Watford star Ismaila Sarr has ‘asked to leave’ Vicarage Road in the summer transfer window, as Liverpool remain in the market to sign the winger.
The 23-year-old caught the eye during Watford’s relegation campaign of 2019/20, and he dazzled in the Championship last year, guiding his side back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Liverpool were interested in the forward last summer, and their desire to add the Senegal international to their forward line has carried over to this year. According to transfermarketweb.com, the Reds are preparing a £40m bid for Sarr, and the Watford man has urged the club to accept the offer.
90min understands that Sarr does want to leave Vicarage Road this summer, although the Reds are less sold on the idea of stumping up £40m. The Premier League giants were keen on a deal of around £30m, and may be willing to stretch to £35m, but the Hornets would likely reject anything less than the required £40m.
Watford are naturally reluctant to lose one of their best players in their first season back in the Premier League, but as Norwich City discovered with Emi Buendia, promotion is not always enough to discourage stars from making a rapid step up.
Jurgen Klopp is looking to bolster his attacking options for the upcoming season, as his team is heavily reliant on the goals of offensive trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Diogo Jota added some firepower last summer, although injury plagued his debut campaign at Anfield.
The Reds have seen enough of Sarr to believe he is the right man to provide competition for their current quartet, and his first performance on Watford’s return to the Premier League demonstrated he is ready for the challenge.
The winger tore Aston Villa full-back Matt Targett apart during their 3-2 victory at Vicarage Road, causing Villans coach Dean Smith to substitute the defender at half-time. Sarr went on to score the second goal of the game, and delivered a masterclass in attacking wing play.
Liverpool know Sarr’s talents all too well, after he scored twice to end the Merseyside club’s unbeaten start to the season in a 3-0 drubbing of the Reds back in February 2020. He scored 13 goals and provided ten assists in the Championship last year, as Watford finished the campaign in second place with an impressive 91 points.