• Jonathan Ikone helped Lillee win Ligue 1 title this season
  • He is contracted with Lillee until 2023
  • His current market value is around $35 million

Liverpool FC are reportedly in talks with Lille winger Jonathan Ikone ahead of the 2021 summer transfer window.

Ahead of the transfer market, one of the areas Liverpool's sporting director Michael Edwards wants to improve is the midfield and the Reds have submitted a bid of around $49 million to Lillee, reported soccer website Teamtalk.

As many as 12 players are set to be offloaded from Anfield this season and Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri is believed to be one of them, who is valued by the Anfield side at between $15 million and $18 million, the Teamtalk report has further revealed.

Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida, who has a credible record in transfer markets, has claimed that in the first contact with Lillee, Liverpool have offered "$30 million-plus Shaqiri."

"Liverpool negotiates with Lille to sign Jonathan Ikone. The English club will be able to offer around 25M€ + Xherdan #Shaqiri for the French striker. Just first contacts," wrote Almeida on his Twitter page.

Liverpool may have to rival Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign 23-year-old Ikone. If Jadon Sancho does leave Dortmund this summer, the Bundesliga side is seeing Ikone as an ideal replacement for the player, according to Sancho is heavily linked with a move to Manchester United.

Ikone just helped Lillee seal the Ligue 1 title that ended Paris Saint-Germain's run of three consecutive league titles. The young midfielder netted and assisted seven goals each and was one of the key members of the title-winning Lillee squad. He is contracted with the Ligue 1 champions until 2023 and his current market value is around $35 million, according to Transfermarkt.

Ikone is considered to be a perfect fit at Liverpool as he can play on the right wing and also move more toward the central attacking midfield role.

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane (left) celebrates his goal against Southampton
Sadio Mane and Mo Salah could come face to face in the AFCON final on Sunday. POOL / Paul ELLIS

The Reds, who were the defending league champions, had a tough season this time. At one point, Jurgen Klopp's side fell to No. 7 in the 2020-21 Premier League table before they went on to end the season on a high as they finished third, behind the two Manchester clubs.

Klopp and Co. are expected to have a busy summer market. It was previous reported that the Anfield side is seeing Leicester City's Youri Tielemans as an ideal replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, who is set to join FC Barcelona on a free transfer this summer.