JURGEN KLOPP called Kylian Mbappe’s dad to discuss a potential transfer for the Paris Saint-Germain sensation, according to reports.
Like most, the Liverpool boss is a huge admirer of the French striker and is now hoping to beat Real Madrid to his signature.
According to Le10 Sport in France, Klopp dialled Wilfried Mbappe to gauge whether his World Cup-winning son would be interested in a move to Anfield.
Reports have linked both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane with moves away from the runaway Premier League leaders but signing Mbappe would ensure a more-than-adequate replacement comes in.
Liverpool are not thought to have made an official bid to the French side but Klopp wanted to know Mbappe’s plans as he weighs up a potential offer.
Mbappe Jr, 21, is regarded as the world’s most-valuable player due to his ability and age so it is likely to take a record-transfer fee to convince PSG to sell.
Figures of around £250million have been bandied around for the forward who has smashed in 90 goals in 120 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions, including 30 in 33 this season.
However, the reigning European kings face strong competition from Real Madrid for Mbappe.
Los Blancos have identified him as their No1 transfer target and former PSG, Monaco and Rangers winger Jerome Rothen, who played with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane for France, reckons a deal was close to completion before the coronavirus crisis hit.
Rothen told Radio Montecarlo: “I know from club sources that a deal to take Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid was almost done.
“But with what has been happening, I’m sure that Mbappe’s arrival at Real Madrid will be postponed.
“There is no way that Mbappe will extend his contract with PSG.
“They will have an agreement between them in place because PSG agreed to let him go this summer. In my opinion, it’s just a question of time.”
It is understood, though, PSG are so desperate not to sell Mbappe to the Bernabeu they would rather let him leave for free in 2022 when his contract expires – even if that means forcing him to rot on the bench.
According to AS, Mbappe’s camp are angered by the sounds coming out of PSG and are now looking to secure a departure away from the Parc des Princes even sooner with the relationship between player and club hanging by a thread.
Real Madrid were plotting a summer move to land Mbappe in a stunning deal and make him the long-term No9 at the Bernabeu.
And although that plan may have to be shelved for 12 months due to the coronavirus, the Spanish giants are confident Mbappe will not sign an extension at his current club because he wants to make the switch.
They tried to keep PSG happy by ruling out their interest in both Mbappe and his team-mate Neymar.
But Zidane burned any bridges that were being built when he declared his countryman dreams of playing for Real Madrid.
The Real boss said in November: “At the moment he plays for Paris Saint-Germain, we’ll see in the future if that changes. I know he always said his dream is to play for Real Madrid.”
PSG’s sporting director Leonardo was not happy.
He hit back: “Honestly, it bothers me a little. This is not the time to talk about dreams and all that. Stop it. Mbappe is very important to us and this is not the time to destabilise him.
“He is the best young French player, a world champion, and one of the best in the world. This is not the time to try to unsettle him. It is time to stop. He still has two and a half years on his contract with us.”
Zidane responded by declaring his “love” for Mbappe – who admitted Zizou was his “first idol” and had posters of Real Madrid stars on his bedroom wall growing up.
Then PSG boss Thomas Tuchel got involved and said: “I do not know how much infatuation Zidane has regarding Mbappe. Sometimes you love players that you can’t have.”
And Leonardo defiantly added: “Mbappe is going to stay, one hundred per cent.”
But tensions have risen between the forward and Tuchel over a number of substitutions, including in a 5-0 win over Montpellier in February, and he is thought to be edging closer to a stunning transfer – but Klopp will be desperate he can convince him to head to Merseyside instead.