Liverpool are trying to sign Porto winger Luis Diaz ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline, GOAL can confirm.
The Reds are ready to launch a surprise late bid for the Colombia international, who had until recently been expected to join Tottenham.
No fee has been agreed for the 25-year-old at this stage, although reports from Portugal claim that Liverpool are prepared to pay an initial fee of €45 million (£37.5m/$50m) with an extra €15m (£12.5m/$17m) in performance-related add-ons.
Why are Liverpool in for Diaz?
Liverpool were initially looking to strike a summer deal for Diaz, but have brought forward their interest after Spurs accelerated theirs.
Julian Ward, the soon-to-be sporting director, is leading negotiations, assisted by the outgoing Michael Edwards, and while there are still hurdles to overcome – Diaz is currently away with Colombia in Argentina, for example – the deal would be seen as something of a coup, should the Reds manage to complete it.
Diaz has twice played against the Reds this season in the Champions League for Porto, and though Liverpool won both games comfortably, it is understood that their scouts have been impressed by his progress.
He is viewed as a player who has proven himself sufficiently in a good league – and in European competition – but who, at 25, still has significant room for improvement and development. He has played predominantly on the left for Porto, but is able to occupy other forward positions if required.
His arrival would boost Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options significantly heading into the final months of the season, with Liverpool still fighting in four competitions. Diaz would join Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in competing for striking places, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has performed well there in recent weeks.
What about outgoings at Liverpool?
Diaz’s arrival, naturally, casts doubt on the future of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, both of whom could now be sold ahead of the deadline.
Minamino has attracted interest from Leeds and Monaco, among others, and Liverpool would be willing to sell if a suitable offer is received.
The same goes for Origi, who is on the list of a host of clubs, including Newcastle and Atalanta. The Belgian is currently recovering from a knee injury but should be back in training early in February, and would be out of contract in June as things stand.
Defender Nat Phillips is another who could depart, with Newcastle again linked, along with both Watford and Burnley, as well as clubs in Italy and Germany. Liverpool want £15m ($20m) for the 25-year-old.