Liverpool must act fast if they are to sign Lille's Carlos Baleba. That's because Brighton and Hove Albion have reportedly submitted a bid for the 19-year-old centre midfielder as they look to replace Moisés Caicedo following his move to Chelsea.
Baleba, who has garnered interest from multiple clubs, including Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, according to The Daily Mail, could be heading to the Amex after being identified as the perfect replacement for the recently departed Ecuadorian.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Seagulls are believed to have offered around €17 million, with €3 million in add-ons for the Cameroonian. However, the French side are reportedly seeking a fee of around €30 million.
A robust skillset
Baleba, who got two assists from 19 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, possesses a robust skillset. Favouring his left foot, he is particularly adept at both disrupting opponents' play and advancing with the ball at his feet.
And now, in light of Liverpool's failed pursuits of both Caicedo and Roméo Lavia, Sunday's match against Chelsea further highlighted Liverpool's need for a midfielder to complement the recently arrived Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Baleba's abilities could fit the bill but if the Reds are to complete this signing, they will need to do some deal hijacking of their own.
With Brighton having been widely lauded for unearthing top talent from unexpected sources, a Liverpool move for Baleba could be a way to "cut out the middle man".