Liverpool want to complete a deal for Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister before the Argentina World Cup winner links up with his international teammates ahead of the June 15 friendly against Australia in China, sources have told ESPN.
Mac Allister, 24, is expected to become Liverpool's first major signing of the summer transfer window following what sources say have been constructive talks with Brighton.
Sources have told ESPN that the player, who was signed by Brighton from Argentinos Juniors in 2019, is available for a fee of around £50 million due to a release clause within the new contract he signed with the club in October 2022.
Liverpool have made the recruitment of at least two midfielders their priority this summer following the departures of Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of the Anfield contracts.
With captain Jordan Henderson and Thiago both 32 years old and troubled by injuries last season, the necessity to bolster manager Jurgen Klopp's midfield options at the same time as reducing the average age of the midfielders has led to the move for Mac Allister, who was a key figure in Brighton qualifying for European competition for the first time in the season just ended.
Liverpool had originally planned to move for Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, but the likely £120m transfer fee of signing the England international, as well as competition from Real Madrid and Manchester City, prompted the club to shift their focus onto signing a number of players rather than spending the majority of the budget on one player.
A deal for Mac Allister is most likely to be Liverpool's first this summer, however, and there is confidence at Anfield that an agreement can be finalised before the player heads out to Asia for Argentina's meeting with Australia in Beijing and subsequent encounter with Indonesia on June 19.