Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
Liverpool are reportedly closing in on the signing of AS Monaco starlet Christian Koffi, whose contract with the French club is set to expire this summer, with no signs of an extension being agreed.
Koffi’s agreement with Monaco runs out on June 30, and the Reds are taking an interest in his services ahead of making an attempt on his free signature, reported Simon Jones of MailOnline.
L’Equipe elaborated on reports and added that Koffi has already turned down a contract offer to extend his stay at the Stade Louis II, with Liverpool seemingly in pole positionto win his services (h/t Get French Football News).
Koffi, 17, is a versatile talent who has featured in central midfield, out wide and in a more central attacking role for Monaco’s academy, earning comparisons to incumbent Liverpool star Sadio Mane, per GFFN’s report.
That’s the kind of addition Reds manager Jurgen Klopp could do with in his squad, too, considering wide back-up looks so light following the January departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
The Brazilian’s departure was seen as a terrible blow for Klopp & Co. at the time, but football writer Sam McGuire argued Mane’s resurgence as evidence to suggest the opposite is true:
Sam McGuire @SamMcGuire90
Klopp decided not to sign a Philippe Coutinho replacement in January and instead tweaked Sadio Mané’s role. A detailed look at his change in role over recent weeks and how it’s coincided with an upturn in output. https://t.co/g8YVK0T9LW
The form of Mane and Mohamed Salah has demonstrated how reliant Liverpool are on the strength of their wings, meaning it’s important the side see some reinforcements who either hold great talent now or potential to grow.
Koffi falls into the latter category, and although he’s yet to make his debut for Monaco, his two appearances in the UEFA Youth League this season indicate the faith the French Riviera clubs has in him.
Jones’ report mentioned Liverpool would still like to get their hands on Koffi’s Monaco team-mate, Thomas Lemar, but that deal would be inordinately more expensive.
The fact Koffi could be available for no fee adds to his appeal further, and the prospect of having Anfield legend Steven Gerrard coaching him in Liverpool’s under-18 side is an appetising thought.