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Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2017

MONACO, MONACO - NOVEMBER 22: Djibril Sidibe of Monaco (#19) celebrates his goal with Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy during the UEFA Champions League match between AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stade Louis II on November 22, 2016 in Monaco. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Liverpool have reportedly asked about Tiemoue Bakayoko's availability this summer, although the AS Monaco midfield enforcer is still expected to join Premier League champions Chelsea.

Even so, the Reds, bitter rivals Manchester United and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain have all made enquiries about Bakayoko, according to MailOnline's Simon Jones. The trio is said to have spoken to Bakayoko's representatives about a possible deal.

However, they all look set to miss out, as the midfield powerhouse is being tipped to sign for Chelsea, per Jones: "The Monaco midfielder is expected to move to Stamford Bridge as the Premier League champions prepare a £40 million offer for the 22-year-old."

There is more bad news for Liverpool, with Jones also reporting the Merseyside club wouldn't even be Bakayoko's second choice, noting the Frenchman would view Manchester United as his second choice.

Liverpool's interest in Bakayoko makes a lot of sense since the 22-year-old would answer an obvious need in manager Jurgen Klopp's squad. Specifically, Bakayoko would give Klopp a natural enforcer in the middle, a player whose brawn would act as a complement to the creative maestros Liverpool like to deploy in midfield.

Ideally, Klopp will use this summer's transfer window to find a holding player to protect Liverpool's back four and give more freedom to Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum.

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Lallana can be the key playmaker in this squad if the former Southampton man is allowed to reinvent himself in a deeper role. With a destructive ball-winner next to him, Lallana would become Liverpool's chief conductor of possession, while Wijnaldum would have greater licence to get forward, where he is most effective.

Liverpool need a true defensive midfielder to work behind Lallana and Wijnaldum.
Liverpool need a true defensive midfielder to work behind Lallana and Wijnaldum.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

A midfield trio with this balance would let Klopp play star man Philippe Coutinho in the front three more often. Liverpool are a more potent attacking force whenever their classy No. 10 features along the forward line.

   

Reds Keen on Benjamin Mendy

Bakayoko isn't the only Monaco player on Liverpool's radar, with left-back Benjamin Mendy also interesting the Anfield club, per Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio (h/t Calciomercato.com).

The Reds are said to be competing with Chelsea and old foe United for the ultra-athletic defender. Klopp is said to view Mendy as a "vital cog in a summer revamp of the squad," per the reports.

Mendy would be a major asset for Liverpool as a player who would fix a problem position. His pace, power, direct running and quality delivery have been essential for Monaco's gung-ho attacking style this season.

The 22-year-old Frenchman has supplied eight assists in domestic and UEFA Champions League action, per WhoScored.com. Mendy would be an instant upgrade over converted midfielder James Milner, who has held the full-back berth during this campaign.

The Calciomercato report says Liverpool's interest in Mendy will put any potential deal for Fulham's precocious teenage talent Ryan Sessegnon on hold. Still just 17, Sessegnon was said to be Liverpool's top left-back target, according to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool will reportedly put any deal for Sessegnon on hold while they pursue Mendy.
Liverpool will reportedly put any deal for Sessegnon on hold while they pursue Mendy.Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Finding a new left-back and a more natural midfield anchorman have to be Klopp's priorities during the transfer window this summer. Without them, Liverpool won't mount a credible challenge in the league or Europe next season.

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