Bayern Munich join Liverpool in the race for Manu Kone

Bayern Munich are reportedly interested in signing highly-rated Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Kouadio Kone, a target for Liverpool.

According to Bild journalist Christian Falk, Liverpool are “still watching” Manu Kone, following on from their interest in the summer, but they face stiff competition from German powerhouse Bayern Munich, who are interested in keeping the 22-year-old in the Bundesliga.

Kone was one of the first names to seriously emerge as a potential transfer target to bolster Liverpool’s depleted engine room at the start of the last summer transfer window. But a badly-timed injury seemingly threw a spanner in any Liverpool approach, and the player stayed put.

In the end, Jurgen Klopp’s side decided to splash the cash on the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Mac Allister, and Wataru Endo to complete their midfield overhaul, with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all leaving earlier in the same window.

But it appears that the Reds haven’t yet given up on their pursuit of the France Under-21 international and are still keeping tabs on his situation in the lead-up to the January transfer window.

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Liverpool could be bracing themselves for another midfield departure next year, too. Thiago Alcantara’s current terms are due to expire next summer, and it’s unlikely that the Reds will hand the injury-prone midfielder a contract extension, making Kone a viable target keeping the future requirement in mind.

Kone’s current contract with Mönchengladbach runs until 2025, so once the new year rolls around, it’s likely suitors will be able to negotiate a cut price for the midfielder, provided the German club are not able to tie him down to a new deal.

The problem for Liverpool is that they are not the only ones interested in landing Kone’s services, with reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich now also vying for his signature.

Bayern are known to be in the market for a defensive midfielder after failed summer pursuits for Scott McTominay and Joao Palhinha. The latter even flew to Bavaria for a medical on the summer transfer deadline day, but Fulham did not sanction a sale so late in the window, and he has now signed a contract extension at Craven Cottage.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel now seems to have turned his attention to Kone, who is still getting himself back into shape in the aftermath of a knee injury that he sustained during the Under-21 Euros over the summer.

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will prioritise signings in other areas with concerning depth ahead of launching a full-blown offensive for another midfielder. Still, Kone is a special talent and certainly one worth monitoring, and he could be at the centre of a heated transfer war in the upcoming January transfer window.

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