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Liverpool to battle Newcastle United for £60m Piero Hincapie?

:Headline: Liverpool to battle Newcastle United for £60m Piero Hincapie?:
Liverpool and Newcastle United reportedly prepare to rival one another for the services of unsettled Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie.
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Liverpool and Newcastle United are allegedly ready to go head-to-head for the services of Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie.

Xabi Alonso's side have made an astonishing start to proceedings in the 2023-24 Bundesliga campaign, taking 36 points from 42 matches to sit four points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the standings.

Leverkusen also cruised into the last 16 of the Europa League with six wins from six in Group H, where Hincapie started five matches, but the Ecuadorian has been seldom seen in the Bundesliga.

After missing the first three games of the new term through suspension, Hincapie has continued to be overlooked by Alonso, who has handed him just two starts in the current top-flight campaign.

Hincapie represents a versatile option for Leverkusen, having demonstrated his competence at left-back and centrally, but Alejandro Grimaldo has excelled in the former position since his arrival from Benfica.

Meanwhile, Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah and Edmond Tapsoba have formed an effective three-man wall in front of Lukas Hradecky, restricting Hincapie to just 210 minutes of top-flight action this term.

The 21-year-old's current terms with the Bundesliga leaders run until 2027, having only signed an extension back in February, but his lack of action has fuelled suggestions that he could seek an exit.

According to German outlet Bild, both Liverpool and Newcastle are attentive to the situation of the Ecuador international, who started all three games for his nation at the 2022 World Cup.

Hincapie's recent contract extension reportedly includes a release clause set at €70m (£60.2m), and a separate update from journalist Florian Plettenberg states that the 21-year-old is on the lookout for a new adventure elsewhere.

Plettenberg adds that Hincapie has already been the subject of several enquiries, and discussions have already taken place with interested parties, but Leverkusen are determined not to lose him in January.

Alonso is set to lose both Tapsoba (Burkina Faso) and Kossounou (Ivory Coast) to Africa Cup of Nations call-ups next month, which will seemingly offer Hincapie a temporary route back into the first XI.

However, should the South American return to the fringes of the team once the AFCON concludes, he could ramp up his efforts to find a new club in the summer, although Liverpool and Newcastle may still try their luck next month.

The Reds have been tipped to sign a new defender following the news that Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury, while Andrew Robertson is also on the mend after shoulder surgery.

Matip is also due to become a free agent in the summer of 2024, although Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that the former Cameroon international will be offered an extension.

Hincapie has registered three goals and three assists from 91 games in a Leverkusen jersey since 2021, when he arrived in Germany from Argentinian outfit CA Talleres for a mere €6.4m (£5.5m).

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Read more about Piero Hincapie Xabi Alonso Alejandro Grimaldo Odilon Kossounou Jonathan Tah Edmond Tapsoba Lukas Hradecky Florian Plettenberg Joel Matip Jurgen Klopp Andrew Robertson Football
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2Liverpool33228375324374
3Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
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8West Ham UnitedWest Ham34139125463-948
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11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33127144653-743
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19Burnley3458213769-3223
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3337233188-5716
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