Reports that Liverpool made a whopping £80.4m bid in time for Federico Valverde’s bid come to light – while reports are mounting of another South American star on Julian Ward’s radar.
The Reds thought their summer spending was ended with a club record deal for Darwin Nunez, complementing the additions of Calvin Ramsey and Fabio Carvalho. However, a slew of midfield injuries have left Jurgen Klopp scrambling to sign a midfielder late in the window.
This is something they achieved with the arrest of Arthur Melo of Juventus on the deadline. The Brazilian has moved to Anfield on a deal until next summer, with Liverpool given the opportunity to make that transfer permanent.
The loaner has only featured once so far, coming off the bench in the 4-1 Champions League match against Napoli. Now a strange report claims Liverpool may be willing to cut ties with the player at the first available opportunity amid a sudden turnaround.
Truth be told, Arthur may have been Liverpool’s back-up option, with the Reds reportedly also keen on a deal for Dennis Zakaria, who opted to join Chelsea.
It was also reported that sporting director Julian Ward tried to sign Valverde Real Madrid On the day of the deadline too. The Uruguayan superstar is a style factor, and has been rated highly by Carlo Ancelotti. However, competition in the Los Blancos midfield means that it does not always guarantee a regular start.
As such, it is reported that Liverpool launched a £80.4m (€93m) deal for Valverde on deadline day.
but, 90min Reports that officials at both Real and Liverpool have denied making such an offer at all.
While there is no denying that Klopp is a huge fan of the 24-year-old, they are adamant there has been no contact between the Reds this summer.
Liverpool won’t sign Federico Valverde as more goals emerge
They claim that any contact made was likely to have been between middlemen working for both clubs.
However, no official contact has been made as Liverpool have instead diverted their attention elsewhere. Furthermore, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos nearing the end of their careers, Federico Valverde remains a big part of their plans.
In fact, the report claims that Ward has two more recommendations before the deadline. To this end, it appears that their scouts pushed Ward to move for Robin Neves and Konrad Laimer.
In the end, the Reds decided not to hold negotiations either too late in the window. Ward thinks Neves’ deal with Wolves would be too complicated late out the window. It was a similar story with RB Leipzig, who also made clear their intentions not to sell Laimer.
However, the Austria deal expires next summer and he may consider Liverpool before the January window.
A more modest target could emerge for Liverpool in the form of Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomez.
His looks are said to be attracting attention as Ward is reported to be well aware of his talents.
As such, the Brazilian side could be at risk of being sold if the Reds put in a big offer. Compared to Fabinho, Gomez has already played over 100 matches despite being only 21 years old.
Liverpool needs midfield reinforcements
There is no doubt that Liverpool need more midfield deals in the windows in the future. As such, this will likely be a major transportation hub for Ward in 2023 and beyond.
Jordan Henderson has shown signs of slowing down somewhat after struggling with hamstring injuries this season. James Milner is definitely in his final year at Anfield, despite his physique and stamina at 36.
Thiago Alcantara is also the wrong side of the 30 and has also shown himself to be injury prone throughout his time at Anfield.
Even more pressing is that both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita’s contracts will expire next summer. Neither of them are likely to sign renewals, and Liverpool may be looking to get rid of both in January before losing them in free times.
As such, midfield reinforcements are at the forefront of Liverpool’s transfer thinking. Fortunately, there are options available for Ward and Co. To that end, a report claims the Reds may look to swap Oxlade-Chamberlain for Douglas Luiz in January.