13 Oct 2015

January Mega-Deal? Klopp sends Liverpool Reps to watch €40m record-breaker who's 'like Busquets'

After the appointment of Jurgen Klopp, it's (predictably) open season on transfer rumours, and the latest player to be linked with a January move to Anfield is Porto starlet Ruben Neves.

According to The Mirror:

"[Ruben Neves] is one of his [Klopp's] first Anfield targets. The new Liverpool manager sent scouts to watch Neves play for his country’s Under-21 side against Hungary on Friday night".

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' playing style as follows: "Passing precision, vision and astute positioning. Great maturity for his age. 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 42 games for Porto.

* 46 apps for various Portugal youth teams.

* Youngest goalscorer in Porto's history. 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'.

* 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.

Porto are superb finding, developing, and selling-on young talents for massive profits, and it's just a matter of time before they hit the jackpot once again.

Author: Jaimie K


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