If there’s one name that has been in the transfer spotlight more than most players this summer it’s Bruno Fernandes.
The Sporting Lisbon star had an incredible season as the Portuguese international raked 20 goals and 13 assists in 33 Liga NOS matches, and in doing so the 24-year-old midfielder has attracted plenty of interest from across the continent, namely Liverpool.
The Reds have been linked with a move for Fernandes for some time, and according to a report published last week by Correio da Manha (via Metro), the Champions League holders have been the first side to bid for the Sporting talisman, with a €45 million (£40 million) offer on the table according to the Portuguese outlet.
And according to Italian journalist Pietro Balzano Prota, Man United were close to sealing a deal but Liverpool have since interfered in negotiations.
The Reds have garnered plenty of success after spending heavily in the transfer market over the past two years, but here are two key reasons why Jurgen Klopp’s side would be wise to avoid a big-money move for Fernandes…
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Naby Keita’s first season in England didn’t go to plan as many had expected, but that doesn’t mean the former RB Leipzig star should be disregarded just yet.
The Guinea international only registered two goals and one assist in the Premier League, a poor return considering he managed six goals and five assists in the Bundesliga during the season which preceded his move to Anfield.
Fernandes’ arrival would give Keita extra competition before he has been given a fair chance to prove himself in a star-studded midfield.
Landing the Portuguese sensation could force him to consider a fresh challenge away from the club due to a lack of first-team opportunities, and it would be an unsatisfying way to say goodbye to a player who club legend Bruce Grobbelaar once claimed was the successor to Steven Gerrard, per The Mirror.
It’s not just Keita who could suffer if Fernandes joins.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player that many fans will surely be looking forward to seeing in action next season after nearly a full year on the sideline with injury, but his impact could be stifled by a further injection of midfield quality.
Prior to his injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain showed signs of reaching the potential many saw in him during his formative years, scoring three and assisting seven in the Premier League, and with a full pre-season with Liverpool under his belt the former Arsenal man could re-establish himself as a key figure next season – unless, of course, Fernandes spoils the party.
Klopp would be wise to consolidate the quality he has in central midfield rather than seek to strengthen with yet more signings.