Liverpool 'appears from nowhere' in $163m transfer race after Arne Slot request

Arne Slot embraces Orkun Kökçü after Feyenoord wins the Eredivisie title in 2023
Arne Slot reportedly wants to sign Orkun Kökçü at Liverpool -Credit:Getty Images

With Arne Slot now confirmed as Liverpool’s new head coach, thoughts are beginning to turn toward the summer transfer window. Already reports are suggesting the Dutchman is having an impact on the Reds’ plans.

Slot’s appointment was confirmed by the club on Monday, with the 45-year-old replacing Jürgen Klopp. Alongside new sporting director Richard Hughes, he will no doubt face a busy summer as he prepares for his first season in charge.

Slot will have some big decisions to make on his new squad, especially with Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold entering the final year on their contracts. He will also need to integrate some new faces into the side as he looks to continue Klopp’s good work.

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With the transfer window set to open soon, Liverpool has already been linked with a host of names that could join Slot in making the move to Merseyside. One of them will be very familiar to the former Feyenoord boss.

According to Turkish outlet Fotospor, Liverpool is in the running to sign Benfica midfielder Orkun Kökçü. The report claims the Reds have appeared from nowhere, with Slot eager to bring his former player with him to Anfield.

The pair worked together at Feyenoord, with Kökçü helping the Rotterdam side to the Eredivisie title last season before he departed for Portugal during the summer. Fotospor also suggests that Beşiktaş is interested, with a director from the Turkish side having watched Kökçü in action recently.

The 23-year-old has scored seven goals and added 11 assists in Portugal this season. Kökçü has been linked with a move to the Premier League previously, although a reported release clause of around $163m (£128m/€150m) could be a major sticking point. says: Get ready for Liverpool to be linked with loads of Slot’s former players this summer. The same thing happened under Klopp, and yet he never brought one of his old stars to Anfield.

It’s hard to imagine the Reds breaking that trend for Kökçü either. The fee that has been suggested would be an extraordinary amount to spend on just one player, especially one that plays in a position Liverpool doesn’t really need to target. We’re stepping somewhat into the unknown with Slot this summer, but this rumor doesn’t seem to have an awful lot going for it.