Liverpool may replicate the Sadio Mané succession strategy by sending scouts to Benfica.
One thing is Jürgen Klopp’s top objective for the upcoming summer transfer market. Above all things, the German manager has to improve Liverpool’s midfield by replacing players who have been there for most of his term with new faces.
The Reds are interested in Jude Bellingham, and several other players have also been mentioned, but in addition to mending his engine room, Klopp also has a hole that is going unfilled that has to be filled. As his contract expires after the next season, Joel Matip appears poised to depart Anfield.
Liverpool will thus likely need to look at center-back possibilities shortly, which might account for reports that scouts have just been dispatched to Portugal. The Reds had representatives present to observe António Silva and Florentino Luis of Benfica upset Famalicao last week, according to 90min.
The former is a center-back who is expected to do great things as he continues to develop as a young p.r.o.s.p.e.c.t with very high potential, whilst the latter is a midfielder.
Silva is a contemporary defender who is 1.87m tall, making him the same height as Jordan Henderson at just 19 years old. While in control of the ball, he plays with apparent comfort and poise and exhibits a wide passing range when required to make more direct deliveries up the field.
Although it’s unclear whether the Portuguese international has the necessary speed to occupy Klopp’s high defensive line and daring offside trap, he has plenty of time to keep improving. Although his u.n.e.x.p.e.c.t.e.d rise to stardom as an attractive young actress, he is still far from being the full product.
As Jan Vertonghen left for Anderlecht in the summer, Silva has taken Vertonghen’s place as a starter for Benfica this season. When the Uruguayan striker excelled at the Estadio do Luz the previous season, Darwin Nez was signed by Liverpool from Benfica during the same transfer window.
Enzo Fernández is maybe another example of how the Portuguese juggernauts find jewels in the transfer market. Three Portuguese news outlets said that he was expected to move to Anfield throughout the winter, but Chelsea was able to buy him in the last hours of the transfer window for an outrageous sum.
Silva might very well end up on Merseyside shortly given that Liverpool is aware of Nez and Fernández, which implies they are well aware of Silva and his potential. Julian Ward also has connections to Portugal as he formerly worked for their football association.
While Ward will inevitably step down from his position as Liverpool’s sports director this summer, he may resolve Liverpool’s center-back quandary as a parting present. In the same way that Nez was expected to replace Sadio Mané, Silva may eventually regard Matip to be Matip’s replacement.
Jude Bellingham, a midfielder for Borussia Dortmund, will be the subject of a historic contract dispute this summer, with Liverpool at the core of it.
In their pursuit of the Englishman, the Reds are poised to face competition from Manchester City, Real Madrid, and perhaps even Manchester United (via The Athletic).
He has a chance to surpass Ronald Koeman as the most expensive player in Premier League history and the third-most expensive player overall in football history because Dortmund is asking for almost $159 million (£134 million/€150 million).
Even if there are signs that Liverpool may find it difficult to fund that sort of transaction, particularly without access to the Champions League, the club appears to be exploring making another high-profile acquisition.
Fabrizio Romano claims that the organization ‘explored’ the ‘conditions’ of a January transfer for RB Leipzig defender Joko Gvardiol.
It is one of the teams in an “open competition” to recruit the Croatian, with Chelsea still interested in signing him despite missing out last summer and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola being mentioned as a “huge fan” of the player.