Liverpool and Tottenham target Lloyd Kelly is reportedly set to be offered a new club record-breaking contract by AFC Bournemouth to fend off transfer interest. Europe’s biggest clubs have been circling Kelly, whose current deal expires at the end of the season.
The 25-year-old is able to sign a pre-contract deal with a foreign club from the start of January. Domestic sides might also have seen an opportunity to complete a cut-price permanent transfer in the winter window.
Liverpool and Spurs are two of the clubs reportedly interested in signing Kelly. The Reds have lost Joel Matip to a long-term injury, with the Cameroon star suffering a devastating cruciate ligament tear.
Meanwhile, Spurs could look for defensive reinforcements in the January window. Ange Postecoglou lost the impressive Micky van de Ven to a hamstring injury in November. A lack of options in the position saw Postecoglou start a back four made up entirely of full-backs when Cristian Romero served a three-match ban.
But both teams could suffer a setback in their chances of signing Kelly next month. According to TeamTalk, the vice-captain will be offered a contract that would make him Bournemouth’s highest-paid player in their history.
A bumper long-term deal would stave off interest, with Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus supposedly keen. Newcastle have also been linked with the former Bristol City star.
The report adds that Kelly is in no rush to decide his future. He is weighing up all his options, which could include running down his contract and leaving Bournemouth as a free agent next summer.
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has played down signing a new centre-back to replace Matip. He insists he is happy to work with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and youngster Jarell Quansah as his current options.
“Everyone talks about us needing another player but they all cost money and they must be the right player,” Klopp said at the weekend. “You tell me a club who wants to sell a top centre-half. Not a centre-half but a top centre-half.
“For four or five days we’ve known Joel will be out for a long time and that’s really bad for us but we still have four centre-halves and that’s absolutely alright.”
The German added: “As long as other clubs don’t put them under the Christmas tree for us and say, ‘Take it as long as you need it’ I don’t think [it is likely Liverpool will buy a player].”