13 May 2017

Deal Close: Liverpool favourites to sign 'amazing' €30m Brazil sensation; transfer talks held in April

Liverpool are reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign one of Brazil's most coveted attacking players.

In August, a report on Brazilian radio station Futebol da Gaucha claimed that Liverpool had submitted an 'official offer for Gremio star Luan Vieira, and according to The Mirror today:

"Sources suggest a deal is close to being agreed with Luan. Liverpool head the queue after agreeing to meet the €30m valuation. The player's reps flew to London in April [and] contact was made with Anfield representatives, and terms discussed.

Last month, Gremio vice-president Alberto Guerra confirmed that the Brazilian club is open to offers:

"Every good player is targeted, and if a proposal for Luan arrives, then we will analyse it.”

Some info about Luan, who is dubiously nicknamed the 'New Neymar':

* 23-year old striker, who can also play as false-9, or a right/left-winger. Contract expires: 2018.

* Gremio: 24 goals/15 assists (39) in 98 games for Gremio (One every 196 minutes)

* Scouting Report (Strengths): "Can dribble with the ball at a fast pace. Confuses defenders with split-second changes in direction. Pure magic in his feet. Happy to set up goals as well as score them"

* Aug 2016: 5 goals/assists for Brazil at the Rio Olympics.

* Feb 2015: Gremio's General Coordinator, Junior Chávare, raved: "Luan's potential is amazing, and he's only at about 55% of his ability".

* May 2015: Ex-Gremio manager Enderson Moreira's assessment: "Luan is a false-9. He spends half his time attacking/scoring, and half the time creating.

Given the fees paid for comparable players (Anthony Martial, for example), €30m seems like a comparatively reasonable price, but Luan's goals/assists record isn't exactly stellar. As a comparison, Neymar smashed in 105 goals/assists in 134 games in the Brazilian league before signing for Barca.

There's also the work permit issue to consider, though Luan's impact at the Olympics may make the application process easier.

The last player Liverpool signed from Gremio ended up staying at the club for 10 years (!) A good target for the Reds?


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