Liverpool transfer snub vindicated as Barca line up star as back-up if Everton reject bid

Kephren Thuram has been capped by France. (Image: Getty)

Liverpool’s decision not to pursue a move for Nice midfielder Kephren Thuram could see the midfielder head to Barcelona as a back-up option this summer. The Reds were strongly linked with the 23-year-old during the off-season, but despite the speculation – and the club losing the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Fabinho – a bid never materialised.

The one-cap French international has duly gone on to impress again Ligue 1, and has been ever present for his club in 2023/24. And that’s despite increased scrutiny on his performance due to his family links – with Thuram the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lillian and the brother of international forward Marcus.

But now it’s the La Liga giants who are circling. According to Spanish media outlet Barca Blaugranes, Thuram is now on a shortlist of potential Barca targets as they look to address what has been a disappointing domestic campaign.

However, the Monaco youth graduate is not their first choice. The club will reportedly first try and sign Everton star Amadou Onana, who has again been key to Sean Dyche’s side in their quest for Premier League survival.

Amadou Onana is reportedly Barcelona’s main target. (Image: Getty)

The Senegalese star, 22, is unlikely to come cheap though. Everton are not under any pressure to sell given he’s contracted at the club until the summer of 2027, and the Toffees are said to want £70million to let him leave Merseyside.

Given the financial constraints that have plagued the Catalan club in recent years, the fee is likely to be a stumbling block. Barcelona are also yet to confirm a manager for the 2024/25 campaign, following the announcement that Xavi will leave his role at the end of this season.

And despite being highly-rated in France, a deal for Thuram would signify a much lighter fee. The Frenchman’s contract expires in the summer of 2025, meaning Nice risk losing him on a free in 15 months’ time if they don’t cash in.

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Thuram represented his country at every age-grade level before being called up to the senior squad in March 2023 for the games against the Republic of Ireland and Holland. He made his debut late on against the Netherlands, but has not since added to his solitary appearance.

He was just 18 when he joined Nice, and has since gone on to make 157 club appearances. And he’s been a key factor in the club challenging for European football again this season, currently lying fifth in Ligue 1.