New Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli has set his sights on FC Cluj hot-shot Lacina Traore. They face a tussle with German side Bayern Munich for the giant striker's signature though.
The 20-year-old is a staggering 6ft 8 inches and was linked with Arsenal last January, however this interest was cut short when Arsene Wenger managed to sign Moroccan hit-man Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer from Bordeaux.
Bayern Munich, who beat Traore's FC Cluj 4-0 last night in the Champions League, are hot on his heals of the player, and they will be Liverpool's main rivals in the hunt for his signature, according to FC Cluj's club president.
Iuliu Muresan told Romanian media: “I spoke with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who is following two of our players. And Traore is one of them.”
Liverpool fancy Traore, who has been likened to Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor in his homeland, and has been earmarked for a bright future at international level with the Ivory Coast.
The player’s agent revealed that there was interest in the player, however his representative refused to comment on specific clubs being linked with the striker.
Thomas Boehm was quoted as telling Sport.co.uk in the summer: “There is interest but at the moment he is with CFR Cluj. We have a close relationship with the management at Cluj and we will talk to them about his future. There is nothing serious at the moment.
“There is a lot of talk with Lacina (Traore). We have had talks and spoken to different teams, but not just in the United Kingdom, but Italy, Germany and Holland. At the moment it is quiet but there could be movement in the next week. At the moment there is nothing concrete.”
Traore would be a useful addition to a Liverpool side that is short of attacking options, with Fernando Torres and David Ngog the only recognised strikers on the books at Anfield.
Traore is seen as the perfect partner for Torres, as he is tall, rangy, good in the air and likes to drop deep to receive the ball. It is believed that Roy Hodgson wants to partner the youngster with Torres as part of a new look Liverpool side.
New Liverpool owner John W Henry would be happy to finance a move for Traore, as he is keen for Liverpool to invest in top young talent to rival the singings made by Manchester United and Arsenal in recent years.
One stumbling block is that Traore has yet to be capped at international level by the Ivory Coast, which could provide an issue with the player’s work permit for the United Kingdom.