Jurgen Klopp attempted to lower fans’ expectations at the start of the summer transfer window, amid the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the Premier League champions have gone on to secure deals for Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas for a combined fee of around £80million.
The Reds have also been keen to strengthen at centre-back and Klopp spoke at length with Koulibaly on the phone back in May in an attempt to convince the Napoli star to consider a move to Anfield.
But Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have been favourites to wrap up a deal for Koulibaly leading up to next month’s transfer deadline and the latter have even agreed contractual terms with the Senegal international, according to Le Parisien.
However, the report claims Liverpool are yet to give up hope in their pursuit of Koulibaly and are ‘forcing to convince the player via his friend and compatriot Mane to win the raffle’ for his signature.
Napoli have ruled out a temporary move for Koulibaly, though, meaning Liverpool may have to spend in excess of £81m for the former Genk man.
The Merseyside giants are yet to find a replacement for Dejan Lovren following the Croatian’s move to Zenit Saint Petersburg and injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip meant Fabinho started as a makeshift centre-half versus Chelsea last weekend.
And while Fabinho impressed alongside Virgil van Dijk at Stamford Bridge, Klopp remains intent on bolstering his options at the back, with Sevilla’s Diego Carlos and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak also linked in recent weeks.
‘Kalidou is a wonderful person and of course it’d be sad to lose him,’ he told Sky Italia.
‘Everything has a time and a place, even when it comes to going our separate ways.
‘Having said that, we don’t have €90m (£81m) on the table and in any case, it takes two to separate.’