herald

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Liverpool show intent with Clichy bid

LIVERPOOL have made their second statement of intent in a matter of days by launching a bid to sign Arsenal defender Gaël Clichy.

Liverpool offered the Gunners about £5m for Clichy, who has just entered the final year of his contract.

With Clichy showing no willingness to sign a new deal with Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger has become resigned to the probability that the left-back will leave this summer, but the expectation was that he would move to a club on the continent rather than to a rival in the Premier League.

But Liverpool’s determination to rejoin English football’s elite has led them to make an ambitious move for the 25-year-old and the early indications are that Clichy would be willing to make the switch to Anfield if the clubs can agree a fee.

Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich are also believed to be interested in Clichy, but Liverpool have attempted to steal a march on their rivals by lodging a bid that Arsenal will have to consider seriously.

One attraction that Liverpool can boast is the presence of Damien Comolli as director of football. Clichy’s potential was first spotted by Comolli when he was working as an Arsenal scout and it was upon his recommendation that Wenger signed the player – then 18 – from Cannes.

Clichy went on to become the youngest player to win a Premier League medal in Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003-04.

He has since established himself as Wenger’s first-choice left-back, but he has recently become so disaffected that his readiness to leave has been an open secret for some time.

Given Liverpool’s failure to qualify for European competition next season, a move to Anfield from a club that is expected to qualify for the Champions League would be a surprise.

But it would also be a coup for Liverpool and would support Kenny Dalglish’s assertion that the Reds can still attract top players.

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