Liverpool join Everton in pursuit of highly-rated defender

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Liverpool are ready to go toe-to-toe on the transfer market with arch-rivals Everton for the services of this highly-rated defender.

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The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool’s interest in Burnley defender Michael Keane has raised following his impressive international debut this week, where the 24-year-old former Manchester United man started England’s 1-0 defeat to Germany.

Everton hold long-standing interest in Keane, and see him as the ideal fit for their defence in the long-term, but Jurgen Klopp is eyeing a defensive restructure of his own and sees Keane as the ideal central-defensive partner for Joel Matip.

Interest in Keane is extremely high though as Manchester City and Chelsea also hold interest, whilst Manchester United could explore the option to bring him back to Old Trafford- as they did with Paul Pogba last summer.

Will a deal go ahead?

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Burnley are resigned to losing Michael Keane’s services this summer as the Lancashire side have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate an extension on his current deal. With Keane’s contract entering it’s final 12 months this summer, the Clarets will sanction a sale.

Where Keane ends up is anyone’s guess though and the youngster will have plenty to think about, as a spot in England’s World Cup squad next summer is within his grasp and playing Champions League football could improve his standing.

However, Gareth Southgate’s recent England selections show that playing in Europe’s elite competition isn’t necessary and Keane could bite off more than he could chew with a move to a top-four club. If he were to move and struggle, then his chances of further England opportunities would decrease.

In any case, Keane can expect to be playing European football next season but it’s not clear whether that will be in the Champions League or Europa League.

How much will he cost?

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Despite Keane’s contract situation, Burnley are holding out for a large sum for the defender’s services and their asking price reportedly stands at £30m; a fee that seems fair given the price Manchester City paid Everton for John Stones last summer.

Burnley’s windfall will get a boost as Keane will fetch a premium price due to the fact he’s English but the Clarets will also be aware that they’ll owe money from any deal to Manchester United, as part of the agreement that saw Keane move to Turf Moor initially.

That in itself could bump up the price as Burnley would be looking to get as large a figure as they can, which Sean Dyche would then spend to bolster his own squad and increase the club’s chances of long-term Premier League survival.