Transfer gossip: Liverpool want Chelsea star ‘even at record price’; Newcastle need £60m for CB

Liverpool are making moves in the background to lure their top centre-back target from Chelsea while the ‘Turkish Messi’ has snubbed Arsenal.

Liverpool are yet to buy a centre-back this summer with their focus instead on their well-documented midfield rebuild. They’re biding their time to make defensive reinforcements in the hope they can lure their top target from Stamford Bridge.

Levi Colwill enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Premier League last term, starring for Brighton, who want to keep the 20-year-old but have seen a £30m bid rejected.

New Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is adamant Colwill is part of his plans, with the Blues ready to offer a new long-term contract, but the England Under-21 international wants assurances over game time before he commits.

Liverpool hope Colwill’s indecisiveness could open the door for them to make a move, with journalist and Chelsea insider Felix Johnston claiming the Reds have spoken to the centre-back’s camp, telling them that they would be interested ‘even at a record price’.

Liverpool were told Colwill’s not for sale by Chelsea, with Johnstone adding that talks between Pochettino and Colwill will take place after the U21 Euros.

He adds: ‘Southgate told Levi he wants to start him at Euro 2024, but he has to be a regular starter this season.’

Liverpool had previously been interested in Marc Guehi and may reignite said interest should they fail to land Colwill, but by that point they may be too late to sign the Crystal Palace star.

Newcastle have identified Guehi as one of their top targets to bolster their defence ahead of their Champions League campaign.

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It was previously reported that Palace wanted £50m for the 22-year-old, but that price has now been hiked up to £60m as a result of his recent England breakthrough.

Guehi joined Palace for around £20m in 2021 and has since won four England caps, including in last month’s qualifier win over Malta.

He’s currently under cotract at Palace until 2026 and Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United have all previously shown an interest.

Arsenal look set to miss out on the ‘Turkish Messi’ despite beginning the ‘process to sign him’ from Fenerbahce over a year ago.

They were keen on Arda Guler in the summer of 2022 but his performances since have led even bigger boys to court him, with Arsenal’s reported offer snubbed by the teenager in favour of a move to Spain.

The 18-year-old – who was advised by Mesut Ozil to remain with Fenerbahce for another season – had a choice to make between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Poor guy.

Reports on Tuesday suggested Barcelona had their noses in front but it now looks as though Real Madrid have won the race, with The Athletic claiming Madrid have agreed a €20m with Fenerbahce for his signature.

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