Home Sports Liverpool and Newcastle United set for January transfer tug-of-war over ex-Bristol City...

Liverpool and Newcastle United set for January transfer tug-of-war over ex-Bristol City defender


Lloyd Kelly’s development with Bournemouth could see the former Bristol City defender subject of transfer interest from Premier League title-challengers Liverpool and newly-minted Newcastle United.

The Daily Mail have reported that Kelly is on Newcastle manager Eddie Howe’s wishlist for the January transfer window as he sets about reshaping a squad that remains inside the relegation zone but flush with funds following the Saudi Arabia-led takeover of the club in October.

Howe signed Kelly for Bournemouth in May 2019 from City for a initial fee of £13million, which could rise to in excess of £20m depending on add-ons, but the then 20-year-old needed time to adapt to his new club.

Under Scott Parker, Kelly has developed into one of the Championship’s premier defenders, having migrated over from left-back to centre-back as expected, and is an integral player for the Cherries as they lie second in the table.

Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in the Bristol-born defender and have been long-term suitors with their attempts to sign him two years ago scuppered by a wish to loan him out immediately, rather than offer first-team football like Bournemouth.

There is uncertainty over the futures of Nat Phillips and Joe Gomez at Anfield, with West Ham and Aston Villa keen on the centre-backs, meaning Liverpool could effectively trade one or both and then sign Kelly.

Transfers are notoriously hard to complete in the winter window and Bournemouth’s valuation of one of their prized assets would no doubt be well in excess of what they paid City, given how important Kelly is to their promotion which will be worth in excess of £150m to the club.

But Newcastle will be desperate to make additions in their first transfer window under the ownership of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), not just to assist Howe in keeping the club in the division, but also to make a statement.

The Magpies could therefore have to pay well over the odds to sign any targets, much like Manchester City, due to vast wealth of the new ownership group.

All of which is positive news for City who are understood to hold a sell-on clause for Kelly, who came through the club’s academy after joining aged 12, although the exact percentage is unknown at this stage.

Kelly made 48 appearances for the Robins over two seasons, earning England Under-20 and Under-21 honours before moving to the Vitality Stadium.

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