Liverpool are reported to have made a bold move to outbid Real Madrid for Alaves’ on-loan Atletico Madrid left-back Theo Hernandez.
Hernandez is enjoying an excellent season with the mid-table Liga outfit, assisting four goals in 23 appearances in the Spanish top flight, starting in each of those.
The 19-year-old has taken up a key role under ex-Liverpool centre-back and first-team coach Mauricio Pellegrino, and is one of France’s finest young prospects.
According to reports in Spain, this has seen the Reds mull over a sizeable offer for the versatile defender, in an attempt to fend off interest from around Europe.
Spanish publication AS relay word from La Cadena SER’s Anton Meana on the significance of Liverpool’s interest.
Meana claims that they could be in line to offer three times the salary that Real are preparing for Hernandez, utilising financial muscle against one of Europe’s superpowers.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Marseille, Hernandez’s hometown club, are also listed as possible destinations for the youngster.
He could yet remain at Atletico, depending on Diego Simeone’s plans for next season, with a move to Real unlikely due to the rivalry between the two Madrid clubs.
Jurgen Klopp is likely looking to add to his left-back ranks this summer, with Alberto Moreno set to leave.
Hernandez, who can also operate as a centre-back, would certainly bolster Klopp’s ranks ahead of 2017/18.
Discussing Liverpool’s summer transfer priorities in February, This is Anfield’s Karl Matchett highlighted Hernandez as the ideal addition.
“Theo Hernandez has pretty much everything you want from a full-back,” Matchett explained.
“He’s super-aggressive in trying to win the ball back, holds his position well defensively, but is powerful and fast and loves to surge forward at every given opportunity.
“Safe in his passing, but very direct in running with the ball and looks to get into the box to cross on short angles or get shots away.
“He’s an Atletico Madrid youth product so defensive resilience and good mentality comes built in as standard. Destined to be one of Spain’s best.”
If rumours are to be believed, Liverpool are well into their pursuit of another left-back, with a pre-contract offer said to have been presented to Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac, too.
Whether this means James Milner will be usurped from his first-choice role next season remains to be seen.