Liverpool Transfer News: Presnel Kimpembe Duel Emerges, Jordan Henderson Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 18, 2016

Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) and French defender Presnel Kimpembe are pictured during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) vs Angers on January 23, 2016 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.  / AFP / FRANCK FIFE        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly locked in a battle with rivals Everton as the Merseyside duo prepare to do battle over the summer signature of Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe. Plus, West Ham United have joined the race to sign Reds captain Jordan Henderson.

French newspaper L'Equipe reported both Liverpool and Everton are tracking the progress of PSG youth Kimpembe, who plays as a centre-back for the French titans (h/t Mirror's Liam Corless).

Kimpembe has kept clean sheets in four of his five starts for PSG this season.
Kimpembe has kept clean sheets in four of his five starts for PSG this season.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

The Reds are building toward manager Jurgen Klopp's first summer transfer window at the club's helm, and centre-back has been viewed as one of the areas that may need reinforcements.

However, while Liverpool have already made moves to strengthen their back line with the acquisition of Schalke's Joel Matip—who will arrive in July—Kimpembe would represent a longer-term investment.

The 20-year-old made his first-team debut for PSG in October 2014 but has played just 260 minutes of Ligue 1 football in the 18 months or so since then and may be open to the prospect of leaving Parc des Princes.

According to former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, central defence may not need additions this summer, however, after he was impressed by a recent performance from duo Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren:

That being said, France under-21 international Kimpembe will nevertheless be considered a top prospect after advancing through PSG's youth system and making seven first-team appearances this season. It's also worth noting five of those games were 90-minute displays, four of which ended with clean sheets.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Johnson said the Premier League duo of Liverpool and Everton won't be the only ones vying for his signature, though, with interest also said to be stemming from AS Monaco and Serie A:

The Reds will be looking to guard their current crop, too, after a report from the Brentwood Gazette claimed West Ham has joined Tottenham Hotspur in the hunt for Liverpool captain Henderson (h/t Metro's Mark Brus).

Speculation may have intensified over the midfielder's future after he was substituted off in Thursday's Europa League draw against Manchester United. However, Klopp explained to BT Sport the reason behind his withdrawal (h/t Uche Amako of the Daily Express): "Jordan Henderson was ill. Can I use the word 'vomiting'? He was ill, at half time he was vomiting.”

Henderson, 25, has evolved into a senior figure at Anfield.
Henderson, 25, has evolved into a senior figure at Anfield.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

The Hammers would reportedly be willing to pay £25 million for Henderson, who was handed the Liverpool captaincy this season—his fifth campaign at Anfield—following Steven Gerrard's departure for Los Angeles Galaxy.

West Ham may actually be considered a more enticing prospect to some after making their rise into top-four contention this season, but Slaven Bilic's side will nonetheless find it difficult to convince Liverpool to part ways with their playmaker.