After rumoured £4m and £7m Liverpool bids for Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell since the end of last season, the Reds will reportedly make a ‘final’ offer of £8m to the Premier League champions, with Anfield reserve defender Brad Smith thought to be on his way to Bournemouth in a £6m switch.
Bedford-native Chilwell, a regular at England youth level over the past three years, endured a stop-start first senior campaign during his club’s glorious run to title glory, turning out for the Foxes in the League Cup and FA Cup either side of an eight-game spell on loan at Championship Huddersfield.
His prospects of increased game-time next term under Leicester chief Claudio Ranieri don’t seem particularly good considering the form of incumbent left-back Christian Fuchs, allied with the 30-year-old former Austria captain’s retirement from international duty after Euro 2016.
Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante may have stolen the headlines during 2015/16, but no Leicester player who made more than 15 starts managed a higher all-competition win-ratio than Fuchs’ 63 per cent, with the former Schalke man also involved in the least losses by the same metric.
Handing in his Austria jersey was a clear indication that Fuchs will focus on keeping his place in Ranieri’s first XI for some time to come, and while Leicester are fighting to keep Chilwell, with a new five-year deal reportedly on the table, a move to Anfield makes plenty of sense for the player.
Sure, the prestige of donning the famous red jersey should be in the 19-year-old’s mind, even if it means leaving the reigning champions, but a far better reason to head for Merseyside comes by way of a much simpler route to first-team action.
Alberto Moreno will be lucky to hit September still on Liverpool’s books following a couple of patchy campaigns, culminating in a poor display during his side’s Europa League final loss to old club Sevilla, who appeared to target the man they sold for £12m just over two years prior.
Joe Gomez started last season at left-back before an October injury, but appears to be a centre-half-in-waiting, while Jon Flanagan has been linked with a loan switch to Burnley following two seasons in the treatment room.
Should Chilwell sign for the Reds this summer, he could conceivably force his way into the first team within a matter of weeks.
Liverpool are 9/1 to land the Premier League title during Klopp’s first full term at the helm.