Liverpool tracking PSG left back Lucas Digne
The dust may not yet have settled after Liverpool’s swoop for striker Christian Benteke, with the Merseysiders triggering his £32.5m release clause, but the Reds reportedly already have another target on their radar in PSG defender Lucas Digne.
French full back Digne is one of Les Bleus’ most highly-rated prospects, but after impressively coming through the ranks at former club Lille, where he made over 60 appearances, the talent has struggled to settle with Ligue 1 giants PSG (14/1 with Coral to win the Champions League).
Having made just 15 league outings last term, after falling behind experienced ex-Inter Milan and Barcelona left back Maxwell in the pecking order, Digne is now linked with an exit from the Parc des Princes to continue his development elsewhere.
Capped eight times for France, the youngster has a limited window to regain international favour if he is to snare a squad place when his homeland host Euro 2016 next summer, with the likes of Patrice Evra and Benoit Tremoulinas currently ahead of him for selection.
Layvin Kurzawa of Monaco has also emerged as a top prospect and potential future competitor for the French left back berth, with his consistent performances recently putting Digne, whose career has somewhat stalled in the capital, firmly in the shade.
The 22-year-old’s search for regular game time could now lead him to Liverpool (9/4 for a Premier League top four finish), where boss Brendan Rodgers has mainly been focusing on bolstering his attack, but is now believed to be eyeing backline reinforcements.
With a portion of the Raheem Sterling funds still to spend, defender Digne, who can also be deployed as a wing back or left midfielder, could be captured to compete with Alberto Moreno, who had a mixed debut season at Anfield.
As Rodgers often plays with little natural width, which looks set to continue after signings such as playmaker Roberto Firmino, the full back or wing back role is increasingly important at Anfield, which could provide Digne with the platform he needs.
Rumoured to be a former Manchester United and Roma target, the fledgling full back set Parisian giants PSG back £10.5m in 2013, with his current contract running until 2018, so could cost Rodgers a pretty penny.
The French capital club are reportedly reluctant to sell with Maxwell now aged 33, but the Reds may be buoyed by boss Laurent Blanc’s recent statement. The tactician told press: “first, it is he who very clearly asked to leave. For now, he is with us, he is very professional, he trains very well.”