Liverpool eye Marc Guehi as Oliver Glasner faces fight to keep Crystal Palace players

Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace celebrates during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom

Liverpool are interested in signing central defender Marc Guehi, with new Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner already facing a battle to hold on to the club’s leading players this summer.

But Liverpool could face a fight with fierce rivals Manchester United over Guehi should the club’s proposed sporting director Dan Ashworth revive his interest in the England international.

Liverpool, like United, will appoint a new sporting director and need to replace head coach Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season, but the Anfield club have already placed Guehi on a list of proposed summer targets.

It will now be up to the new appointments whether Liverpool follow through with the interest in Guehi, while the possibility of United entering the bidding may rest on whether Ashworth can be appointed in time for the summer transfer window.

Ashworth was interested in signing Guehi for Newcastle United and is known to be a fan of the player.

Guehi joined Palace in 2021 for £18 million from Chelsea, who are not thought to have a straight buy-back agreement on the player, but are believed to have a sell-on clause and a matching option they can leverage should they want to enter the race to sign him.

Chelsea are likely to be in the market for a central defender this summer with Thiago Silva set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. But the London club are unlikely to be able to offer Champions League football, which Liverpool will be able to do and possibly United as well.

Michael Olise of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at Selhurst Park on January 30, 2024 in London, England

Guehi is contracted to Palace until 2026 and there is little prospect of the 23-year-old signing a new deal, which means his value will be at its highest this summer.

Other than potentially losing Guehi, Palace face a fight to keep hold of Michael Olise, who is thought to be a target of United and was the subject of a bid from Chelsea last year.

Palace’s best hope of keeping Olise, whose contract is reported to contain a release clause, might be that clubs are worried about committing a big fee on him at the end of an injury-hit season.

Eberechi Eze, who has also suffered a string of injuries, signed a new Palace contract only in November last year, but that may not stop him being targeted by bigger clubs.

Having succeeded Roy Hodgson, Glasner’s immediate aim is to steer Palace away from the threat of relegation, with the club just five points above third-from-bottom Luton Town.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.