Fulham have emerged as favourites to sign Harry Wilson on a permanent transfer this summer, but Liverpool’s eight-figure price tag may still put the Championship club off.
The Reds have begun serious business when it comes to outgoings this transfer window, with Marko Grujic the latest to leave as he joins Porto for £10.5 million.
As a means of swelling the coffers as Jurgen Klopp eyes a new midfielder and forward, Liverpool will be encouraged by their recent breakthroughs, which also includes Taiwo Awoniyi heading to Union Berlin in a £6.5 million deal.
Kamil Grabara has moved to Copenhagen for £3 million, while academy striker Liam Millar opted for Basel, with the Swiss club paying £1.3 million for his services.
This is despite reported interest from both Premier League newcomers Brentford and Portuguese title contenders Benfica, with Wilson now expected to stay in the Championship, where he spent last season on loan with Cardiff.
However, both Pearce and Jones note that Liverpool are looking for £15 million for the 24-year-old, believing his value has increased from last summer.
Burnley saw a bid of around £12 million rejected this time last year, and with the club able to extend Wilson’s contract by 12 months they are in a similar position, buoyed by a campaign in which he scored seven goals and laid on 12 assists in 39 games in the second tier.
Pearce explains that there is “no official bid on the table” but Liverpool feel their valuation is a “fair price” due to Fulham paying similar fees for Ivan Cavaleiro (£15m) and Anthony Knockaert (£10m) in recent years.
However, Jones suggests that the high price tag may “hinder any potential deal,” with it likely that the Reds eventually accept less.
Grujic, for example, was valued at around £20 million, but eventually moved for almost half that, while Awoniyi’s switch to Union is set to bring in £1.5 million less than initially hoped.
Previously it was claimed that Liverpool were looking for £12.8 million for the Wales international, and that would seem a more realistic fee for a player like Wilson who has two years left on his contract.