Liverpool have been linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon attacking midfielder Pedro Goncalves ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
According to Portuguese newspaper Record (via the Daily Star), the Anfield outfit are interested in acquiring the 22-year-old’s services this summer as they aim to regain their Premier League crown.
A release clause of £52 million is thought to be included in Goncalves’ current contract, although Sporting are desperately trying to raise that fee by convincing the highly-rated youngster to put pen to paper on a new deal.
Liverpool endured a difficult 2020/21 campaign, falling from the summit of the Premier League table the previous season to a third-place finish, dropping 30 points in the process.
Injuries to their first-choice centre-back’s seriously hampered the progress of Jurgen Klopp’s charges, but a severe drop-off in form amongst the Reds’ attacking talents also caused major issues.
Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were far from their usual free-scoring selves, while the lack of quality options on the bench left Klopp with little room to manoeuvre.
The likes of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri have failed to produce the sort of displays required from players at a club like Liverpool for the last two campaigns now, and the duo have both been linked with a move away in recent weeks.
Who director of football Michael Edwards brings in to replace them could be a deciding factor in where the six-time European champions end up next season.
Having someone as talented as Goncalves to call upon when Liverpool are struggling to break teams down, or when one of the club’s famed front three needs a rest, would elevate Klopp’s squad closer to the level that Manchester City have been operating at for several years.
The youngster fired Sporting to their first Portuguese league title in 19 years in 2020/21, bagging 23 goals and providing four assists in 32 appearances.
His arrival could catapult Liverpool back into contention for major silverware, and therefore, Edwards must sanction an audacious swoop for the highly-rated creative talent this summer, he’d be a huge upgrade on Shaqiri.