Former Aston Villa transfer target now 'top' of Liverpool wishlist - could cost record breaking £128m

Orkun Kokcu was linked with a move to Aston Villa last summer. He could still play in the Premier League - but for Liverpool. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)Orkun Kokcu was linked with a move to Aston Villa last summer. He could still play in the Premier League - but for Liverpool. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Orkun Kokcu was linked with a move to Aston Villa last summer. He could still play in the Premier League - but for Liverpool. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
A player that Aston Villa were ‘favourites’ to sign last summer could now join a Premier League rival for a league record fee.

Former Aston Villa transfer target Orkun Kokcu has emerged as a priority signing for Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to a report.

Last year, Villa were 'favourites' to sign Kocu amid six of their league rivals being interested but he opted to sign for Portuguese giants Benfica. The club had sent scouts to watch over the midfielder, but he ended up moving to Portugal for €25 million.

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The 23-year-old could still land in the Premier League however albeit it a year later and a different club with GiveMeSport reporting that Liverpool hold a firm interest. Kocu played under their new manager Arne Slot at Feyenoord and he was his captain during their time in the Netherlands.

He is the 'first' signing that Slot wants to make but apparently he holds a potential release clause of £128m according to The Standard. If Benfica did not budge in the negotiations and Liverpool had to pay the release clause then they would make Kocu the most expensive player in Premier League history. The current record is the £107m that Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez, who also played for Benfica.

Portuguese outlet A Bola however has claimed that Benfica would let the player leave if their asking price of €45m (£38m) is met.

Kokcu played in 43 games in all competitions for Benfica last season, registering 11 assists and seven goals. Benfica finished second to Sporting however and were eliminated from the Taca de Portugal, with the Supercup their only trophy this season.

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Liverpool might have to act quick or be willing to wait until July as Kokcu is set to be involved at EURO 2024 with Turkey. He has been capped 26 times for the Turkish national team and is expected to be named in Vincenzo Montella’s squad. Turkey play Italy, Poland and Georgia in their group stage matches with Matty Cash set to be involved for the Polish whilst Nicolo Zaniolo was ruled out for Italy with a foot injury.

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