Brighton have received a major blow following reports that Liverpool have entered the race for Japanese forward Keito Nakamura.

The 22-year-old, who plays for LASK in the Austrian Bundesliga, has caught the eye of several top clubs across Europe, with Brighton thought to be frontrunners for his signature.

However, journalist Mike McGrath believes Liverpool will rival the Seagulls.

Brighton have a proven track record of identifying and signing talented young players in the transfer market and they spy Nakamura as a potential ‘star in the making’, according to Football Insider.

Brighton are reportedly keen on signing the winger as a replacement for the newly departed Leandro Trossard.

He would join fellow countryman Kaoru Mitoma on the south coast after he signed from Kawasaki Frontale in 2021.

Nakamura had a breakthrough season in the 2021/22 campaign which saw him score 12 goals and grab two assists – including three goals in Europa Conference League competition.

It was previously reported that Nakamura, who is under contract until 2025, could be available for as a little as £3million.

But now, they must fend off competition from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Liverpool rival Brighton for Nakamura

The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath has claimed that both Liverpool and Brighton have sent scouts to Austria to watch Nakamura this season.

He tweeted: “LASK forward Keito Nakamura subject of approaches from FC Augsburg and Reims but the Japanese player is set to stay with Austrian Bundesliga club for season.

“Liverpool & Brighton have sent scouts to watch him his season (8 goals+3 assists/15 apps) & will monitor him.”

Whilst Liverpool continue to bolster their attack, Klopp is lacking options in midfield and defence following a plague of injuries which has hindered their progress this season.

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