Liverpool continue spree with £10.5m Clyne deal

LONDON - Liverpool have followed their successful pursuit of Roberto Firmino, the Brazil playmaker, by closing in on a deal to make Nathaniel Clyne, the Southampton right-back, their sixth signing of the summer.

No sooner had the Reds concluded the £29 million (S$61.4 million) transfer of Firmino, which is subject to a medical, than they made an offer of £10.5 million for Clyne, with a further £2 million to follow in performance-related payments.

Having had an initial offer of £9 million turned down, Liverpool saw their latest bid accepted by Southampton, who are ready to cash in on the England international who has entered the final 12 months of his contract.

Southampton are well placed to cope with the departure of the 24-year-old, having recently signed Cedric Soares, the Portugal right-back, from Sporting Lisbon.

Liverpool's latest offer is closer to the Saints' £15 million valuation.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers frequently used Emre Can at right-back last season despite the German midfielder's clear discomfort in the role as other options were relatively limited.

Jon Flanagan missed the entire campaign through injury while Glen Johnson, who will leave the club under freedom of contract at the end of this month, fell out of favour and was reduced to a bit-part role.

Clyne, a product of Crystal Palace's academy, enjoyed his best season yet at St Mary's to force his way into Roy Hodgson's England set-up and prompt interest from Manchester United, though it is Liverpool who have courted him most persistently.

He would follow a well-trodden path should he complete his move to join Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, all former club-mates at Southampton, in going to Merseyside.

These are exciting times for Liverpool, who have been the most active Premier League club this transfer window.

Brazilian forward Firmino has committed his future to Liverpool by agreeing personal terms on a five-year contract. His move from Hoffenheim looks set to be ratified next month. He will wear the No. 11 shirt next season and joins James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan and Joe Gomez as the club's summer signings.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool's chief executive, reached an agreement with Firmino's advisers after negotiations at the Copa America in Chile, and Ronaldinho, the former Barcelona and Brazil star, thinks Firmino and Philippe Coutinho could form a formidable partnership at Anfield.

"For Liverpool to have Coutinho and Firmino is a big achievement for them," Ronaldinho said.

"It is going to give them one of the most exciting midfields in Europe.

"The creativity, intelligence and goals they have between them can change Liverpool as a team."

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Liverpool continue spree with £10.5m Clyne deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe