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Wilfred Ndidi could be the first Nigerian to receive Jurgen Klopp’s iconic hugs as Anfield move gets closer.

Wilfred Ndidi: Settled in well at Leicester

Leicester have reluctantly agreed to sell Liverpool Wilfried Ndidi for £54million, according to reports here in Nigeria.

It first emerged on Tuesday that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was looking at the Leicester enforcer as a possible capture for Liverpool, with former Nigerian international Etim Esin strongly tipping the player to move to Anfield this summer.

Now Nigeria’s New Telegraph claims Ndidi will sign for the Reds in a £54million deal that will see the player take Emre Can’s place in the heart of Liverpool’s midfield and form a new-look partnership with Naby Keita next season.

The paper claims Can has already agreed to sign for Juventus and his free transfer move will be announced once Liverpool’s Champions League hopes are over; the Reds face Porto on Wednesday night in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Liverpool’s interest in Ndidi certainly appears to make plenty of sense given the player has won more tackles than any other player in the Premier League this season, with Klopp reportedly seeing him as the perfect shield for the Reds’ defence.

Discussing the player’s possible move to Anfield, Esin said on Tuesday: “I can’t remember the last time we had a Nigerian in Liverpool apart from Victor Moses’ brief stint there.

“This is going to be a fantastic move for him and I think his transfer fee is likely going to go up because it could happen shortly after the World Cup.

“Ndidi has been doing well at Leicester; he is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the EPL now and should command that kind of transfer.

“I don’t think he will struggle at Liverpool, he is a player made for big club like that and with the role he plays, there is no way he will be sitting on the bench there.