Liverpool could raid Portuguese football as they chase the signings of Ricardo Pereira of Porto and Sporting CP midfielder William Carvalho.
Paul Brown of the Daily Star reported Jurgen Klopp will battle Inter Milan for Pereira’s services, with the defender carrying a £22 million price tag. The 23-year-old is currently on loan at Nice in Ligue 1, and the Reds have consistently scouted the player’s talents in France.
Brown added young Liverpool right-back Joe Gomez could leave on loan to gain first-team experience, opening up a space in the squad for a major capture. Nathaniel Clyne is recognised as Klopp’s first choice at right-back, but Pereira would add quality and competition on both flanks.
Alberto Moreno has struggled to adapt to the rigours of life in the Premier League, forcing Klopp to review his options after the continued failure of his back four.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola (h/t talkSPORT) reported Klopp will also battle Manchester City for the signing of £35m-rated midfield powerhouse Carvalho, with Sporting ready to “offload” the talented player. The club wish to revamp their squad in the summer and will use Carvalho to raise money to reinvest in their first team.
According to A Bola, the 24-year-old has a lengthy deal running until 2020, and Sporting have opted to cash in after years of interest in the Portugal international who won UEFA Euro 2016.
However, James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo (h/t the Daily Star) recently said Carvalho is not on Klopp’s shopping list as he hunts for additions to his squad. When asked in a question-and-answer forum if the player is on his way to Anfield, Pearce stated: “He’s not a transfer target for LFC.”
Both Pereira and Carvalho need bigger stages to display their talents now, and Anfield would be a suitable venue for them to ply their trade:
Here is Pereira in action:
David Woods for the Daily Star reported Pereira was a target for Arsenal during the recent January transfer window, and the club were considering a £20 million bid for the full-back.
The versatile wide player has appeared in 16 Ligue 1 games this season, according to WhoScored.com, scoring once and providing three assists.
Liverpool certainly need to re-evaluate their defensive options in the summer, and Klopp made a huge mistake by not sufficiently strengthening his spine in the past six months.
The German began the season with a beautifully balanced attack, but the defensive qualities of his squad were in question long before the advent of the current campaign.