Liverpool ‘readying bid’ for ex-Arsenal youngster; will battle Premier League rivals for Baena

Jason Soutar
Reported Liverpool target Ismael Bennacer during a match

Liverpool are interested in signing AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer and Villarreal youngster Alex Baena, according to reports.

21-year-old Baena has started the season in tremendous form, scoring six goals in ten matches across all competitions.

Every club’s youngest Premier League debutant and what happened to them

He spent last term on loan with Girona in the second tier of Spanish football.

It would be fair to say the Spanish youngster has a mean streak in him having picked up 17 yellow cards in 45 games in 2021/22, which is five more than his goals and assists combined for the campaign.

Baena helped Girona to promotion back to La Liga and has been rewarded by Villarreal boss Unai Emery with an appearance in every match so far this season.

He is yet to start in the league, however, with his three goals even more impressive given the fact he has come off the bench to score them.

A promising start to the season for the Spain under-21 winger has taken him from being an unknown quantity amongst English fans to being linked with a move to the Premier League.

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Liverpool are one of four Premier League clubs interested in signing Baena – who has a worryingly low release clause for Villarreal’s liking.

His contract runs out in three years and his release clause is believed to be €35million (£30.8m).

As well as the Reds, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are also rumoured to be keen.

Unsurprisingly, Villarreal are eager to tie down the player on new terms to increase his buyout clause.

Baena is not the only Villarreal winger who has been linked with a move to England.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both been linked with Yeremi Pino and the latter were expected to lodge a bid in the summer transfer window.

Keeping the Reds and Gunners trend going; Jurgen Klopp’s side are reportedly interested in signing AC Milan’s Bennacer and are readying an offer.

This is not the first time the Merseyside club have been linked with a move for the former Arsenal youth player.

Talks over a new Milan contract have apparently stalled and the Reds have reached out to let his representatives know they are willing to meet his demands.

This is according to Sport Mediaset anyway.

Bennacer left Arsenal for Empoli in 2017 before making the move to San Siro for around £15m.

The 24-year-old – who is out of contract in 2024 – has played 114 times for the Rossoneri.

He made one appearance for the Arsenal first team, playing 71 minutes of the 3-0 League Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in 2015.