Having been left behind when Liverpool headed to Hong Kong as part of their pre-season tour, The Sun now report that Newcastle could launch a £10 million bid to sign winger Sheyi Ojo on a permanent deal this summer.
The news comes after Rafa Benitez approached his former club about taking the 20-year-old on loan but was rejected in his approach, with Middlesbrough also keen on taking the youngster to Riverside.
Ojo had figured for the Reds in their opening pre-season friendlies against Tranmere and Wigan, appearing lively and threatening in both, and it has surprised some fans that he could be allowed to leave. That is especially after Ojo emerged as one of Jurgen Klopp’s preferred youngsters in his debut season in 2015/16, with the youngster being given his Liverpool debut in one of 11 appearances that season.
This time last year, Ojo’s Liverpool career hit a stumbling block as a back injury in pre-season saw him miss more than half of the campaign, making just two appearances for the Reds after his return to action. Now, it seems that he may look elsewhere for regular football.
Ojo has pace to burn and is good on the ball, dribbling down the wings and leaving full-backs for dead, but it is hard to see how he will fit in at Anfield next season. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are clearly ahead of him. Meanwhile, Ojo has been leapfrogged in the pecking order by Ben Woodburn and Adam Lallana has also shown he can play on the wing comfortably.
That may mean that for Liverpool, the deal could make sense. The Reds would not necessarily want to say goodbye for good, which would suggest that a loan may be preferable, or maybe even a sale with a buy-back clause, as The Times suggest could be possible. Ojo has huge potential, but is not in the picture for a place in the starting eleven just yet.
Ojo may be concerned that he could go the same way as Jordon Ibe, who found himself in a similar situation last season before joining Bournemouth for £15 million and falling off the radar completely. It may not be ideal for the Reds, but if they are looking to raise funds, Ojo may be a candidate to cash in on.
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