Klopp hails ‘top-class’ Jones after Liverpool's rout of Porto
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Liverpool have been tracking Yves Bissouma for some time ahead of a potential move and the Brighton midfielder is “preparing” for a big-money switch by showing more discipline away from the football pitch.
The 25-year-old signed from Lille in 2018 for an undisclosed fee and has gone from strength-to-strength in the Premier League, making remarkable improvements over the past 18 months.
Bissouma was a shining light for Graham Potter’s side last season and remains a key part of the team in the current campaign, featuring in five of their six matches in the Premier League.
His performances have not gone unnoticed with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all linked with a move for the Mali international over the summer.
But with Brighton holding firm over their valuation of the box-to-box operator, Bissouma remained on the South Coast beyond the transfer deadline.
The club will need to make a decision on his future soon though, with Bissouma’s contract set to expire in June 2023.
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And if he decides against extending his deal, it could alert the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ to his availability.
Transfer expert Duncan Castles has reported that Liverpool have been monitoring his situation for over a year, with Declan Rice also a potential target.
Jurgen Klopp has been searching for a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum since he left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
More recently, a serious injury for Harvey Elliott and concerns over Naby Keita’s fitness have increased the need for reinforcements in midfield.
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But Rice’s extortionate price tag, believed to be in excess of £100million, could rule him out for the Merseyside outfit — with Bissouma “preparing” to leave the Amex Stadium in the near future.
“Yves Bissouma is one of the candidates they’ve been looking at for over a year now,” Castles said on the Transfer Window Podcast.
“Statistically he comes out extremely well and statistical recruitment is very important to a lot of Premier League clubs, it’s important to Manchester United and to Liverpool.
“You also have Declan Rice, but it’s going to be a multiple of the transfer fee Bissouma would command.
“Bissouma is into that accessible stage of his contract that expires in 2023, the question can be asked to Brighton at this stage.”
While the two clubs can agree a deal at any time during the season, Bissouma cannot officially join until January 1 at the earliest as the transfer window is currently shut.
The deal may be far from a straightforward transaction, however, with Brighton no longer in a position where they need to sell to raise funds.
But Liverpool’s participation in the Champions League, a competition Bissouma is keen to play in, could be key in forcing the move through.
Klopp’s men only signed Ibrahima Konate for £35m this summer, with the German perhaps saving the funds left in the club’s coffers to seal a move for Bissouma in January.
But Castles has warned that the midfielder may still have some behavioural problems to overcome before he can set his sights on a move to Anfield.
“I think it’s become more complicated regarding the fee Brighton would accept because they’re now cash rich having received over £50m in the sale of Ben White, so they can take a stronger position with Bissouma here,” he added.
“From Bissouma’s side, he wants to play Champions League football, he thought there was a good chance he would leave this summer, but I’m told that he’s preparing for this move by sharpening his off-field behaviour.
“There’ve been issues I’ve been told about regarding lateness to training and team meetings, but now Bissouma wants to get that side of being a footballer correct.”
“He’s got the on-field stuff correct, but he wants to add that side to it because I think someone has had a word with him telling him that the top clubs do their homework on how you behave and how you’re going to fit into the camp.”
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