A deal has been agreed between Real Madrid and Monaco for French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, but could Liverpool already have an alternative?
The Reds were credited with an interest in Tchouameni at the start of the year, with reports of their pursuit developing in recent weeks.
But it had been maintained that Real were the 22-year-old’s most likely destination, which has proved to be the case with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein revealing that a transfer has been agreed.
Ornstein writes that a “verbal agreement” has been reached between Monaco and Real over a fee in the region of £85 million, with it now a case of “finalising the paperwork” before the move can be confirmed.
Liverpool’s interest, along with that of PSG and Man United, is noted, with Fabrizio Romano claiming that Jurgen Klopp had personally called Tchouameni in an attempt to convince him to join.
This at least allows a line to be drawn under a long-running transfer story – and in all likelihood, the Reds will have been working on an alternative signing in midfield.
Our #FIFA22 #TOTS @eredivisie ??
9??0?? ?? Cody Gakpo
9??2?? ?? Ibrahim Sangaré
8??9?? ?? Mauro Júnior
Best card? ? pic.twitter.com/O3krAw6RvQ
— PSV (@PSV) April 30, 2022
One such option could be PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare, with Dutch publication Voetbal International reporting towards the end of May that Liverpool scouts had been tracking the Ivorian.
Reliable source Marco Timmer writes that Sangare is “firmly in the sights” for the Reds, with Leicester, Newcastle and Aston Villa also interested.
Sangare, who turned 24 in December, joined PSV from Toulouse in 2020 and has gone on to make 88 appearances for the Eredivisie club.
Predominantly a defensive midfielder, Sangare’s attributes appear to match up with those of Tchouameni, as Twenty3’s Sam McGuire has outlined:
So, Tchouameni is off to Real Madrid. Ibrahim Sangare was named as player on Liverpool's radar. His output isn't too dissimilar. pic.twitter.com/GVxVOMC0iI
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) June 7, 2022
Crucially, unlike Tchouameni, who will join Real for a fee above that of Liverpool’s transfer record, PSV’s No. 6 is available for a reasonable price tag of £32 million.
This is due to a release clause in Sangare’s contract, which can be activated during any transfer window between now and the expiry of his current deal in 2025.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will pursue Sangare, of course, or any other midfielder for that matter, with it previously suggested that next summer is when a new addition would be prioritised.
That is when Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is expected to become available – and now, interestingly, when James Milner‘s new contract is due to expire.