As busy as Liverpool have been in regards to their summer spending, Monaco have been even busier. And it doesn’t seem to have stopped yet, with Claudio Ranieri’s side reportedly close to a deal for Reds target Lucas Digne.
The 19-year-old left-back currently plays for French side Lille, and has been linked with a move to Anfield for some time.
Brendan Rodgers was believed to see Digne as a key summer signing and a natural successor to Jose Enrique, and it was reported that talks took place between the two clubs back in March.
And yet reports today from French newspaper L’Equipe claim the player is nearing a move to Monaco.
The stories say the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club are prepared to double PSG’s offer for the player. This comes a day after Lille president Michel Seydoux claimed neither club had yet made a sufficient offer for a player valued at €15million.
L’Equipe also states that Digne favours a move to Monaco due to the competition for places at PSG, where former Barcelona defender Maxwell is the current first choice having played 45 games for the French champions last season. Although at 31 he is 12 years Digne’s senior.
Reports from England earlier this month suggested Rodgers had put a move for Digne on hold while he completed the signings of Simon Mignolet and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But while the former has since arrived, the latter appears some way off a move – depending on which story you read.
Digne is an outstanding talent and would have been an astute signing by Liverpool, who are cannily building for both the present and the future. But it appears they may have missed out on this particular talent.
They will hope they are more successful in their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon’s Tiago Ilori, who is said to remain in negotiations with the club although a move was expected to have been completed by now.
While Rodgers has been swift in securing the likes of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto – and with the prolific Mkhitaryan still possibly joining them – the manager must focus on his defence to ensure all the good work happening further up the field isn’t wasted by defensive frailties.
Kolo Toure is a start. But with the loss of Jamie Carragher and with a new generation seemingly being sworn in at Anfield, Rodgers will hope Digne is the only target he misses out on this summer.
Do Liverpool fans wish the club had moved quicker for Digne? And which other defenders should they target if the left-back's Monaco move is finalised?
image: © john1710