Liverpool have been credited with an interest in Salzburg striker Patson Daka, but the 22-year-old is now poised to complete a permanent switch to Leicester instead.
Back in March, Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten claimed the Reds were one of four clubs considering a move for Daka, along with Man United, Man City and Arsenal.
The Zambian was continually linked with a move to Anfield in the following months, and with Liverpool expected to sign a new forward this summer, it was a believable story.
However, The Athletic‘s Leicester correspondent Rob Tanner now reports that the Foxes are “in advanced talks” to sign Daka in a deal that would be worth “around £23 million.”
Daka is suggested as an “eventual successor to Jamie Vardy,” with the transfer described as a “major coup,” as Tanner references claims of Liverpool’s admiration.
Tanner does add, however, that “there is still work to be done on the deal,” which could open the door for the Reds to swoop if they do, in fact, hold genuine interest.
But with it reported that the club will need to sell first before adding to their attacking ranks – with Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri both on the market – any move for a striker is unlikely to come until late in the transfer window.
While there will be reservations over how Daka adjusts to life in the Premier League, the Salzburg youngster looks well-placed to thrive.
Last season, he scored 34 goals and laid on 12 assists in 42 games for the Austrian club, finishing top scorer in the league after netting 27 times in 28 appearances.
He has filled the void left by Erling Haaland following his switch to Dortmund, though the cautionary tale of Takumi Minamino shows that his step up could go one of two ways.
Minamino left Salzburg for Liverpool in a £7.25 million deal at the start of 2020, but has struggled to adapt to life in England, not aided by his move coming just before the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of lockdown.
The 26-year-old has so far made 31 appearances for the Reds, scoring four and assisting two, and spent the second half of last season on loan with Southampton.
Given he struck 64 times and assisted a further 44 in 199 outings for Salzburg, there has been a clear difficulty for Minamino upon joining the Premier League, which may put Liverpool off further acquisitions from the Austrian Bundesliga.
So far, there are no concrete reports of interest in any other strikers, though Sparta Prague’s Adam Hlozek has been linked by dubious sources.