Liverpool ready to start £200m overhaul by signing left-back storming the league - reports
By Harry Sykes
Liverpool are ready to start their £200million squad overhaul by signing teen sensation Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, according to reports.
The Liverpool Echo claim manager Jurgen Klopp will sanction a total refurbishment of the team this summer even though they are well placed to secure a top-four Premier League finish.
With at least six senior players to be sold, American owners Fenway Sports Group are ready to hand Klopp all the proceeds of sales as well as a further £100million to take the total kitty available to £200million.
The Mail report that one of the Liverpool manager’s prime targets is highly rated left-back Sessegnon, 16, and he is keen to seal a deal for him ahead of Tottenham and a string of other leading Premier League clubs.
Fulham are reluctant to sell and will be in a stronger position if they are successful in gaining promotion from the Championship.
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The Londoners are seventh in the league, two points adrift of Sheffield Wednesday in the final play-off position.
Football Insider revealed last month that Sessegnon had signed a pre-contract with Fulham as the club moved to protect themselves from Premier League predators ahead of the summer window.
He is still on a scholarship contract at the Championship outfit and cannot pen a professional deal until he turns 17 in May, but the pre-contract stipulates that he will sign a formal professional agreement at the earliest opportunity, which will be his birthday on 18 May.
This will enable Fulham to hold out for a higher fee for Sessegnon, who has also attracted interest from super clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.
But that has not dampened Liverpool’s enthusiasm for the youngster, or dented their confidence that they will sign him during the forthcoming window.
The youngster, who can play at both left-back and on the left wing, has made elite clubs sit up and take notice with his precocious Championship displays this season.
He has scored six goals from 27 first-team matches in the campaign, including two in Fulham’s stunning 3-1 win at Newcastle last month, and also weighed in with three assists, remarkable tallies for a player who is not only foremost a defender but also one who is so young.
The Liverpool Echo report that the Merseyside giants are ready to sell senior men Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge, Lazar Markovic, Lucas Leiva and Kevin Stewart.
It is estimated defender Sakho will raise £30million, proven Premier League striker Sturridge would sell for around £20million and midfielder Markovic and left-back Moreno £15million apiece.
With other fringe players and youngsters, the total funds accumulated are set to rise to £100million.
Football Insider verdict:
There is not so much a queue to sign Sessegnon, as a stampede. Ridiculously talented and precocious, he would be a marvellous signing for any club whose manager is willing to put his faith in youth and hone them on the training pitch. Liverpool and Sessegnon appear an ideal fit. Klopp is renowned for his development of outstanding young players, and there appears no limit to what Sessegnon can achieve. Fulham have known for some time they have a remarkable young player on their hands and the big boys have been beating a path to the Cottage to try and persuade the youngster to up sticks. A huge sum could still pass hands to push the deal through, but for a team crying out for a long-term left-back option, this could be a fabulous signing for Liverpool.