Arne Slot denied first Liverpool signing as Reds transfer target 'close' to joining rivals

Arne Slot will reportedly be denied the chance to work with Tosin Adarabioyo at Anfield (Image: GETTY)

Incoming Liverpool boss Arne Slot is unlikely to have Tosin Adarabioyo at his disposal next season, with the Fulham defender said to be closing in on a move to Newcastle. Tosin will be out of contract in the summer and has reportedly informed Fulham that he does not want to sign a new deal, meaning he will be available on a free transfer.

Liverpool have been credited with a desire to land Tosin in recent months, which has led to speculation that he could become Slot’s first capture at Anfield. However, it seems the Reds are no longer in contention to sign the 26-year-old, who is reportedly set to join one of their Premier League rivals.

Newcastle are close to bringing Tosin to St James’ Park on a deal worth around £100,000 per week, according to the Northern Echo. The Magpies are said to have fought off competition from the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham to move within touching distance of securing the defender’s signature.

Tosin’s availability on a free transfer has reportedly allowed Newcastle to put together an attractive financial package without running into any difficulties regarding profit and sustainability rules. It means that Liverpool will be forced to look elsewhere if they want to improve their defensive ranks in the summer, with Tosin thought to be on his way to Tyneside.

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The Fulham defender is said to be closing in on a summer move to Newcastle (Image: GETTY)

The Reds have already been linked with a number of high-profile names, including the likes of Piero Hincapie, Edmond Tapsoba and Goncalo Inacio. However, all three players would command significant transfer fees while Hincapie and Tapsoba may be reluctant to leave Bayer Leverkusen after winning the Bundesliga title under Xabi Alonso.

Liverpool have been widely tipped to sign at least one new central defender when the bidding opens in June. Joel Matip is expected to leave the club when his contract runs out in the summer, while Joe Gomez has been deployed at right-back more often than not this season.

It leaves Virgil van Dijk, who is approaching his 33rd birthday, and Ibrahima Konate as Liverpool’s two standout options in central defence. Jarell Quansah is also likely to play an important role next season after breaking into the first-team squad under Jurgen Klopp.

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Liverpool icon John Aldridge recently urged his former club to target a surprise move for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, who is said to be a target for Manchester United, but the rivalry between the two Merseyside clubs would suggest that a move to Anfield would be a non-starter.

“I don’t want to upset any Evertonians by saying this, and whether Liverpool would buy from Everton is another matter as it rarely happens, but I certainly think he has got the ability to go on and become a leading figure and a starter for England,” Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.

“The fact Jurgen Klopp even talked him up before the game in his pre-match press conference was interesting. He is likely to be on the radar of other teams as well. Manchester United have already been mentioned as a possible destination.

“It’s up to Everton over what they do with him. Coming to Liverpool would be hard for the lad. It takes a bit of doing to make that switch across Stanley Park.”