Leeds United could clinch a bargain deal for Liverpool striker Divock Origi amid Noel Whelan’s transfer claim.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the Belgian’s long-term future at Anfield is up in the air following a disappointing campaign, and that with the forward’s valuation plummeting, “a bid of as little as £12m could be enough to persuade Liverpool to sell”.
And now, former Leeds man Whelan has claimed Marcelo Bielsa’s side should be all over a potential deal for the 25-year-old this summer.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I think we’ve got to keep our options open. Divock Origi for £12-15m, would you turn your nose up at that? No, you wouldn’t.
“He can play a number of roles, left side, right side, through the middle. You’ve got to look at these things seriously. It’s not a lot of money. It’s so cheap. You could maybe go out and get two strikers if he’s available at that price. We need options, especially attacking ones. We know Bielsa likes players who can be versatile and we know Origi is that.
“Like a potential Harrison deal, it’s not much of a risk. You’re not breaking the bank and you know what you’re getting. He knows the Premier League. He’s a good age and we play a style of football that will suit him because it’s similar to Liverpool’s.”
Dubbed as someone who “always comes up with massive goals”, and who’s “got a taste for the big games”, Origi has built himself into folklore at Anfield with his match-winning moments – you’ve only got to look at his last-minute winner in the Merseyside derby against Everton, or his goal-scoring display in that famous Champions League comeback over Barcelona.
The £75k-a-week ace just needs more of a regular opportunity to shine, rather than knowing he will always play second fiddle to the likes of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The Belgian probably knows that even a stellar display is unlikely to convince Jurgen Klopp to move out one of his much-vaunted front three to accommodate him, and that surely does nothing for a player’s confidence.
Bielsa will be confident that he could be the man to really kick-start Origi’s career again, and given the price being touted, it’s got all the makings of being a bargain for Leeds.