Liverpool spy deal for Tottenham target as no.10 emerges onto radar; bidding to start from above £15m
Liverpool have added Morocco international Bilal El Khannouss to their shortlist after the attacking midfielder also caught the attention of Tottenham Hotspur, according to reports.
El Khannouss currently plays for Genk in the Belgian Pro League and has already been identified as the next player they could cash in on before he embarks on what will hopefully be a high-profile career elsewhere.
In recent years, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, Kalidou Koulibaly and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have been launched by Genk before becoming established names in other leagues and the club might have their next gem on their hands in the shape of El Khannouss.
For either of them to sign him, the report claims they would have to make a bid worth at least €18m, which is the equivalent of more than £15.5m.
As things stand, El Khannouss is under contract with Genk until 2027. He has already made 68 appearances for their senior team and was assigned the no.10 shirt for the current campaign, in which he has so far scored three goals from 15 league games.
Mainly, he has been playing in a central attacking midfield role – where Tottenham have been impressed by summer signing James Maddison and Liverpool have likewise with Dominik Szoboszlai, even if that is in a slightly different system – but he was also recently deployed on the left wing.
Genk are the only club El Khannouss has played for so far after they took him from Anderlecht’s academy back in 2019, three years before he made his senior debut.
This season, he participated in the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers with them before they ended up in the Europa Conference League.
At international level, the teenager can proudly say he made his Morocco debut in the World Cup, coming on in their third-place play-off loss to Croatia last December.
He now has a total of six caps to his name for the North African nation and will be hoping to represent them at AFCON in the winter.
As for when he could take the next step at club level, the timing of a transfer remains to be seen.
Due to his international commitments, January would seem to be an unlikely time. However, if he continues to demonstrate his potential, big clubs might not want to wait too long before making their move.
El Khannouss is represented by his relatives as agents, which means clubs will have to convince his family that they would be the right destination for him.