Liverpool are reportedly among the clubs in the race to sign AFC Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly, who is also being pursued by Tottenham Hotspur.
The Reds were focused on overhauling their midfield during the summer transfer window as around £150m was invested to sign Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.
Liverpool did not end up strengthening in any other positions but they were heavily linked with several potential signings.
It was feared towards the end of the summer transfer window that Mohamed Salah would leave Liverpool to join the Saudi Pro League. This deal did not end up happening (for now) but they will have to spend heavily to recruit a suitable replacement for the winger.
The Premier League giants will also have to strengthen at centre-back over the next year as 32-year-old Virgil van Dijk is starting to decline.
Liverpool were linked with Perr Schuurs and Goncalo Inacio in the summer but Bournemouth’s Kelly has now emerged as a potential target.
The 24-year-old has entered the final year of his contract and it was claimed on deadline day that Tottenham a £20m bid rejected for him before the transfer window closed.
Football Insider are now reporting that Liverpool are ‘racing to sign’ Kelly and Bournemouth ‘could be forced to cash in’ during the upcoming January transfer window. The report explains.
‘The Cherries could be forced to cash in on defender Lloyd Kelly in January.
‘Several clubs, led by Liverpool, are on high alert with the 24-year-old’s contract set to expire in June 2024 – and therefore he is able to discuss a pre-contract from foreign sides from New Year’s Day.
‘Tottenham are keen on the defender and Liverpool considered a summer move as they looked to land a left-sided centre-back. They are now looking at a January deal for a player who will be available for a bargain fee.
‘Newcastle are also in the mix with Eddie Howe a big fan of Kelly after their time together at Bournemouth. The south coast club could be forced to let the ex-England Under-21 international leave for a cut-price fee in January.’
After Bournemouth’s 1-0 win over Liverpool earlier this year, former Cherries head coach Gary O’Neil praised Kelly for his “incredible” performance.
“I thought Lloyd was incredible,” O’Neil said post-match. “I think he had a 12-week ankle injury followed by a six-week calf injury.
“Didn’t have much time in between, and then came back today having not trained much, to play left back against one of the best wingers in the world.
“I thought he showed everything, the potential he has to be a top defender. It was a very, very impressive performance against a top attacker.”
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