Liverpool are reportedly among four clubs showing an interest in Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma.
According to 90min, the Reds are joined by Manchester City, Barcelona and Napoli in ‘keeping tabs’ on the future of the Japan international.
However, the Seagulls are hoping to finalise a new contract for the 26-year-old before the end of 2023, with the south coast club confident that the player is satisfied at the Amex Stadium and will soon agree to improved terms.
Discussions over a new deal have been in progress for several months, having commenced shortly after the January transfer window, and negotiations are now understood to be ‘advancing towards an agreement’.
The tricky Mitoma was one of the stars of Brighton’s magnificent scoring 2022/23 campaign, scoring seven league goals and setting up another six as he helped Roberto De Zerbi’s side to qualify for Europe for the first time in the club’s history.
He’s continued that fine form into the early weeks of this season, scoring in the 4-1 win at Wolves last month and supplying three assists as well inside the Seagulls’ first four games.
The club’s chief executive Paul Barber has described the 26-year-old as a player who’s ‘so exciting to watch’ and ‘a throwback to old-school wingers’ (The Beautiful Game podcast), an endorsement backed up by the Japan star’s electric dribbling ability.
With Liverpool managing to stave off Saudi Arabian interest in Mo Salah for now, the Reds may be conscious of the prospect of losing their iconic number 11 next year, hence their reported interest in Mitoma.
The Brighton wizard is primarily a left winger and therefore mightn’t be a direct replacement for the Egyptian, although Jurgen Klopp could perhaps opt for someone like Cody Gakpo on the right-hand side should a vacancy arise in that part of the Merseysiders’ starting XI.
Liverpool already know full well about the threat the 26-year-old can pose, having scored the winner against them in an FA Cup clash last January, so it’ll be intriguing to see if they can tempt him into reuniting with ex-Seagulls teammate Alexis Mac Allister at Anfield.