Liverpool believe they can beat bitter rivals Manchester United to Burnley's £25million-rated defender Michael Keane.

Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp has made centre-half Keane his No.1 defensive target this summer and is confident of closing the deal.

As we told you a month ago, Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho is also interested in the player, who came through the United academy. But he will have to move quickly to trump Liverpool’s bid.

Personal terms have been agreed in principle between the Kop and the England international, but the player is waiting to see whether Liverpool, currently third, can secure Champions League qualification for next season before committing himself to the deal on offer, understood to be for four years.

United sold Keane to the Clarets in January 2015 for £2.5m because he was not part of then-manager Louis van Gaal’s plans, but Mourinho believes he could be an ideal partner for Eric Bailly at the heart of his defence.

Stockport lad Keane is a United fan and would jump at the chance to rejoin his beloved Red Devils if they make a concrete offer.

The 24-year-old, who made his England debut in March, was short-listed for the PFA Young Player of the Year award this season and has emerged as one of the most coveted young central defenders in the Premier League.

Keane has just a year left on his contract and has refused the Turf Moor club’s offer of new terms, which would make him their best-paid player ever.

United are entitled to 25 per cent of Keane’s sell-on fee from Burnley under the terms of his move in 2015.

The Clarets have considered 26-year-old Barnsley skipper Marc Roberts as Keane’s replacement.

The 6ft 4in centre-half has been a revelation for his home-town club, having made his name in non-League before joining on a free from Halifax two years ago.

Source: Daily Mirror

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