Liverpool are showing an interest in Sporting Lisbon’s young left-back Nuno Mendes, with his club expecting over €50 million for the transfer.
According to Portuguese publication Record, as relayed by Sportwitness, Liverpool are tracking Nuno Mendes of Sporting Lisbon, with a view for a transfer this summer. However, a deal could be subject to both clubs agreeing on a €50 million-plus fee, which could be unrealistic, and Liverpool might not have the funds to conclude a transfer this summer.
Nuno Mendes has seen his stock rise in the last year or so. The 19-year-old has cemented his place in the Sporting Lisbon side this past season, making 35 appearances last season, adding to his tally from the season before. Naturally, his performances have led to transfer speculation, with some top clubs showing keen interest.
Liverpool are thought to be one of the major sides tracking him. The Reds could do a transfer deal keeping an eye on the future of the left-back position at the club. Andrew Robertson currently occupies that role at Liverpool, and there is no indication the club are moving on from him. On the contrary, Robertson is considered indispensable.
However, there is always the risk of injury or suspension on a bonafide starter. Liverpool themselves experienced a host of bad injuries last season, derailing their chances of retaining the Premier League crown. However, fortunately for them, Robertson was not among those injured, playing each of the 38 league games.
Kostas Tsimikas was signed last season as a backup to Robertson, but the former Olympiakos left-back has found game time difficult to come by due to the Scotsman’s superb form. There have been suggestions of a departure this summer from Anfield, as he seeks regular time on the pitch. A situation like this will make Liverpool sign a replacement.
Mendes’ form surely indicates a greatly talented player who can play at a big club. Although he may not be considered a sure starter initially, Mendes could be nurtured for a future role. Liverpool could be the ideal destination for his development, especially if he learns from someone like Robertson.
The sticking point could be his transfer fee. Mendes has a €70 million release clause, but it has dropped to almost €50 million since the last few weeks. Sporting want suitors to pay at least €50 million plus some bonuses. However, Liverpool could look to negotiate further to come to a more reasonable fee for Mendes.
With the market for left-back stagnant, as most top clubs have good players in the position. Sporting’s hand could be forced if they feel the time could be right to sell Mendes. Whether his next destination is Liverpool or some place else remains to be seen, but Mendes surely represents a great talent for the future at any of the big clubs.