Liverpool have enquired to Watford about Senegalese winger Ismaila Sarr as the Reds consider the possibility of bringing in the forward as back-up to their existing front-three.
Sarr has been on Liverpool’s radar for some time and was tormenter in chief when Watford were the first club to beat the Reds in the Premier League last season – he scored twice and set up a third as the Hornets ran riot in a 3-0 victory.
Liverpool were reported to have made initial contact with Sarr’s representatives in early August, seemingly sounding out the player and establishing whether he would be interest in making the switch to Anfield.
The Premier League champions continued to weigh up their interest in the 22-year-old, who is an international colleague of Sadio Mane, in the weeks since.
Speaking in late August, Liverpool journalist Paul Gorst explained, “Ismaila Sarr I was told recently is definitely someone being looked at. Whether that turns into a formal bid remains to be seen but Liverpool like him. He’s the right sort of profile and has a high ceiling to improve.”
Now, it seems as though the Reds have taken their interest another step forward, with the Daily Mail reporting that contact has been established with Watford and an enquiry has been made.
Despite no formal bid at this stage, that is an important step as Liverpool, who are now said to be ‘seriously considering’ Sarr, gauge whether the Championship side are actually willing to sell, for how much and what kind of payment structure would be considered acceptable.
It is said that Watford want at least £36m for Sarr, a player that cost them £30m only last year. Crucially, that has come down from the £40m they had valued him at a month ago.
At a time when finances are restricted, Liverpool have just agreed a £25m deal with Bayern Munich for Thiago Alcantara, of which £20m is guaranteed. However, that outlay is expected to be spread over the length of the player’s four-year contract, making it only a minimal expense each year.
Sarr himself is open to moving on from Watford should an opportunity arise and was glowing in his praise of Liverpool when asked about his future last month.
“Liverpool are a really great team, everyone would love to play there. They won the Premier League this year and the Champions League last year,” he said.
“Maybe if Watford frees me one day I could go and play for a bigger team. Go and showcase my talent elsewhere and then win trophies.”