OUSMANE DEMBELE is Liverpool’s top back-up option if they miss out on Timo Werner.
So say reports in Spain, where Barcelona winger Dembele is rated more attainable than the £52million-rated RB Leipzig striker.
Manchester United and Chelsea target Werner, 24, who has hit 24 Bundesliga goals this season, still heads Kop boss Jurgen Klopp‘s summer wishlist.
But Liverpool are thought to be baulking at his asking price as Dortmund hold firm because the Germany star’s contract runs until 2023.
In contrast Barca are thought to be open to offloading France World Cup winner Dembele, who is also interesting Arsenal and Juventus.
The 23-year-old has struggled to match his Borussia Dortmund form since moving to the LaLiga giants in August 2017.
Mundodeportivo say Klopp is a long-term admirer of Dembele, whose Barca future has been weakened by continued speculation that Neymar will return to the Nou Camp from PSG.
Barcelona are said to be willing to free Dembele on a loan deal, just as when ex-Liverpool playmaker Philippe Countinho joined Bayern Munich.
And the Reds have reportedly lost pole position in the hunt for Werner.
With United now monitoring the situation, Leipzig’s chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff has warned Werner’s suitors his price tag is non-negotiable.
He told Sport Bild, he said: “It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.
“In general, we always have to ask the following question – can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?
“But, I only think about those things once I have the facts on the table.”