When Sky Sports report a transfer story, fans should probably listen, but this one seems a little strange to us…
They’re claiming that Liverpool are STILL interested in signing Sporting Lisbon’s attacking midfielder Joao Mario, who shot to prominence at this summer’s Euros with champions Portugal.
The 23-year-old can play on either flank in a 4-3-3, or centrally, too.
Here’s what they wrote on their transfer centre, last night:
“The agent of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario has confirmed that Liverpool lodged a bid for the Portugal international last week. Jurgen Klopp is still interested in signing the player, according to Sky sources, but it will take an increased bid of at least £35m to lure the playmaker to Anfield.”
They’re not actually right in their claims about the agent, with the quotes actually coming from Mario’s father and not Kia Joorabchian.
“Proposals for the lad don’t come directly to me. They go to his agent, Kia Joorabchian. I was informed, however, that the club said no to €35m (£29m) plus €10m (£8.3m) in bonuses from Inter and to €40m (£33m) from Liverpool,” Mario’s father told Diario de Noticias, reported in the Daily Mail.
And we’re not sure they’re right we’re ‘still interested’ either… Liverpool captured Gini Wijnaldum for £25m last week, and the Dutchman fulfils the exact role we’d sign Mario for – the versatile, hardworking attacking midfielder.
What’s more, we already have Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Sheyi Ojo, Lazar Markovic and Ovie Ejaria – potentially battling for two or three positions. Why would we spend £35m on another attacking midfielder instead of focussing on the left-back spot?
Lastly, Jurgen Klopp said just yesterday that he predicts our summer in the transfer market is probably over, via ESPN.
He indicated that we’ll only bring in replacements for squad players who leave, and a blockbuster deal for Mario doesn’t really fit in with this ethos.
In short, this doesn’t make any sense to us, and we’d predict Sky Sports have their wires crossed.