The Merseysiders have made their first move for the England Under-21 international since January as they step up plans to add another wide player to the squad
By Wayne Veysey
Liverpool have re-entered the race to sign Tom Ince as their pursuit of Christian Atsu stalls, Goal can reveal.
The Merseysiders have registered their interest in the England Under-21 international once again and will notify the player later this month as to whether they will follow up by activating his £8 million release clause.
As reported by Goal, Cardiff City have already bid £8m for the Blackpool attacking midfielder, while Swansea City are also closely monitoring his situation.
It is understood that Liverpool have been in contact with the player’s camp for the first time since January amid fears that a deal to capture Porto winger Christian Atsu could collapse.
The Ghana international, 21, has been on the Reds’ radar as they continue an extensive summer recruitment programme that has already included the signings of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, defender Kolo Toure, attacking midfielder Luis Alberto and striker Iago Aspas.
Manager Brendan Rodgers wants to add further width and penetration to his attack and has now targeted another swoop for Ince.
The Merseysiders came close to signing Ince in January but could not agree a fee with Blackpool during what were understood to be “heated” negotiations with the Championship club, which were complicated by the 35 per cent sell-on clause in the deal that took Ince from Anfield to the Seasiders in August 2011.
Cardiff made their first formal move for Ince, with the player’s father, Paul, the former England and Manchester United midfielder who is his manager at Bloomfield Road, admitting that Blackpool had accepted a bid from the Premier League newcomers.
However, Malky Mackay’s men have not yet agreed personal terms with the youngster, opening up the possibility that he could still move elsewhere, and Goal understands that Ince’s preferred destination would be a return to Anfield.
The Liverpool academy graduate has blossomed at Bloomfield Road, scoring 18 league goals for the Championship club last season.