22 Oct 2015

Mega-Deal? Klopp sends Liverpool Reps to watch record-breaking €40m playmaker. LFC in pole-position

Rumours linking Liverpool with a move for Porto starlet Ruben Neves have intensified this week, and new reports suggest that the Reds are now favourites to seal a deal.

Earlier this month, The Mirror claimed that Neves is one of Jurgen Klopp's 'first transfer targets', and according to The Independent today:

"Liverpool are leading the chase to sign Porto wonderkid Ruben Neves. LFC had sent scouts to watch the player [against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday]. The Reds are in pole-position to sign the player, who they have been scouting for some time"

Liverpool have been linked with Neves twice before:

OCT 2014: The The Mirror reported: "Liverpool have joined the chase for teenage midfielder Ruben Neves, [who] has been watched three times by the Reds this season"

JAN 2015: The Daily Express claimed that Liverpool were 'weighing up' a £29m bid for Neves.

Some info about Neves:

* Primarily a defensive midfielder. A profile on UEFA.com describes Neves as follows: "Passing precision, vision and astute positioning. Great maturity. Defensive midfielder [but] shows no fear in getting forward, leading attacks and trying to score".

* €40m release clause in his contract, confirmed by Porto in October: "Rúben Neves [has] renewed his contracts...with a release fee of 40 million euros".

* 3 goals/assists in 43 games for Porto.

* 46 apps for various Portugal youth teams.

* Aug 2014: Became Porto's youngest ever goalscorer. After scoring on his debut against Maritimo, Neves told reporters: "It was a dream debut. I'm going to keep this forever and I hope it will be the beginning of a very successful career."

* JUL 2014: Captained Portugal's U17s to the European Championship SF, and was selected as one of the 10 'Talents of the tournament'.

* OCT 2015: Captain Porto against Maccabi Tel Aviv to become the youngest captain in Champions League history.

* Team-mate Cristian Tello's view: "Neves is fantastic with the ball, has great positioning on the field, and is aggressive, with a good job. He plays very much like Sergio Busquets"

Liverpool have dozens of promising youngster at the academy, but very few quality defensive midfielders are on the verge of breaking through. The Reds could definitely benefit from grooming a long-term successor to Lucas Leiva, but €40m for a 18-year old?


That said, the ludicrous fee for Anthony Martial proves that Europe's top clubs are willing to pay through the nose for teenage talents, so anything is possible.

This type of deal doesn't seem to be Klopp's style, though, and there's nothing in his transfer history to suggest he'd splurge such a huge amount of money on a comparatively untested teenager.

Klopp's usual MO is to make superstars out of the club's youth players and/or sign players for pennies and turn them into world-beaters. Indeed, looking at his transfer history, Klopp signed Hummels, Gundogan, Lewandowski, and Kagawa for a combined total of €12m (!)

€12m. Just think about that in the context of the money wasted by Liverpool over the last five years. Actually, don't, as it may plunge you into a pit of inescapable despair.

Author: Jaimie K



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