Transfer Talk: Liverpool and Barca set to battle it out for Traore
Wolves speedster Adama Traore is ready to leave Molineux — and both Liverpool and Barcelona have entered the race for his signature.
The wantaway winger, 25, has 18 months left on his current deal but talks over a new contract have hit a brick wall.
As a result, 90min say club officials have decided a January sale is the best option for both parties and there is no shortage of potential suitors.
Liverpool’s links to Traore are nothing new having enquired about him during the summer, when they were put off by a £40million fee.
Tottenham were also in the running at that time and supposedly had a bid rejected, though they are not expected to enter the race again following Antonio Conte’s arrival in North London.
It now appears Liverpool will be rivalled by Barcelona — the club Traore began his professional career with.
The cash-strapped Catalonians are desperate to provide new boss Xavi with reinforcements in January and the report suggests Traore is on their shortlist of targets.
As a graduate of La Masia, Barca believe the winger could be tempted by a homecoming and hope an initial loan deal with a view to a permanent switch next summer can be hammered out.
The signs are certainly positive for the LaLiga giants, with Traore having previously gone on record with his admiration for Xavi.
In an interview last year, the Spain international said: "I remember when I spoke to Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta when I was eight.
"Very rarely did we get to see first-team players. Seeing how they directed and how they taught us things to improve was amazing.
"Players like them are always hungry. Whatever the game or the competition — even if it is table tennis — they want to win."
Jurgen Klopp’s pulling power should also not be underestimated — and the German has made no secret of his stance on Traore in the past.
After Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Wolves in January 2020, the Reds boss said: "[Traore] is unplayable in moments, it’s unbelievable.
"What a player. It’s not only him but he’s so, so good."
Though Wolves’ valuation of the Spaniard is thought to be lower than it was during the last transfer window, at least £30m will still be required to land him.
In other news
Newcastle have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian now ready to stay t the Camp Nou.
Spanish outlet Sport suggest the 29-year-old midfielder is hopeful of impressing Xavi.
Arsenal defender Calum Chambers is a surprise target for Everton and a £5m January deal is on the cards, according to The Sun.
The versatile centre-back, 26, has found himself down the pecking order at the Emirates and is desperate for first-team football.
New Norwich boss Dean Smith hopes to make Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane one of his first additions at Carrow Road, say Football Insider.
Hourihane, 30, is currently on a season-long loan at Championship club Sheffield United but Smith is keen to help the Irishman revive his top-flight career.