Liverpool have identified Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure as their first-choice defensive midfield option this summer, according to reliable journalist Miguel Delaney.
It has been a hugely frustrating week or so at Anfield, with the search for new signings proving to be fruitless, mainly because of Chelsea’s involvement.
The Blues have snapped up both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia from under Liverpool’s nose, acting as a major setback for Jurgen Klopp.
It is clear that at least one new signing is needed in the No.6 role after Fabinho’s departure to Saudi Arabia, but it is now a case of the club finding the best possible alternative to their former targets.
According to The Independent‘s Delaney, it is Palace man Doucoure who has emerged as the player Liverpool now want to sign, with a potential deal of around £60m mooted:
“Liverpool are stepping up their efforts to sign Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure. Jurgen Klopp has insisted on a number six to bolster his squad after missing out on Moises Caicedo to Chelsea, with Romeo Lavia set to follow the Ecuadorian to Stamford Bridge.
“The Anfield club have had to search for alternative options, with Doucoure likely to be cheaper than both previous targets. Doucoure’s final price could come in at under £60 million, although Palace are wary of losing too many players this summer.”
Our thoughts on Liverpool’s interest in Doucoure…
While missing out on both Caicedo and Lavia has been hard to take, Doucoure could be a really strong alternative to the pair, having excelled for Palace since arriving from Lens last summer.
At 23, the Mali international would be coming in a good age, in terms of being experienced but still having his peak ahead of him, and he is exactly what Liverpool need in front of the defence.
Doucoure won two tackles in Palace’s 1-0 win away to Sheffield United on the opening day, highlighting his impact off the ball, and he also made three key passes to show that he can be a creative force, too.
At £60m, the Eagles midfielder could be overpriced, but frankly, that has become the case with so many players this summer, including Caicedo and Lavia. Liverpool simply must get a deal over the line this time.