Khéphren Thuram set to stay at Nice for another year

One-time Liverpool target Khéphren Thuram looks set to stay at Nice for another season after seemingly being priced out of a move this summer.

According to L'Équipe, the centre midfielder has decided to remain at the club for what will be his fifth season, before completing a move away in the summer of 2024.

Even though PSG tested the waters for the player, and both Bayern Munich and Liverpool were rumoured to be interested in him, no move has materialised. This is primarily because despite months of speculation surrounding his future, Nice have remained steadfast in their determination to retain Thuram, publicly stating their reluctance to sell the 22-year-old.

Now, as per the French publication, Thuram has stated he's happy to stay on the Côte d'Azur, where he's guaranteed regular playing time ahead of next year's European Championships.

It would now require an offer significantly higher than his €40m (£34m) valuation to persuade Nice to reconsider any potential transfer.

Wage demands too high?

However, according to Fabrizio Romano on his Here We Go Podcast, this is only part of the story.

"At the moment, the Khéphren Thuram situation is cold because he’s considered too expensive," he said. "Not just with Nice but also on the salary side."

This perhaps would explain why Liverpool seemingly changed course and signed Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig, while talk of a move for Thuram has died down.

While Szoboszlai cost a lot more than Thuram would ever have — at least in terms of the transfer fee — the Hungarian's experience far outweighs that of his French counterpart. Compared to three seasons in the less competitive Ligue 1, Szoboszlai is backed up by two strong seasons in the German Bundesliga and Champions League.

Szoboszlai has also been named his nation's captain, while Thuram only has one full cap to his name.

A defensive midfielder now the priority

Having signed two number eights (the other being Alexis Mac Allister) this window, any new midfield addition at Liverpool would likely be a more defensive recruit.

Southampton's £50m-rated Roméo Lavia seems to be towards the top of the list of priorities now, but that's not to say that the Reds won't return for Thuram in the future.

Next summer, with both Jordan Henderson and Thiago a year older (or moved on to pastures new), the issue of recruitment for the 'engine room' may rear its head again.

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