Liverpool: Five signings Richard Hughes could make as sporting director unveiled | Football | Sport

Liverpool have appointed Richard Hughes as their new sporting director, with the returning Michael Edwards making his first key appointment at Anfield. Hughes – who said he is “incredibly proud” to be offered the job – will take the position that ally Edwards once occupied so successfully and he now approaches a crucial summer transfer window. Express Sport considers five players the former Bournemouth chief could sign for Liverpool’s next manager…

Marc Guehi

It will take a princely sum to lure defender Marc Guehi from Crystal Palace but Liverpool could be his best possible destination. A contender for the England squad for Euro 2024, a positive tournament could boost the former Chelsea player’s price tag.

One of the Premier League’s most highly respected young centre-backs, Guehi is an excellent defender and extremely comfortable with both feet. His leadership qualities have seen him named Palace’s captain on several occasions.

Liverpool are likely to target new defenders in the summer. Virgil van Dijk turns 33 in July, while there remains uncertainty over Joel Matip’s future with his contract expiring. Ibrahima Konate has performed well but has struggled with niggling injuries since his arrival. That could prompt the signing of Guehi.

Tosin Adarabioyi

While Guehi could cost a huge fee, someone who Hughes could sign for a much cheaper outlay is Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo. The 26-year-old is expected to have multiple options when his contract expires in the summer.

A former Manchester City prospect, Adarabioyo is finally realising his potential in west London. He has been key to the club’s success under Marco Silva. Liverpool could get a bargain if they persuade the former England U19 international to join for free.

Ko Itakura

Hughes could get some help from potential new Liverpool boss Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard is widely considered to be the favourite for the Anfield hotseat, and could bring a couple of Bundesliga talents to Merseyside.

Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ko Itakura, 27, would represent excellent business and potentially follow in the footsteps of the bargain deal Liverpool sealed to sign his Japan team-mate Endo Wataru last summer. Itakura can play at centre-back and in midfield.

Journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Itakura has a release clause that becomes active in the summer, with Liverpool and Tottenham monitoring the player’s progress.

Johan Bakayoko

With Mohamed Salah potentially leaving Liverpool and moving to Saudi Arabia, Hughes’ biggest task in his first summer could be sourcing a replacement for the Egyptian. Liverpool will face vast competition for Palace winger Michael Olise, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all interested.

Hughes could instead turn his attention to PSV youngster Johan Bakayoko who will be available at half the price. The left-footed 20-year-old star has bagged eight goals and 13 assists in 40 appearances this season.

He has the raw natural ability with which a determined Salah arrived at Anfield in 2017.

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