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Arne Slot 'approves' Liverpool attacker deal as Mohamed Salah successor identified

Seal of approval? Arne Slot 'green lights' Liverpool attacker signing
© Imago
Liverpool manager Arne Slot reportedly approves the signing of 21-year-old PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko in the summer transfer window.

Liverpool manager Arne Slot has reportedly given the thumbs-up to the Reds making a move for a highly-rated Eredivisie attacker in the summer transfer window.

Amid suggestions that the Merseyside giants want to improve their wide options for the 2024-25 season and beyond, PSV Eindhoven's Johan Bakayoko is supposedly on the shortlist.

The 21-year-old continued to go from strength to strength in the most recent campaign, conjuring up 14 goals and as many assists from 14 matches in all competitions as PSV surged to title glory.

Bakayoko's contributions include a six-game scoring run in the Eredivisie from March 30 to May 5, while he also played a fundamental role in PSV reaching the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Now boasting a total of 21 goals and 19 assists from 85 games in a PSV shirt, Bakayoko was rewarded for his stellar exploits with a call-up to the Belgium squad for Euro 2024, his first major tournament as a senior international.

PSV Eindhoven's Johan Bakayoko pictured during the warm up on August 22, 2023© Reuters

Liverpool handed price tag encouragement in Bakayoko chase?

The winger's deal in the Netherlands still has another couple of years left to run, but there is a consensus that he will be moved on after Euro 2024, and PSV are braced for bids in the summer window.

According to journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Liverpool have been tracking Bakayoko's displays since midway through the 2022-23 campaign, and the attacker is one of a handful of names on their summer attacking shortlist.

Both head coach Slot - who knows Bakayoko well from his time with Feyenoord - and chief scout Barry Hunter have apparently given their seal of approval, and their status as a Champions League club makes them an attractive proposition for the winger.

However, the Reds are facing stiff competition from Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, while Paris Saint-Germain's name has also been mentioned, but there has been no contact from Les Parisiens so far.

Why are Liverpool pursuing Bakayoko?

As well as the obvious footballing qualities - such as his pace, electrifying dribbling and eye for goal - Liverpool are making contingency plans in the event that Mohamed Salah departs once the 2024-25 campaign is over.

Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah reacts on April 18, 2024© Reuters

The Egyptian's Anfield future has long been a topic of serious debate, and his contract only runs for another 12 months, but he is expected to stay and help oversee Liverpool's post-Jurgen Klopp transition.

However, whether Salah commits his future to the Reds with a new deal is another question entirely, and clubs in the Saudi Pro League will only be ramping up their interest as the months go by.

Furthermore, it is not clear what the next couple of years hold for Luis Diaz, who is thought to be on Barcelona and PSG's radars, and there have been no talks to extend his deal either.

With PSV supposedly happy to accept a fee lower than their €50m (£42.3m) valuation of Bakayoko, the 21-year-old's signing would represent a brilliant long-term investment at a reasonable cost for the Reds.

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Liverpool's Luis Diaz during training on April 17, 2024
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