Liverpool are to wrap up a deal to sign Cody Gakpo for a fee said to be in the region of £44 million, but could that only be the start of their January business?
Reports in Portugal continue to link the Reds with a move for Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez, and on Tuesday, several outlets claimed a January transfer was “increasingly possible.”
In recent days, it was reported that Benfica rejected a €100 million offer for Fernandez’s services from an unnamed club.
Man United have also been credited with an interest in the 21-year-old, while Real Madrid were thought to be Liverpool’s main rivals for his signature earlier this month.
And on Tuesday, O Jogo are reporting that Fernandez may well be on the move in the upcoming January window, with Liverpool and United having “advanced” with their attempts to sign him in recent days.
Record, via Sport Witness, say Benfica are waiting for a new offer for Fernandez to arrive, with their front page story on Tuesday claiming that agent Jorge Mendes is set to present them with a bid exceeding the €126m one that saw Joao Felix leave for Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Liverpool have worked with Mendes on a number of deals in recent years, most recently the one that saw Darwin Nunez join from the same club last summer.
Elsewhere, in Argentina, Gaston Edul of TyC Sports says Fernandez has arrived back in Portugal along with his agent, who is on guard in case a club pays his €120m release clause. Edul claims the current pecking order is Man United, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Enzo Fernández llegó a Portugal. Su representante viajó para estar cerca en caso de tener que negociar un contrato si un club decide pagar la cláusula de salida de Benfica -120 millones-. Ahí depende del club comprador.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid. En ese orden.
— Gastón Edul (@gastonedul) December 27, 2022
Fernandez has spent the last week celebrating Argentina’s World Cup victory back in his homeland, but is due to feature for his club against Braga on Friday.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Fernandez, via Ge.Globo.com.
“It’s up to my agent, I don’t want to get involved.
“I’m focused on Benfica, in a few days we have an important game. I have a flight at night to play in the game on Friday.”
There is, of course, the possibility that Liverpool’s name is solely being used to drum up interest in the player, and some will find it hard to believe that the Reds can afford to sign both Gakpo and Fernandez in the same window, especially if they have aspirations to sign Jude Bellingham next year.
Fernandez, though, is clearly a player Liverpool have tracked in recent years, and if a deal is do-able next month, then don’t be too surprised if the Reds are at the table.