Transfer Gossip: Liverpool ahead of Arsenal for 41-goal Bundesliga striker as Klopp drops hint; Villa eye stunning Barcelona midfielder raid

Marcus Thuram, Borurssia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2, Stadium Borussia Park, Bundesliga Credit: Alamy
Marcus Thuram, Borurssia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2, Stadium Borussia Park, Bundesliga Credit: Alamy

Liverpool are favourites to sign a prolific Bundesliga striker wanted by Arsenal, Aston Villa are readying a bid to sign a Barcelona midfielder, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip has a big update in Chelsea’s pursuit of Rafael Leao.

MARCUS THURAM IN LIVERPOOL SIGHTS

Liverpool are reportedly plotting a January swoop for Marcus Thuram with the striker nearing the end of his Borussia Monchengladbach contract.

The four-times capped France international and son of legendary star, Lilian, has been with Gladbach since 2019. In that time, he has scored 41 goals in 119 appearances for the club.

And this season, Thuram’s form is better than ever with the 25-year-old netting 13 times in 17 games.

However, with his deal expiring in the summer and with the player reluctant to sign an extension, some of Europe’s top clubs are looking at the player. Bayern Munich are among those keen as they look to add more firepower to their ranks.

And last week Thuram was linked with a move to Arsenal amid claims Mikel Arteta huge fan of his. There is also interest from Aston Villa too as Unai Emery looks to get his new side upwardly mobile.

However, according to German outlet Fussball Transfers, the Reds have the 25-year-old on their list. Jurgen Klopp is looking for additional firepower with Roberto Firmino also out of contract in 2023.

And while the Reds want to extend the Brazilian’s deal, Thuram may represent a longer-term option.

As such, reports reckon Liverpool could position themselves at the very front of the queue to sign Thuram.

Klopp hints at January activity for Liverpool

Speaking after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Southampton, Klopp indicated his side were making preparations for new signings in January.

“We are always open to these kind of things, but we don’t have to open this discussion now,” Klopp said.

“If there is something possible we will do it but the door is open and we are open as well.

“It is not about wanting. We want to improve the team all the time, we just believe in the training ground we can do it there.”

Liverpool are free to open talks with Thuram about signing a pre-contract agreement to join Liverpool from January 1.

The striker began his career at Guigamp in Ligue 1, and has 65 career goals to his name.

VILLA EYE SENSATIONAL MOVE FOR FRANCK KESSIE

Barcelona will reportedly make a £12.3m (€14m) bid for Franck Kessie in the January window.

The Ivory Coast midfielder moved to the Nou Camp on a free transfer over the summer after making a name for himself with AC Milan.

He helped the Rossonneri win the Scudetto last season with his departure at the end of his contract hurting Stefano Pioli’s side.

However, the move to Catalonia has not gone as expected. Kessie has found himself way down the pecking order, having struggled to make an impression on Xavi.

Indeed, Kessie has made just two starts in LaLiga with another five appearances off the bench. And his lack of football is already raising speculation that a move will be on the cards.

As such, Sport claims Aston Villa are ready an opening bid to test Barcelona’s resolve.

However, that is likely to be rejected, though the Spanish paper believes a move may be on the cards. To that end, they report that an offer in the region of £19.3m (€22m) will be enough to tempt them to sell.

New Villa boss Unai Emery is an admirer of the player and wants to add him to his midfield options. Fulham are also reportedly keen – but Villa are reportedly leading the race.

Kessie has previously been linked with Tottenham, with Antonio Conte’s side seeing an offer rejected for him last January.

CHELSEA LEARN PRICE NEEDED FOR RAFAEL LEAO SIGNING

Chelsea have reportedly learned the minimum price needed to sign Rafael Leao in the January transfer window.

The Portugal star is in talks with Milan over an extension to his deal. However, they still appear some distance apart in reaching an agreement, leading to speculation of a move to the Premier League.

Manchester City are being mentioned as possible suitors, though the strongest interest has definitely come from Chelsea.

Indeed, new Blues co-owner Todd Boehly made an enquiry to Milan for Leao over the summer. And while a bid was not forthcoming, he has remained a player of interest ever since.

And to further cement those claims, boss Graham Potter has also said some complimentary things about Leao, labelling him a ‘top talent’.

Rafael Leao of AC Milan during the Italian championship Serie A football match between AC Milan and ACF Fiorentina on May 1, 2022 at San Siro stadium Credit: Alamy
Rafael Leao of AC Milan during the Italian championship Serie A football match between AC Milan and ACF Fiorentina on May 1, 2022 at San Siro stadium Credit: Alamy

Leao’s deal at the San Siro is due to expire in summer 2024, meaning he has just over 18 months left on his deal.

As such, Milan know the failure to extend his arrangement will increase pressure on them to sell. To that end, they can claim maximum value for the player by cashing in in January.

Now, as per Calciomercato, Milan will not consider any offers that are below £87.6m (€100m) for Leao.

Some reports even state they may seek as much as £114m (€130m) for the attacker.

Leao has been with Milan since a 2019 move from Lille, scoring 34 goals in 135 games for the club.

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The article Transfer Gossip: Liverpool ahead of Arsenal for 41-goal Bundesliga striker as Klopp drops hint; Villa eye stunning Barcelona midfielder raid appeared first on Teamtalk.com.