Liverpool are ready to join the battle for the services of the ‘German Dele Alli”.
Young Bundesliga star Max Meyer looks certain to move to the Premier League in the summer, and the Reds' boss Jurgen Klopp is now prepared to compete with Alli's Tottenham and derby rivals Everton in the race to sign him.
He has twice watched the 21-year-old recently - ironically after running the rule over another Schalke star, Leon Goretzka (who he rates highly, but is being pursued by some of Europe’s biggest clubs , including Bayern Munich).
Meyer will have just a year left on his current contract at the end of the season, and said on German TV at the weekend that he is now “50-50” on whether to stay or go.
Reports in his home country suggest Schalke would now listen to offers of around £17million for the attacking midfielder — who they rated at a massive £45m last summer when Spurs made an official approach.
With his contract ticking down, they realise they will have to sell at a cut-price if he doesn’t put pen to paper on a new deal.
Despite offering some hope he would consider a new contract in his TV interview, his agents have indicated that the player is increasingly disillusioned with a lack of progress at Schalke and wants a fresh start to force his way back into international reckoning.
Meyer burst onto the international scene when he won his first cap in 2014, and he was in the provisional squad for the World Cup that year which Joachim Low's men won.
But, after captaining his country to the Rio Olympics' football final last summer, limited opportunities with his club side have cost him his place in the full national squad.
He was relegated to the U21s, who played England and Portugal last week.
Klopp had spies at both games - where he also had Goretzka watched - and remains keen on the player, who impressed him during his time as manager at Borussia Dortmund.
Meyer revealed: “I know from the past that he appreciates me as a player. After my first derby against BVB - scoring a goal when I was 18 - he publicly expressed praise for me. This is a nice feeling when such a great coach says that.”
Once regarded as the brightest prospect in German football, Meyer fell out with his Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl this season when the manager criticised him after a defeat by Bayern.
While Tottenham wanted the midfielder last summer, it is thought their interest has cooled a little because he prefers the position Alli plays.
They have instead turned their attention towards Everton midfielder Ross Barkley.
Liverpool believe they could get Meyer for as little as £14m, and would be interested at that price.
They are still keen on Goretzka, who is also refusing to sign a new deal with just a year left on his contract, and a third Schalke player — left-back Sead Kolasinac , who is set to be available on a free in the summer.
Source: Daily Mirror
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