Liverpool have made an opening offer for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, according to reports.
The Spaniard has been heavily linked with a move away from Atletico this summer after being used more sparingly by Diego Simeone in their title winning season.
It looked as though he may be involved in a swap deal with Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, but with that deal apparently falling through, Liverpool have ramped up their interest.
Diario Sport claim the Reds have made an opening bid of €40m (£34.5) plus one of two players.
The first option for Atletico is Xherdan Shaqiri, who enjoyed an excellent Euro 2020 campaign but has struggled to nail down a spot at Anfield since his move from Stoke in 2018.
The other player mentioned is Jordan Henderson, who is yet to agree new terms at the club and ‘no real progress has been made’ over an extension to his contract.
Liverpool and Henderson need not rush, but as a makeweight to bring Saul to the club, it could be the right time to part ways.
Atletico are yet to respond to the offer but the lucrative contract Saul currently has with the club – which expires in 2026 – means they may be keen to negotiate a higher price.
Saul has also been linked with Manchester United, but his quotes ahead of a Champions League tie against Liverpool last year suggest he would relish the opportunity to play under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
He said: “They all run and press and they manage it so well because it’s not just running for the sake of running.
“It’s very well organised. If [Mohamed] Salah goes wide, then Henderson comes inside, if someone else goes inside, someone else goes outside.
“It’s very hard to escape that pressure when they come at you the way they do. One man comes out and his team-mate doesn’t say ‘where are you going?’ He goes with him.
“They all go. And then if they get turned, then at least seven of them, the four at the back and the three in the middle, all charge back.
“It’s incredible, they go out madly pressing like animals because they know that even if they lose it they’re still going to have at least seven running like mad to win it back.”