Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has his sights set on Lille winger Nicolas Pepe and is open to selling Mohamed Salah in order to secure his services.
The Ivorian ace attracted a number of potential suitors from across Europe with his performances in Ligue 1 last season, helping Lille finish second in the final standings with a contribution of 22 goals and 11 assists in 38 appearances.
According to the Daily Star, Liverpool have been in contact with the 24-year-old’s agent to discuss a possible £70 million deal, as Jurgen Klopp lines up his first signing of the summer.
Le 10 Sport reports that the German boss is even willing to sanction Salah’s Anfield departure in order to land Pepe, who has emerged as a primary target for the Reds.
Klopp’s relationship with Salah has reportedly deteriorated in recent months – as per Le 10 Sport – and Real Madrid were linked with a swoop for the Egyptian’s services back in April.
The Independent has stated that the Santiago Bernabeu outfit are interested in signing Salah, amid rising tension between the mercurial attacker and his manager at Liverpool.
Pepe certainly has the quality to fit in at Anfield, but it is doubtful that supporters will happy with the idea of allowing a talismanic asset to leave after two hugely successful seasons.
Salah has finished as the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner two years in a row and he played a key role in helping the Reds lift the Champions League trophy at the start of June – even scoring in the final against Tottenham.
The 26-year-old is a vital member of Klopp’s starting XI and even if the two men have had some sort of disagreement, it is difficult to see Salah being ushered out the exit door.
Liverpool would be better off trying to negotiate a more reasonable price for Pepe, who has yet to prove himself at the highest level and even if they fail to negotiate a deal, there are still plenty of alternatives to consider while the market is open.