As Liverpool seek further reinforcements in midfield with the clock ticking, the return to fitness of a previous target could prove interesting.
It seems a long time ago now that Manu Kone and Khephren Thuram were considered the Reds’ primary targets as part of a midfield rebuild.
Now, with a senior duo leaving for Saudi Arabia, Liverpool have less than a month to make at least one and more likely two new signings in midfield.
Southampton‘s Romeo Lavia and Fluminense’s Andre are widely reported as targets, with two bids rejected for the former, but it could be that earlier interest is revived.
Any pursuit of Kone was seen to have broken down following the Borussia Monchengladbach’s knee injury while at the U21 Euros with France.
The 22-year-old was forced off in a 4-1 win over Switzerland at the end of June and, after leaving the stadium on crutches, was given a six-week recovery time.
Unsurprisingly, with Jurgen Klopp eager to bring players in for pre-season, reports of any move for Kone fizzled out as a result.
?? Manu Koné returns from injury & back in training. He is doing individual workout & was the last to leave the grounds. Perhaps #LFC makes a late push. He is available & Gladbach is eyeing Glen Kamara as his replacement pic.twitter.com/mRlFD5C6OX
— Moby (@Mobyhaque1) August 3, 2023
Now, though, Kone has been undergoing individual sessions alongside Gladbach training and that led many supporters to call for a revived pursuit.
It is speculated that Kone will not even be involved for Gladbach until after the September international break.
Though Liverpool will need to be more flexible when it comes to the integration of their next signings now, that may be a bridge too far.
BILD even claim it is “practically certain” Kone will no longer be sold this summer, owing to the length of his injury.
That is not to say he will not remain on the radar, particularly given the connections between Liverpool and Gladbach with Jorg Schmadtke and his son Nils in sporting director roles.
But it would almost certainly be a last resort if the Reds pushed through a deal for a half-fit Kone at this stage.
Instead, his progress would likely be monitored with any future move dependent on his recovery and return to form in Germany.