Liverpool are thought to have a wide-ranging shortlist when it comes to midfielders suitable for a much-needed revamp this summer.
One name the Reds’ recruitment team may have to wipe off the whiteboard, however, is Kouadio ‘Manu’ Kone’s after it emerged that the Frenchman has his eye already on a move to either Real Madrid in La Liga or Chelsea in the Premier League.
“Manu Koné is a player every league has an eye on (his contract is still until 2025). Everybody knows there that there is a big chance for other clubs to get him, so that’s why they’ve come up with this price-tag,” Christian Falk exclusively revealed to CaughtOffside in his Substack column.
“£26.6m sounds like a crazy amount in England with the pound valuation and in Germany you say it’s €30m, which sounds normal for such a player.
“PSG also has an eye on him. We’ve asked him about his future and he told us that it would be interesting to play with Kylian Mbappé (but they can always play together in the national team). He’s been always dreaming of two clubs: one is Real Madrid and the other is Chelsea!
“Kone brought up Chelsea because he was a big fan of Didier Drogba, which explains his fascination with the London-based club. There’s nothing concrete at the moment but you see that he’s potentially going to leave in the summer.
“He’s already talking openly about new clubs and you see he’s interested in England, and there are many clubs that would be on the table. With Chelsea, he’s put another one himself in.”
The Gladbach man seems to be mentally preparing himself already for an exit from the Bundesliga in search of more bountiful shores and could certainly find himself a willing suitor in the Blues given their current contractual issues.
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N’Golo Kante is reportedly set to be handed fresh terms ahead of his contract expiring in the summer, if one report from Foot Mercato is to be believed, though his future remains far from certain.
Likewise, the Blues face a contract impasse with Liverpool-linked Mason Mount who could likewise be convinced to take his services elsewhere following the addition of big-money signing Enzo Fernandez.
Assuming that the worst comes to pass and both central midfielders pick up and go as soon as the summer window creaks open, it would be far from surprising to see an option like Kone – especially when available for a meagre £26.6m – snapped up when the player idolises a Stamford Bridge legend in Didier Drogba.