Chelsea stopped from blocking third Liverpool deal as Doucoure move given boost

Mauricio Pochettino previews Chelsea's clash with West Ham

Chelsea may have hijacked Liverpool’s moves for top defensive midfield targets Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia but the Blues could just have given Jurgen Klopp’s side a helping hand in their pursuit of Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure. The Eagles don’t want to lose too many key players this summer but after signing Michael Olise onto a new lucrative deal following a turbulent negotiation process with Chelsea they may be forced to sell Doucoure for a reasonable price in order to recoup funds.

Olise looked all but set to join Chelsea after they agreed personal terms and activated the winger’s £35million release clause earlier this month. However, Palace stepped in and re-signed Olise onto a fresh four-year contract, worth £100,000-a-week – more than double the £45,000-a-week wages he was on with his previous contract.

The Eagles are understood to be infuriated by the way the Blues handled the business and considered taking their rivals to a tribunal over an “illegal approach”. It is thought that the threat of legal action may have forced Chelsea to pull out of the deal.

 “It’s the best possible news we could have. I had been concerned – it’s always concerning when a club of Chelsea’s stature take interest in a player, and people will suggest that a move to them might be the best bet,” said manager Roy Hodgson.

“I had always hoped that wouldn’t be the case and that Michael would realise that at such a young age his future here is very bright, and we can help him move very quickly on to another level.

“I am delighted for the club, and I must congratulate Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman on the fantastic job they have done in persuading him that, even though there was pressure from outside, ‘this is your place and this is where we think you will progress in the right way and develop in the right way’.”

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Though they were able to keep hold of Olise, the same may not be able to be said about Doucoure, who is at the top of Liverpool’s shortlist. Liverpool are reportedly readying a bid for the 23-year-old and will have no problem meeting Palace’s £60m valuation of the player having shown their hand during their eye-watering pursuit of Caicedo.

The Eagles understand that Liverpool’s interest in the Mali international is genuine but are yet to receive an official offer from the Merseyside outfit. Crystal Palace are open to selling the Doucoure but only for the right price.

Liverpool are in need of another defensively-minded player in the centre of the park after letting go of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner this summer. The Reds recently brought in Wataru Endo from Stuttgart for £16m to fill the void but are also in the market for another holding midfielder to add further depth to the position. 

The 23/24 home shirt for Liverpool pays homage to the past of the club, as well as collaborator Nike, with a strong 1970s influence. The iconic red, capped with bold white cuffs and collar really does invoke that classic Liverpool FC style while adding a cool retro touch

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