Liverpool look set to agree a deal for Wolves’ Matheus Nunes in the region of €50 million (£44 million) for the summer.
This claim comes courtesy of The Telegraph with the outlet reporting that Pep Lijnders’ growing influence at the club has played a part in arranging the transfer.
“The club are prepared to return to their summer target Matheus Nunes, the Portugal international, formerly at Sporting Lisbon, and another Lijnders recommendation before he eventually joined Wolverhampton Wanderers,” Sam Wallace wrote for the publication. “Liverpool made a commitment to go back for the 24-year-old, an attacking midfielder, and as things stand a deal will be agreed at around €50 million (£44 million) for him to join in the summer.”
The Dutchman’s level of involvement in decision-making appears to have become a concern for fans online in light of the Reds’ difficulties on the pitch this term.
“As the recruitment picture has changed at Liverpool, so Lijnders’s influence on that side of the club has grown exponentially,” the journalist added.
“The technical director, Michael Edwards, signalled his impending departure in November 2021 and his successor, Julian Ward, is now working his notice having assumed the role only in July.
“Three of the four big signings that Liverpool have made in the past two seasons – Díaz, Darwin Núñez and now Gakpo – have been advocated by Lijnders.
“Which is not to say they have been bad acquisitions, just that a Dutch coach who spent his formative coaching years in Portugal has gravitated to players who have come of age in those country’s leagues.”
A growing consensus is that a lack of incomings boasting a high level of physicality – with technicality instead favoured – have been made, leaving a once high-octane midfield looking a shadow of its former self.
Such an assessment is hardly fair on Lijnders – Liverpool haven’t signed a senior midfielder since Thiago Alcantara back in 2020.
Fabio Carvalho, whose destiny reportedly lies in the middle of the park, has been utilised as both a left-sided forward and a central midfielder with varying levels of success.
The reality remains that we have failed to invest appropriately in the midfield, though it has to be remembered that attempts were made to bring in genuine quality last summer with an attempt made for former Monaco star Aurelien Tchouameni and further enquiries sent Borussia Dortmund’s way for Jude Bellingham.
What a different picture we might be dealing with had our recruitment team managed to pull off just one of those additions in 2022.