Liverpool are readying a summer move for Jamaal Lascelles according to reports on Monday afternoon.
With Liverpool in the ascendancy, having already qualified for next season’s Champions League and having the final to look forward to on Saturday, the Independent say their information is that Jurgen Klopp has identified the Newcastle captain as somebody he would like to add to his squad for next season.
Only Man City scored more than Liverpool’s 84 Premier League goals but none of the top five conceded more than the 38 the scousers leaked.
The arrival of Virgil van Dijk did improve things to an extent, which you would expect for £75m, Liverpool conceding just the 10 goals in his 14 starts and the reds keeping seven clean sheets in that 14 game run.
The Independent say that Klopp has narrowed it down to a choice of Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Jamaal Lascelles as his intended centre-back purchase.
Both players have relatively little Premier League experience but the pair excelled this past season, as Burnley and Newcastle built from the back.
The two players also have the added appeal of being English, which helps a club keep to their quota of homegrown players in the squad.
Jamaal Lascelles has 42 Premier League starts in his career so far, whilst Tarkowski has only 35.
His rise to prominence has been even more dramatic than the Newcastle defender’s has been, signed for £3m from Brentford in January 2016, he started only two games in the Championship that 2015/16 season, then only four in the Premier League in 2016/17.
The £25m departure of Michael Keane to Everton giving him the opportunity and he has been first choice throughout this season.
As for Jamaal Lascelles, he obviously loves it at Newcastle but until/unless Rafa commits to the club then you would have to be worried if any club came in for him.
Especially with Mike Ashley seeing the £75m paid for Virgil van Dijk flashing before his eyes.
The Independent adds that a centre-back is a big priority for Jurgen Klopp this summer but not necessarily to automatically play alongside van Dijk, rather it would be somebody to compete with Dejan Lovren for that position.
Jamaal Lascelles needs first team football at this stage of his career and so if Liverpool or any other club wanted him as anything but a starting player, then you would hope it wouldn’t appeal.
Naturally we all want the focus to be on Newcastle who will buy this summer, rather than potentially sell, but it comes with the territory when you have players who are impressing other clubs.
You can’t help but think as well that it hardly helps when Gareth Southgate hasn’t called up Lascelles a single time (Tarkowski has picked up one cap this season), the reality we all know so well is that if he ended up at the likes of Liverpool or Tottenham, there is little doubt he would be picked straight away.