Liverpool target Ismaila Sarr has admitted that “everyone would love to play” for the Reds, but insisted no decisions had been made over his future at this stage.
The Reds are monitoring Sarr’s situation at Watford following their relegation to the Championship, but the Hornets will reportedly demand a fee above £40 million for the winger.
Sarr has four years left on his deal at Vicarage Road and there appears to have been no release clause in his contract for if his side suffer the drop, though there has also been no indication of a cut in wages.
It is likely that Watford will need to sell players to keep afloat following their relegation, and Liverpool may wait to react to any developments before moving.
The 22-year-old has not ruled out staying and playing for Watford in the Championship, though speaking to Sans Limites in his native Senegal he said “everyone would love to play” at Anfield.
“I’m at the same level of information as everyone else with these transfer rumours,” he said.
“Every day, like everyone else, I receive information like I’m going to play for Liverpool, Manchester United etc.
“But really, for the moment, we have not yet discussed it internally.”
Sarr said he had received “proposals from important teams,” but that “if Watford wants me to stay, I’ll play in the Championship” as “my departure also depends on them.”
“Liverpool are a really great team, everyone would love to play there,” he continued on the prospect of joining the Reds.
“They won the Premier League this year and the Champions League last year.
“But also there are other great teams in the English league. Frankly, I have yet to make a choice.
“If [leaving] were to happen, I just hope they are a good team. At the moment, there are only guesses.”
The winger described Sadio Mane as his “big brother,” and it could be that if he moves to Anfield they find themselves in the same starting lineup, with Sarr at his best on the right wing.
He would, of course, arrive as backup to the likes of Mane and Mohamed Salah, though, which is the reason why Liverpool ultimately pulled out of a similarly big-budget move for Timo Werner earlier in the summer.
Given the precarious financial position all clubs have found themselves in following a three-month break in the season and even longer without fans in their stadiums, it is questionable whether they would spend £40 million on a squad player.
But the news that the Premier League clubs had negotiated their rebate to broadcasters to be spread out over future seasons, the Reds have now landed £175 million in prize money, with more to come from the Champions League too.
Whether that will change their plans remain to be seen, but a 22-year-old, lightning-fast, goalscoring forward, standing at 6’1″ and with experience of playing in the Premier League, could be worth the outlay if they are now able to afford it.