Liverpool dealt defensive BLOW as Premier League rival 'optimistic' over double deal

Liverpool are set to be dealt a double transfer blow this summer with two reported centre-back targets closing in on moves to Newcastle United.

The Reds face an uncertain summer transfer window with Jurgen Klopp leaving and Arne Slot coming in, but Liverpool's eagerness to bring in at least one new central defender is certain.

They have subsequently been linked with a whole host of players over the past six months, including Sporting CP duo Goncalo Inacio and Ousmane Diomande, as well as Feyenoord's David Hancko and Lutsharel Geertruida.

Liverpool have also been linked with two cost-effective signings in Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo and Bournemouth's Lloyd Kelly, both of whom are available for free this summer.

However, the Reds may have to look elsewhere this summer amid interest from Newcastle in the Premier League pair.

NEWCASTLE 'OPTIMISTIC' OVER DOUBLE DEAL

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle are determined to sign both Adarabioyo and Kelly early in the summer window and are confident over both deals.

Writing on X, Romano stated: "Newcastle are planning to sign Lloyd Kelly regardless of timing for new director to join the club — as priority target already approved by Eddie Howe.

"Howe also wants Tosin Adarabioyo and NUFC are optimistic to get both deals done early in the summer window."

Lloyd Kelly Bournemouth

Bournemouth v Swansea City Emirates FA Cup Lloyd Kelly of Bournemouth celebrates scoring during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth Copyright: xJeremyxLandeyx FIL-19565-0117

Kelly may have been of particular interest to Liverpool given he is left-footed and capable of playing at left-back, while former Manchester City man Adarabioyo has also thoroughly impressed with Fulham.

Given their contracts expire this summer, they would have been savvy bits of business for the Reds, but it appears they may favour a move to St James' Park.

Given Joel Matip is certain to leave Liverpool this summer, a new central defender will be a priority for Slot.

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