Liverpool open talks with Anderlecht to sign Samuel Bastien

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Liverpool appear to be pressing ahead with their summer recruitment drive despite the obvious disappointment they suffered in their pursuit of Mario Gotze.

The Germany international was believed to be a target for Jurgen Klopp, but it is understood their lack of European football next season has scuppered any chance of a deal.

But Klopp has a squad to rebuild at Anfield and, as a result, has quickly moved on to his other targets. According to the Daily Mail, Anderlecht's promising teenager Samuel Bastien is the next on the radar.


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They claim Liverpool have opened talks with the Belgian club and are ready to pay upwards of £4million to get the deal done. If they can do just that, Bastien will become the third Liverpool signing of the current transfer window after defender Joel Matip and goalkeeper Loris Karius.

While Bastien certainly won't bring the level of quality that Gotze would have done, the 19-year-old has proven that he has the potential to be just as good as the Bayern Munich star. In fact, people have even likened him to Manchester City's £55m star Kevin De Bruyne.

However, he is a long way from the realms of both Gotze and De Bruyne and is unlikely to get much first-team football if he does make the move to Merseyside this summer. Instead, it seems more likely that he will go out on loan.

Developing well

He has spent the whole of the current campaign with Serie B side Avellino and was expected to earn a place in Anderlecht's first team after impressing. Able to play anywhere in the advanced midfield positions, Bastien's versatility, along with his skillful playing style, earned him a call-up to Belgium's Under-21 squad.

Avellino did have the option to make the deal permanent, but the lowly-placed Italian club cannot compete with Liverpool, who have jumped into pole position for his signature.

Busy summer

But Liverpool fans will be starting to wonder where the major signings are going to come from this summer. While Klopp is obviously busy increasing the depth of his squad, there seems to be a lack of action in regards to established players.

It is understood that Liverpool's priority will be cutting the fat from the beef with Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli ripe for the chop but getting the right price for the will be difficult. The strikers cost Liverpool a combined £48m but they cannot hope to get anything near that.

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Steven Gerrard
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