According to reports from Portugal, Liverpool are interested in signing a player who was recruited by his current club to replace someone who now plays for one of their arch-rivals.
O Jogo have claimed that the Reds remain keen on a move for Pedro Goncalves, with Sporting Lisbon continuing to field enquiries for the 25-year-old even outside of the transfer window.
The midfielder/winger – who was snapped up by the Lions in 2020 to fill the void left by Bruno Fernandes’ exit to Manchester United – has a release clause of €80m (£67m) and recently extended his contract to 2027, with neither him nor his club willing to consider a departure any time soon.
Goncalves made headlines across the continent earlier this year when he scored from near the halfway line on the night that Sporting knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League in March, with UEFA‘s Technical Observer panel subsequently naming it the tournament’s goal of the season.
He had a brief spell in English football at Wolves in the late 2010s but only made one senior appearance at Molineux (Transfermarkt), although his stock has risen exponentially since his move to the Estadio Jose Alvalade three years ago.
At home on either flank or as a central midfielder, he has a fine tally of 59 goals and 34 assists in 133 appearances for the Lisbon club (Transfermarkt), with that hit rate and versatility sure to make him appeal to numerous managers.
His most prolific position has been on the right wing, with 34 goals in 55 games from that part of the pitch (Transfermarkt), so Liverpool may be looking at him as a candidate to replace Mo Salah in the long-term if the latter is enticed away next year, following Saudi Arabian efforts to snare him recently.
He won’t be easy to prise from Sporting following that contract extension and given his release clause, but the Portuguese club have a history of selling talents for high fees and churning out many more gems from their academy.
Don’t be surprised if the Anfield recruitment team hoist Goncalves to near the top of their ‘most wanted’ list between now and the January transfer window.