Liverpool set to battle top 4 rivals for homegrown £60m ‘absolute tank’

Liverpool are reportedly set to vie with a Premier League top-four rival for a highly coveted transfer target who could go a long way to solving a dilemma facing Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

According to Football Insider, the Reds are ready to battle Newcastle United for the signing of Marc Guehi, with north London duo Arsenal and Tottenham also interested.

However, the Crystal Palace defender won’t come cheap, with the Eagles apparently demanding at least £60m for the 22-year-old, a lofty valuation which could make it difficult for any prospective suitors to land him from Selhurst Park.

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Guehi enjoyed a tremendous 2022/23 campaign in south London, starting all but one of Palace’s Premier League games (WhoScored) and sufficiently impressing Gareth Southgate to win back his place in the England squad.

Goalkeeper Josef Bursik, a former international teammate at underage level, once dubbed the 22-year-old an ‘absolute tank’ who’s ‘like having a brick wall in front of you’ (via @England on Twitter), a vivid insight into how indomitable a centre-half the Eagles powerhouse can be.

One crucial factor which could make him very appealing to Klopp and Liverpool is his nationality, with the Reds now having only one vacancy for a non-homegrown player in their senior squad.

Signing Guehi wouldn’t fill that berth, which offers greater scope for the Merseysiders to concurrently pursue other transfer targets in the knowledge that nobody would strictly have to be sacrificed.

However, a £60m valuation is indeed lofty for a player who, according to FBref, ranks outside the top 50% of centre-backs in Europe for tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances per 90 minutes over the past year.

Furthermore, Neil Jones hinted when speaking to Empire of the Kop that any further signings for Liverpool this summer would likely come in at less than £50m, which would either rule out the Palace defender or require the south Londoners to cede some ground on their reported asking price.

It could be difficult for the Reds to sign Guehi, although his crucial homegrown status could keep him firmly on the radar at Anfield depending on other prospective incomings or outgoings.

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