Liverpool to fight fierce rivals for £55m Premier League midfielder

Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Brighton midfielder Carlos Baleba this summer but will have to fend off interest from rivals Manchester United and Arsenal. 

Brighton only signed Baleba last summer, recruiting him from Lille for £23.2m, but the youngster has impressed during his debut season in England.

The 20-year-old was brought in by Roberto De Zerbi to fill the void left behind by the departing Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister and, while he is still some way off their level, he has made a positive impression at the Amex Stadium.

The defensive midfielder has made 33 appearances for the Seagulls in all competitions and has naturally attracted interest from the Premier League's elite sides.

LIVERPOOL COULD TARGET £55M CARLOS BALEBA

According to CaughtOffside, Liverpool are one of three Premier League sides, alongside Man Utd and Arsenal, interested in Baleba's signature.

He is reportedly on the Reds' 'radar' heading into the summer window and Brighton would be willing to listen to offers of approximately £55m in the upcoming window - roughly double what they spent on the midfielder last summer.

Liverpool may have signed four midfielders last summer but the exit of Thiago and the need for another traditional defensive midfielder means that Baleba seems like a realistic target.

At just 20, the Cameroon-born starlet has plenty of potential, albeit a decision would likely hinge on Jurgen Klopp's successor - almost certainly Arne Slot of Feyenoord.

Arne Slot, the next Liverpool manager.

Eredivisie: sc Heerenveen v Feyenoord Heerenveen - Feyenoord coach Arne Slot during the Eredivisie match between sc Heerenveen v Feyenoord at Abe Lenstra Stadion on 17 March 2024 in Heerenveen, The Netherlands. Copyright: xYannickxVerhoevenx

Liverpool will hope to have Stefan Bajcetic more readily available next season but they could still do with a more experienced player capable of sharing the minutes at the base of the midfield with the Spaniard and Wataru Endo.

Baleba can play in a more advanced central midfield role as well and Slot will likely want versatile options in the engine room if he persists with his favoured 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 systems.

The Reds have been linked with plenty of other midfielders too, including Teun Koopmeiners of Atalanta - a player who worked closely with Slot at AZ Alkmaar.

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