Liverpool striker Divock Origi is reportedly on the verge of signing for Italian giants AC Milan, with the Anfield cult hero set to pen a pre-contract agreement ahead of next season.
The Reds forward has been tipped to move on from the club for the past few transfer windows, without an exit ever really coming close. However, the 26-year-old will be available on a free in a few months and looks set for a bumper payday elsewhere.
Indeed, Calciomercato reports that Origi has reached an agreement in principle with Milan over a four-year contract. He will exit Anfield after eight seasons on Merseyside.
The forward’s departure is sure to be an emotional one for the fans and player alike. Indeed, Origi is a real Liverpool icon.
The former Lille man reached legendary status after his goals against Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals. He also delivered the telling blow in the final against Tottenham a few weeks later.
But with Origi never truly establishing himself as a first-team regular, the decision has been made to allow him to move on.
To be fair, Liverpool’s triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah made it extra hard for the Belgian.
Add Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz to the mix and Origi and Origi had no real choice but to leave.
Milan looking to replace veteran stars
Milan’s need for fresh legs in attack is also a necessity. They have two aging frontmen on their books in Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and want to go younger in the position to ease the burden on the veteran pair.
Origi could also be heading to Milan team back in the big time. Stefano Pioli’s men are currently three points clear of Napoli at the top of the table. They are also looking for their first title win in more than a decade.
The Liverpool striker has scored 40 goals in 171 appearances for the Reds in all competitions.
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West Brom’s transfer stance revealed as Rangers & Norwich plot move for player
West Brom are open to selling Cedric Kipre in the summer transfer window as Norwich City and Rangers monitor the defender.
The centre-back joined Albion from Wigan in 2020 but he has struggled to establish himself as a regular since, which is why he went on loan to Charleroi last season.
Whilst he has been more involved this campaign, making 14 league appearances, it’s been clear for some time that Steve Bruce had plenty of players ahead of Kipre in the pecking order.
Therefore, it’s perhaps no surprise that Birmingham Live have revealed that Albion are willing to let the 25-year-old go in the upcoming window as they look to reshape the squad.
The update states that the Baggies want to recoup the £1m fee they spent to bring Kipre to the Hawthorns, with Norwich City and Rangers thought to be admirers of the former Motherwell man.
If a permanent move can’t be agreed, it’s believed another temporary exit is also possible, so there’s every chance Kipre will leave West Brom before the new season starts.
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This would make a lot of sense because the reality is that Albion are well-stocked for options at centre-back and it’s an area Bruce still wants to strengthen further in the summer.
Kipre isn’t going to be part of his plans moving forward, so an exit would suit all parties as he really needs to be playing regularly at this stage of his career.
Joining either Rangers or Norwich would be a good move for the player and he will hope their interest results in a formal bid over the coming weeks.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Opinion: Wigan Athletic should look elsewhere amid recent transfer links
Having secured promotion to the Championship, it looks set to be a busy summer ahead for Wigan Athletic.
The Latics had an excellent League One campaign, being crowned champions of the division, but will need re-enforcements if they are to remain a second-tier side beyond next season.
The summer has not even arrived yet, but still the transfer rumours are beginning to swirl.
The latest man to be linked with a move to the DW Stadium is Sheffield Wednesday striker Lee Gregory.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who name Wigan as one of a few clubs interested in securing the forward’s services.
Whilst Gregory certainly had a good campaign in League One – particularly in the latter stages, Wigan Athletic should avoid bringing him to the club this summer.
Not as prolific
Despite his 16 goals in the third tier this campaign, the Latics would be best served looking elsewhere, with Gregory having previously shown that he is not as prolific at Championship level as he is in League One.
In 183 second-tier appearances across five seasons, Gregory has scored just 40 goals – an average of eight goals per season.
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Comparing this to his numbers in League One – 51 goals in 114 appearances across three seasons – there is a clear drop off from his third-tier average of 17 per season.
That’s perhaps what you’d expect given the leap in abilities between the two leagues, but with Wigan having just been promoted, his inability to carry his goals into the division above should be a concern.
As should Gregory’s age considering that Wigan would be required to pay a transfer fee to secure his services this summer.
Gregory has one year left on his deal at Hillsborough, and given that he turns 34-years-old in August, Wigan should be reluctant to pay a transfer fee for a player of his age.
It isn’t like Sheffield Wednesday are going to let him leave the club on the cheap given that they could really do with his goals in League One once again next season.
Paying any sort of significant transfer fee makes even less sense when you consider the players that the Latics already have on their books.
Leam Richardson used two strikers for the most part in the latter stages of the campaign, with a front two of Will Keane and Callum Lang racking up an impressive 41 goals between them in League One.
With those two also notching sixteen assists between them, Wigan Athletic would surely be best served once again going with that combination in the Championship next season.
For all of the above reasons, Wigan should steer clear of Lee Gregory amid the current transfer links.