Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have a history of competing against each other during their days in Germany, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively, and now that rivalry has crossed over to the Premier League with Liverpool and Manchester City.
That very rivalry, however, is set to extend this summer to the transfer window as both managers fight it out for Gabon international, and Borussia Dortmund ace, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a £40 million move.
According to The Sun, both clubs are interested in the player as they aim to further strengthen their squads in what will be a crucial transfer window if both teams are realistically to challenge for the title next season having been blown away by Antonio Conte and Chelsea this campaign.
Klopp will be eager to bring in the player he previously signed at Borussia Dortmund in an attempt to boost his striking options, with both Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi performing way under par so far this season.
Guardiola has found a new star in Gabriel Jesus, who has scored three times in three appearances since his arrival at the club last month, resulting in star man Sergio Aguero limited to a place on the bench with reports suggesting the Argentinian could be on his way this summer. Aubameyang could be seen as the ideal replacement for the fan favourite, Aguero.
The 27-year-old has been a huge hit in the Bundesliga following his move from St Etienne in 2013, scoring 94 goals in 155 appearances in all competitions.
With money no object for Manchester City, Klopp will be hoping his board, who have promised to fully back him this summer, will be true to their word if he is to finally bring title success to the Anfield club, which has not seen a Premier League title in 27 years. He will also be hoping his former relationship with the striker will prove crucial in his chase for Aubameyang’s signature.
Champions League qualification will also prove to be crucial in the chase for the former Milan man with six teams currently battling it out for four places in next season’s competition, meaning two of the so-called bigger sides will miss out and as a result potentially having a disadvantage in the pursuit of star players such as Aubameyang.
Should the player become available he will also be sure to attract interest from La Liga and Ligue 1, with Atletico Madrid set to be on the hunt for a replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who is widely expected to join Manchester United.
Real Madrid and Paris Saintt Germain will also be keeping a close eye on the situation at Dortmund.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena