Liverpool look set to miss out on signing Karim Adeyemi after Borussia Dortmund made a decisive move in the race for the Red Bull Salzburg star.
Adeyemi has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in Europe this season and has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have all monitored the 20-year-old striker, while RB Leipzig, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked, but Dortmund are now poised to sign the Germany international.
Adeyemi has scored 18 goals in 25 appearances for Salzburg this season and is under contract with the Austrian side until June 2024.
League-leaders Salzburg had been keen to hold onto Adeyemi until at least the end of the season, but Dortmund have other ideas.
According to Sky Sports Germany , the German club have everything agreed with Adeyemi’s camp and just need to negotiate a transfer fee with Salzburg, with the deal ‘taking shape’.
Salzburg are holding out for a fee between £25million (€30m) and £33m (€40m) for the striker and have begun talks with Dortmund.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc and his soon-to-be-successor Sebastian Kehl were pictured returning from Salzburg at Dortmund Airport on Monday.
The interest in Adeyemi is understandable, because he has shone in the Champions League, as well as the Austrian Bundesliga.
The youngster, who spent two years in Bayern Munich’s academy, netted four goals in six Champions League group stage matches to help Salzburg become the first Austrian team to reach the last-16 of the competition since Sturm Graz over two decades ago.
Salzburg have drawn Bayern in the knockout stages of the Champions League, but it looks like their star player won’t still be at the club to face his former club in February.
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That will come as a blow to the club, who had been adamant about keeping hold of him this month.
“Karim will finish the season with us, that is clearly the plan,” Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund told Sky Sports Austria in October.
“I don’t know what could happen if Karim doesn’t finish the season with us.”
Adeyemi’s stance has changed since December, when he insisted he would see out the season with Salzburg, whom he joined from small German side SpVgg Unterhaching in 2018.
“As is so often the case, nothing is decided yet and, as I have said, I’ll also be at Salzburg next year, and that’s where my focus is on,” he said.
Asked about a possible transfer, Adeyemi added: “As I have said, I have no tendency.
“My mind is here at Salzburg and I’m looking forward to the Champions League with Salzburg. We want to give our all there.”