An impasse in discussions over the signing of Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell could see Liverpool delay their summer plans.
The 19-year-old is high on Jurgen Klopp‘s list of targets ahead of his first full season at Liverpool, and the Reds tabled an offer worth up to £7 million towards the end of June.
This was rejected by Leicester, however, with the East Midlands side looking for closer to £10 million.
With Liverpool believing this valuation to be inflated, they are unwilling to match this with an improved offer, and according to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, could pull out of the race to sign him.
Reddy reports that there has been “no progress” in talks between the two clubs, and Liverpool would need to Foxes to “soften their stance” in order to secure a deal.
Chilwell has just one year left on his current contract at the King Power Stadium, and is said to favour a move to Merseyside.
This puts Liverpool in the favourable position of luring Chilwell to Anfield on a free transfer next summer, with a compensation fee to be decided by tribunal.
As precedent involving Danny Ings‘ £6.5 million move to Liverpool last summer suggests, this could see Chilwell break this record fee, possibly meeting in the middle of the two clubs’ valuations.
In the meantime, Klopp is believed to be content to put his faith in Australian left-back Brad Smith this season.
The 22-year-old has handed a new contract by the German in November, after he impressed Klopp at Melwood following a summer in limbo.
Smith would play backup to Alberto Moreno, despite concerns about the Spaniard’s performances in the second half of 2015/16.
Liverpool have also reportedly pulled out of negotiations involved Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski, leaving Klopp to pursue alternative targets.
Meanwhile, Klopp is in the market for an experienced centre-back to cover injuries to Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez, while veteran goalkeeper Alex Manninger is currently on trial, looking to earn a short-term contract.