Liverpool are reportedly preparing a move for Bournemouth star Lloyd Kelly after missing out on the defender 12 months ago when he was at Bristol City.
The newly-crowned Premier League champions were alerted to Kelly’s potential after the youngster broke into Bristol City’s first-team back in 2017 but were beaten to his signature by Bournemouth last summer.
The Cherries wrapped up a £13million deal for Kelly and Eddie Howe has backed the 21-year-old to ‘go right to the top’ despite a frustrating debut season at the Vitality Stadium plagued by ankle, thigh and hamstring problems.
Kelly was ever-present in Bournemouth’s starting XI in the final few weeks of the season but was unable to prevent the side from dropping down into the Championship as they suffered seven defeats in their last ten games.
According to The Express, Liverpool are lining up a fresh bid to sign the versatile England Under-21 international, who can play at left-back and in central defence. Jurgen Klopp is keen to strengthen both positions considering Andy Robertson is lacking serious competition and Dejan Lovren ended his six-year stay on Merseyside to join Zenit St Petersburg this week
Earlier this month, Bournemouth head coach Howe hailed Kelly’s versatile qualities after the youngster impressed against Newcastle at left-back before switching to central defence at Old Trafford.
‘I think both positions for us at the moment. I wouldn’t say one or the other – he can play both very well,’ Howe said following Bournemouth’s 5-2 defeat to Manchester United.
‘We have seen that, albeit in his very short time with us, when he’s trained.
‘From full-back he’s really good athletically, he uses the ball well and is strong and good in the air – has lots of good qualities.
‘At centre-back the same qualities show and his use of the ball is very good.’
Howe added: ‘We really, really like Lloyd. It’s just a shame we haven’t been able to call upon him more.
‘Hopefully he is away from his injury problems and we can build him up to be the player we know he can be.’