Liverpool 'close to signing' African star

English Premier League

Having won a first league title in 30 years, newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool will be looking to strengthen their squad ahead of next season, and are reportedly close to signing Algeria defender Aissa Mandi.

According to beIN SPORTS, Liverpool have nearly completed a deal with LaLiga side Real Betis over the signing of Mandi, who is said to available at a cut-price rate as he has only one year remaining on his contract.

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It is claimed that the Merseyside outfit have identified the 28-year-old as a suitable replacement for Dejan Lovren, who joined Zenit St. Petersburg last month, and could land his signature for as little as £9 million (R203 million).

The France-born defender's ability to play as both a centre-back and a fullback is said to have appealed to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, while his wealth of experience on the international stage, having earned more than 50 caps with the Desert Foxes, is an added bonus.

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Should Mandi sign for Liverpool, he would join a host of African players who are already contracted to the club, including Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Joel Matip, although he may also be a replacement for the latter.

Recent reports from France suggest that Matip could follow Lovren out the door at Anfield after being linked with a massive £50 million (R1.1 billion) move to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Scroll through the gallery below for some images of Liverpool's new home kit for the 2020/21 season

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