Liverpool have made some forward progress in their pursuit of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, as reports from Spain claim the Reds are prepared to meet Real's conditions over a €50m deal.
The Reds have been reported by virtually everyone who is 'in the know' at the club to be tightening the purse strings this summer, with just one or two minor changes to the squad generally expected before the transfer window closes.
Despite this being accepted largely as fact, many outlets have pressed ahead with links to various high-profile, big-money deals, suggesting that the Reds do in fact intend to spend in order to keep up with Manchester City, who have twice added to their ranks in the last week.
The latest comes from SPORT (as per Sport Witness) who have added to the speculation linking the Reds with Ceballos, who starred as Spain won the European Under-21 Championships at the weekend.
The claim is that a deal hadn't previously been viable due to Real's insistence to include a buy-back clause that would allow them to re-sign Ceballos down the line, for a fee somewhere above the €50m Liverpool would be paying to sign him.
Liverpool had previously been reluctant to agree to such a deal, no longer seeing themselves as a subsidiary to the Spanish giants after prying the Champions League from their grasp. The report, however, claims that the Reds have had a dramatic U-turn on the matter, and are now prepared to yield to Los Blancos to land the 22-year-old, in whom Jurgen Klopp is prepared to 'bet heavily.'
This assessment is backed up by Marca, who reported on Wednesday that Liverpool have 'moved discretely' to get ahead of their rivals in their pursuit of the player. If they are to be believed, then Klopp sees Ceballos as the midfielder who can provide his side with the dynamism he had hoped Naby Keita would bring to the fore.
It does seem unlikely that the German is already prepared to replace the £53m Guinean, given his proclivity for showing patience with his players, but we'll see how this one pans out.