Liverpool transfer target Karim Adeyemi says he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of two Reds players by representing a ‘top club’.
The centre-forward, 19, will almost certainly make a big-money move next summer. His current side, Red Bull Salzburg, say they will not stand in his way if a Champions League outfit comes calling.
That means Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are all in with a shout of landing the German. Barca reckon they can steal a march on his other suitors by getting a €40m offer prepped and ready to go. But it may not be that simple.
Adeyemi has a great goalscoring record despite his tender age. He is already on 15 for the current campaign, with three of those coming in the Champions League.
The starlet, who has already won three caps at international level, is seen as a great successor for either Sadio Mane or Mo Salah at Anfield.
And during an interview with Tuttosport, Adeyemi even namechecked two of Jurgen Klopp’s players as inspirations.
He said (via Liverpool Echo): “In recent years, many young players have matured at Salzburg and then moved to the best clubs in the world.
“I think of Erling Haaland, but also of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita of Liverpool.
“Obviously, I also have this goal. I would like the next stage of my career to be at a top club.”
Mane spent two years with Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga, registering 45 goals in 87 appearances. His big break came in 2014 when Southampton parted with £10m to bring him to England. The Senegal ace soon became a talisman for Saints, thus tempting Liverpool into a move in July 2016.
Keita, meanwhile, made 81 appearances for Salzburg between 2014 and 2016. His next step was Salzburg’s sister club, RB Leipzig, before Liverpool signed him for £54m three years ago.
Benitez on the brink – Lampard and Potter in the mix to replace the Spaniard at Everton
Liverpool transfer race becomes crowded
Meanwhile, Liverpool will have to fend off Newcastle and PSG for the capture of Leeds star Raphinha.
Newcastle are keen to spend some of their newly-found riches on the Brazil international. He would surely form a devastating partnership with Allan Saint-Maximin on Tyneside.
PSG are also keeping tabs on the 24-year-old. They want Raphinha to replace Kylian Mbappe, as the Frenchman edges closer to his dream Real Madrid move.
Liverpool sit third in the Premier League after winning nine out of 14 matches. Their next game is against Wolves at Molineux.
READ MORE: Liverpool gifted golden transfer chance with Man Utd target dead set on joining Klopp
Ralf Rangnick Has No Concerns About Selecting Paul Pogba During The Final Months Of His Manchester United Contract
Pogba has entered the final six month of his current Old Trafford terms, with little progress made in discussions over a renewal and a departure on a free transfer in the summer considered likely.
The 28-year-old is yet to make an appearance under interim manager Rangnick after suffering a thigh injury while on international duty in November, though returned to full training on Monday.
Rangnick expects Pogba to be available for selection ahead of the FA Cup fourth round tie with Middlesbrough after the January international break, and is ready to call on United’s record signing.
The United interim manager said that Pogba wants to show the fans, board and “the whole world” what kind of player he can be, but added that he will be “highly motivated” even if he is only playing to put himself in the shop window.
When asked if there is much point playing Pogba given the likelihood of him leaving, Rangnick said: “Yes, of course.
“By the way, my contract as a manager is also expiring in the summer. For us we have the same goal. We have the same ambition to be as successful as we can possibly be in the next three or four months.
“For me, it’s not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group? How much does he still feel emotionally and physically on board?
“As long as this is the case, why shouldn’t Paul Pogba [play] now after two and half months of injury, fully fit again now?
“And he also wants to show up, he wants to show the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world what kind of player he can be. And even if it’s only to show enough for a new contract elsewhere, he will be highly motivated to do that and why should I then not play him?
“As I said, there is a difference in how players deal with their current situation. How do they handle that? If they handle that in a professional way, an ambitious way, of course I will play players although they have a contract expiring in the summer.”
Pogba will be one of the most sought-after free agents in world football if his contract expires before reaching a new agreement with United, as appears likely.
Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are among the possible destinations for a player who broke the world transfer record when joining United in a €105m (£89m) fee in 2016. Pogba has not signed another
Rangnick also revealed that he was impressed with what he saw from Pogba in his first training session back since his recovery.
“Paul Pogba had his first day of training with the whole group and he showed what an extraordinary player he could be,” Rangnick said. “He won’t be available for the two games this week but after the international break against Middlesbrough and Burnley he could be.”
Juventus Cruise To A 4-1 Win Over Sampdoria In The Coppa Italia On Tuesday Night
The home side were rather comfortable throughout the 90 minutes, with their opponents Samp looking completely out of their depth at the Allianz Stadium.
As you’d expect, it was all Juventus from the first whistle to the last, as the home side dominated possession while Sampdoria could barely string two passes together. Juan Cuadrado caused the visitors particular problems with his movement in and around the penalty area – forcing Wladimiro Falcone into a smart save at his near post in the 15th minute.
Cuadrado got his just rewards for a great first-half performance ten minutes later, as the Colombian drilled a free-kick from just outside the box under the Samp wall, and through the fairly hapless Falcone (it was pretty bad goalkeeping to be honest).
Seconds later, Cuadrado proved to be the catalyst for what Juve thought was their second goal of the evening. The winger squared the ball to Alvaro Morata, who duly converted from inside the penalty with a sweeping shot. However, the goal was disallowed due to a foul from Adrien Rabiot in the build-up.
Falcone went some way to making amends for his earlier mistake by denying Rugani and Morata. The Samp goalkeeper reacted quickly to save an effort on goal from just inside the six-yard box from Rugani, before denying Morata with similar heroics on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was much the same as the first, with Sampdoria being absolutely terrible and Juventus being fairly competent.
Juve deservedly bagged the second goal of the evening on the 50th minute mark, with Rugani rising highest from an Arthur cross to score his first ever Coppa Italia goal.
Despite the home side dominating proceedings, out of absolutely nowhere, Samp pulled a goal back on the hour. The goal came from former Milan man Andrea Conti, who drilled a great volley from the edge of the penalty area past Mattia Perin.
The momentary panic caused by Conti’s goal was arrested pretty much immediately by subsitute Paulo Dybala. After Manuel Locatelli stole possession on the edge of Samp’s box, the Juve number ten confidently curled the ball into the bottom right corner.
It was 4-1 in the 75th minute, when Dybala converted a penalty kick won by debutant Marley Ake.