joining Liverpool but is ‘content’ at Selhurst Park, so it would be surprising to see the player actively push for a transfer to Anfield.

Should Liverpool fail to land Doucoure, they will turn their attention to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha and/or Nice’s Khephrem Thuram, the report adds.

They had expressed an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Manu Kone but their desire to sign the Frenchman ‘waned’ after he suffered a serious knee injury at this summer’s Under-21 European Championships.

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