Liverpool have entered the race to sign sought-after Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare this month. Jurgen Klopp has already added to his forward line in the January transfer window, with Japanese star Takumi Minamino coming into the ranks alongside youngster Joe Hardy, and the German boss is now turning his attentions to midfield.
Soumare has excelled as a No 6 under Christophe Galtier at Lille, making 14 Ligue 1 starts this season.
The 20-year-old also displayed his destructive midfield attributes in the Champions League despite Lille’s poor group-stage in which they collected just one point.
His performances caught the eyes of Europe’s biggest clubs with Chelsea and Manchester United initially emerging as the most likely suitors.
But French media outlet Le10Sport now report that Liverpool have an interest in Soumare.
“I have a very precise idea of where I want to go in my career. I know today where I am and I like being here.”
Lille sit fifth in the French top-flight, five points adrift of the last Champions League spot.
Once Soumare has helped Lille’s bid to reach qualification for Europe’s premier competition, they may swoop.
It is believed the energetic midfielder would cost around £40million.
Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol gave the lowdown on Soumare last week and described him as Paul Pogba “but without the baggage”.
“We’re being told very, very clearly that he will move to the Premier League this month and it will be Chelsea or Manchester United,” Solhekol said.
“It is up to him now to decide where he wants to go and we’re being told this evening that he is very tempted by Manchester United but get this, he is slightly, slightly leaning towards Chelsea at the moment.
“He’s been described to us as ‘Paul Pogba without the baggage’, those were the words used to describe him.”
He added: “How much would he cost? Well he would cost more than £40million but he is one of the most sought after young midfielders in Europe.
“He was discovered by the Lille sporting director Luis Campos and he is a man who has played a key role in the development such as Anthony Martial, Fabinho, James Rodriguez, Kylian Mbappe and Bernardo Silva.”