Liverpool have joined the race to sign Sporting CP midfielder Matheus Nunes this summer, according to Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness).
The lowdown: Queuing up
Already a top target for Wolves and Chelsea, Nunes remains a subject of interest for a host of clubs having previously been linked to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the window.
Born in Brazil, the 23-year-old Portugal international has made 107 senior career outings to date, directly contributing to 15 goals and lifting four major trophies in his adopted homeland in the process.
Despite still having four years remaining on a deal in Lisbon (Transfermarkt), a first move away from Portugal could be on the cards and a fresh report has suggested Merseyside could be on the agenda…
The latest: ‘More recently’
Following an initial claim from Calciomercato regarding admiration from Anfield, Stamford Bridge and the Etihad, as per Jornal de Noticias (via SW), the interest has now been reiterated.
It’s claimed that ‘more recently’ Liverpool have entered the mix to hijack their rivals’ moves for the eight-cap playmaker, although no bids have been put forward at this time.
The report states Nunes is attracting ‘most attention from Premier League sides’, but, Sporting will only discuss offers in excess of €40million (£33.7million) for the youngster hailed as ‘one of the best players in the world today’ by Pep Guardiola back in February.
The verdict: Complete the set
The numbers certainly back Guardiola’s admiration for the player – Nunes ranks in the 99th percentile for assists among positional peers in Europe’s top leagues, also hitting the 99th for dribbles completed, showing a supremely gifted technician with great vision (FBRef).
And although the Reds are well stocked in the midfield department heading into the 2022/23 campaign, there remains room for one natural addition to the ranks given the previously notorious injury issues suffered by Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago.
While the youthful trio of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Tyler Morton have all proven their worth in various situations, relying on any of them for a prolonged period of the season could prove problematic, particularly at the business end of competitions.
At present, Fabinho is seemingly regarded as irreplaceable in the defensive midfield role, not a position that comes naturally to Nunes, so the Portuguese ace could primarily occupy the right side of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield trio and still fill other gaps when required, given his versatility nor an eight, ten or right-sided midfielder.
Albeit there remain reports linking Liverpool with a mega-money move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham next summer, Julian Ward and indeed Klopp would be wise to remain attentive to the prospect of adding any astute piece of business to the squad in this window, a category Nunes definitely comes under at the mooted asking price.