Brentford hopeful of signing Liverpool target Johan Bakayoko despite summer snub

  • Brentford failed with late summer move for Bakayoko
  • The Bees looking to steal march on rivals with fresh January approach
  • Liverpool and Tottenham among admirers of 20-year-old Belgium international

Bakayoko is turning heads
Bakayoko is turning heads / Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images

Brentford are set to make another audacious attempt to sign in-demand PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko during the January transfer window, sources have confirmed to 90min.

The Bees made a huge play to try and complete the signing of Bakayoko at the back-end of the summer 2023 window, making a £34m bid in late August. However, the winger knocked back their approach to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Champions League.

"Even if they offered €100m, I wanted to stay with PSV. We want to become champions of the Netherlands again and then go as far as possible in the Champions League. That was always my focus," he told NOS after the window shut in September.

90min understands that Bakayoko is being eyed by a host of top sides. Liverpool are admirers of the 20-year-old and he is on their shortlist of potential long-term successors to Mohamed Salah. The Reds have been impressed with his performances so far in the Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur have also been keeping a close eye on Bakayoko's tremendous development. While he is being watched by other clubs from Germany and Italy, it is far more likely that his next move will be to England.

Most teams interested in Bakayoko view him as a signing for the summer of 2024, and so Brentford are hoping to steal a march on their rivals with a fresh move in January.

Johan Bakayoko, Luuk De Jong
Bakayoko has gone from strength to strength / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Once more, Brentford would have to stump up a club-record sum in excess of £30m in order for PSV to even sanction an exit. Their current record signing is Nathan Collins, who joined from Wolves in the summer for a £23m fee.

There is also no guarantee that Bakayoko would be open to a move mid-season, particularly with PSV top of the Eredivisie having won all 14 of their matches so far and on the verge of qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League. He has registered four goals and 14 assists in 24 games across all competitions at club level this term.

At this rate, Bakayoko is a shoo-in to be part of Belgium's Euro 2024 squad having already been capped eight times at senior level, forming part of an exciting young frontline which features Manchester City's Jeremy Doku and RB Leipzig's Lois Openda.

Brentford, meanwhile, have soldiered on well through the 2023/24 season so far despite missing several key players - including Kevin Schade, Mikkel Damsgaard, Ben Mee and Rico Henry - through injury for long stretches, while star striker Ivan Toney will not return from his ban for betting offences until mid-January.

Once Toney returns to the fold, Brentford are in line to lose forwards Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa to the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on 13 January.