Transfer gossip: Liverpool ‘intentions big’ for €45m Gladbach star; Caicedo for Kante at Chelsea

Jorg Schmadtke’s Bundesliga raid could begin with a Gladbach midfielder, while Chelsea remain ‘keen’ on Caicedo, who could replace N’Golo Kante…

Liverpool are now looking beyond the signing of Alexis Mac Allister – who now looks very likely to be their first signing of the summer – as new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke looks to the Bundesliga for further midfield recruits.

The Reds have ‘entered poker for midfield super talent Man Kone, according to Bild, who claim they’ve ‘already contacted Jone’s management and expressed interest’.

Those close to Kone describe ‘the intentions of Liverpool as “real” and “big”‘.

Having inquired about the price, Schmadtke has been told that Borussia Monchengladbach want €40-45m for the 22-year-old, though that price shoud be seen ‘more as an entry into negotiations’. Not that Schmadtke will be bothered, as the transfer fees when signing players are ‘almost irrelevant’…

Bild add that ‘Kone played an inconsistent season with some very weak performances’, which doesn’t sound great, nor does his apparent ‘fascination’ with Chelsea, who are also interested.

Chelsea’s focus though appears to be elsewhere, with Manuel Ugarte set to be the first signing of the Mauricio Pochettino era.

The defensive midfielder has reportedly agreed personal terms with the Blues, who are now negotiating the structure of a deal said to be worth around £60m with Sporting Lisbon.

But given the long list of players (particularly midfielders) expected to be shoved out of the Cobham doors by a ruthless Pochettino, Chelsea will need further recruits.

And Fabrizio Romano claims they’re still keen on Brighton star Moises Caicedo, who was ‘promised’ by manager Roberto De Zerbi he could leave this summer if a decent offer came in.

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Romano tweeted: ‘Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi told Moises Caicedo in January to stay at the club until June despite huge bids… and then promised to sell him in the summer in case of good proposal #BHAFC Pact will be respected; Chelsea are still keen on Caicedo but it’s 3 clubs race.’

Chelsea’s midfield moves may depend on the future of N’Golo Kante, who’s out of contract in June, with Romano claiming his ‘situation is unclear again’ despite ‘very advanced talks in the last months’.

Real Madrid may well ramp up their interest in top strikers this summer, with Harry Kane thought to be among their targets, because Karim Benzema could be off to Saudi Arabia.

ESPN claim the Frenchman is ‘mulling over’ a whopping €400m two-year contract to join Cristiano Ronaldo in Al Nassr.

Benzema reportedly reached an agreement with Madrid to sign a one-year extension but ‘the situation has changed in recent weeks, and the forward is considering the Saudi offer’.

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