Liverpool have reportedly taken the first step towards securing a deal for Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish after opening talks with the Championship club.
The Mirror understand the 22-year-old’s valuation has reduced from £40million to £20m due to Villa’s need to raise funds to improve their own squad.
Grealish scored three goals and made six assists as Steve Bruce’s side reached the Championship play-off final, missing out on promotion to the Premier League courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Wembley.
Tottenham Hotspur are also understood to be interested, but are only willing to pay £15m to bring the England Under-21 international back to the Premier League.
Villa are hopeful that interest from two Champions League clubs will drive up the price for Grealish, but it remains to be seen whether a bidding war will follow after Liverpool began discussions with the Midlands outfit.
Following their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Liverpool have strengthened their squad in the form of Naby Keita and Fabinho.
Both players made their debuts in the 7-0 friendly win over Chester FC, with Fabinho playing the first 45 minutes before making way for the Guinea international at the break.
Naturally, a host of players have been linked with a move to Merseyside including a flurry of goalkeepers after Loris Karius’ errors in the Champions League final last May.
Manager Jurgen Klopp is content with his business so far but admits he will continue to pursue new signings until the transfer window closes in August.
‘Yes, I am happy,’ Klopp told Liverpool’s official website ‘And the work [on new signings] is always going on, that’s how it is. Why should we stop until the window is closing?
‘It’s all good in the moment. We will see what happens and I will not – and don’t want to – say it looks a little bit better in that department or this department.
‘If all the players are coming back and healthy from the World Cup then we have already a really, really good team – and that’s the only thing I need to know. ‘What happens on the other side, we will see, but we don’t finish thinking about it before the last day of the window.’