Liverpool keen on £30m midfield ace

Nemanja MaticLiverpool are planning a £30m move for Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic, according to reports from A Bola.

The Reds are believed to be looking into the possibility of signing a long-term successor to Lucas Leiva, and see the rugged Serbian as the ideal man to provide a defensive shield in the centre of the pitch.

The ex-Chelsea man has blossomed since leaving Stamford Bridge as a part of the deal which saw David Luiz head in the opposite direction, quickly establishing himself as one of Europe’s top emerging talents.

The Blues have been linked with a move to re-sign their former youth star, but now Liverpool are set to enter the race.

The Merseyside outfit are believed to be willing to spend up to £30m on the Eastern European ace, but such a sum still falls short of Benfica’s valuation.

However, they could be forced to sell if Matic pursues a switch, which he may be tempted to do with the lure of Premier League football potentially too great to turn down.

Brendan Rodgers spent in the region of £50m over the summer, but is believed to have further funds available with the club’s board keen to back the Northern Irishman in a bid to maintain the side’s excellent start to the season.

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