14 Jun 2016

Offer Submitted: Liverpool make €25m bid for 'aggressive' 31-goal striker who's like 'Inzaghi'

After a brief flurry of Gonzalo Higuain rumours, it's back to more realistic transfer targets for Liverpool, and new reports today suggest that Jurgen Klopp is keen to sign Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani.

On Monday, Portuguese news outlet Noticias ao Minuto claimed:

* Arsenal and Liverpool are favourites to sign Slimani.

* Liverpool have submitted a €25m bid for the 27-year old.

* Sporting have rejected the offer, and will only sell if the club meets Slimani's €30m buyout clause.

When asked in May about Slimani's future, Sporting boss Jorge Jesus noted:

"It's important that Slimani stays, but it's also important to sell a player for €30m. Sporting is not used to making these deals".

Some info about Slimani, who has missed only 12 games through injury since 2012:

* 56 goals/16 assists (72) in 109 apps (Goal every 131 mins. G/A every 102 mins). Last Season: 38 G/A in 46 games (One every 96 mins)

* Jun 2014: Algerian legend Djamel Menad raved: "He [Slimani] reminds me of Filippo Inzaghi, because he gets the ball in unexpected positions".

* Jan 2016: ESPN Scouting Report (Excerpt): "Penalty-area predator. Technical skills aren't as good as most, but few are more dangerous with their heading ability. Physical presence is certain to keep defenders busy".

* Jul 2014: Jose Mourinho's assessment: "He is a very aggressive striker. He likes scoring goals, is fast and strong in the air".

Slimani's stats are superb over the last couple of years, and a goal/assist every 96 minutes is a Daniel Sturridge-esque creative return, which is just what Liverpool need.

Again, though, Sporting are in the Champions League next season, and Leicester - who are also reportedly interested - can also offer CL football.

As such, I can't see Slimani taking a step backwards and signing for a team without European football next season, especially when he's in the prime of his career.


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