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Liverpool to leapfrog Everton and make Serie A star Klopp’s first signing

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According to reports from The Express, Liverpool hope to make Empoli midfielder Riccardo Saponara Jurgen Klopp’s first signing as Anfield boss. 

The attacking midfielder is enjoying his second spell at Stadio Carlo Castellani following a brief stint at AC Milan, bagging eleven goals and seven assists in 26 Serie A appearances since rejoining the club in January.

The 23-year-old has been in particularly strong form this season, averaging 3.7 shots, 2.7 successful dribbles and 2.9 created chances per match – the latter statistic representing the second-best return throughout the Italian top flight.

He was on Everton’s radar back in September, with Toffees scouts present during his impressive start to the campaign, whilst Juventus are also known admirers.

But according to The Express, Liverpool are keen to make the former Italy U21 Jurgen Klopp’s first signing as Reds gaffer and are already preparing a £14million bid for the January transfer window.

Whether Empoli are prepared to sell, however, remains to be seen. Sporting director Marcello Carli recently told Italian publication Calcio Mercato; “No-one will move in January. We’ll keep all our players. Then in June we’ll evaluate any offers that come in, in line with club policy.

“We’re used to rumours about our players, it means we’re doing well. Saponara, in particular, is an important player for us, and his absence [through suspension] is weighing heavily. You have to see the positives in every situation, though, and without Riccardo some interesting young players have had the chance to prove their quality.”

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