Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping to seal a quickfire deal for Newcastle United star Georginio Wijnaldum after the player made it clear he would fancy a move to Anfield.
According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool have been given a clear run at the Netherlands international after Tottenham pulled out of the race and now Klopp wants to get a deal done by the end of the week.
It would be another sizeable deal in an already impressive recruitment drive at Anfield this summer. The German coach has already bought Sadio Mane from Southampton, Joel Matip from Schalke, Loris Karius from Mainz and are closing in on a deal for Ragnar Klavan.
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However, Liverpool face a hurdle in Newcastle's asking price. The Magpies want £25m for the former PSV Eindhoven star, a demand that played a vital role in Tottenham losing interest. Liverpool also believe that price is too high and will attempt to negotiate it down.
Liverpool's transfer committee are aware that the Magpies paid £14.5m for him last summer and can't justify the extra £10m, especially after the club were relegated from the Premier League. There is hope that Wijnaldum's desire to move to Anfield will help lubricate the move.
Another report in the Daily Mail is also suggesting that Newcastle would be willing to lower the price if Klopp agreed to include a player in the deal.
The story does not go as far as to mention any potential names but does say Klopp is open to offloading a bunch of fringe players if the opportunity arises.
Indeed, a story earlier today claimed Klopp has told as many as six players that they have no place in his squad next season. Lucas Leiva, Adam Bogdan, Tiago Ilori, Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic join Christian Benteke on the list of unwanted stars.
Of those, only Bogdan and Ilori could reasonably be expected to join a Championship club although it is hard to imagine who would give Balotelli a chance after two seasons in the wilderness.
Wijnaldum was a source of inspiration for Newcastle last season and finished his debut season in English football as their top scorer with 11 goals. However, Liverpool have a plethora of creative attacking midfielders and it is hard to see where the diminutive Dutchman will fit in.
He would have to compete with Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana for a place in the starting XI while Mane is also expected to play in a deeper role.
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