Offer being readied: Liverpool could be about to move for ‘quality’ prospect who’s wowed Jota

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According to reports from Portugal, Liverpool could be set to make their move for one of the hottest young prospects in Europe.

Wednesday’s print version of Correio da Manha reported (via Paisley Gates) that the Reds are about to ‘intensify’ their pursuit of Joao Neves, who’s been ‘defined’ as a priority target at Anfield for the summer transfer window, which commences on Friday.

LFC are reportedly expected to submit an offer to Benfica for the 19-year-old in the coming days, in the knowledge that the Lisbon club will only sell the teenage holding midfielder if his release clause of €120m (£101m) is met.

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If Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes are as convinced about Neves’ talent as Diogo Jota is, then Liverpool might just table the nine-figure offer which’d be required to persuade Benfica to sell. In recent days, the Reds attacker said that his Portugal teammate ‘has the quality and the mindset to go really far’ in his career.

The teenager bolstered his reputation with a fine performance for his country on Tuesday night as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland. As per Sofascore, he completed 94% of his passes, delivered four accurate long balls, won three duels and drew three fouls.

The 19-year-old has numerous strings to his bow, as evidenced by figures from FBref. Over the past 12 months, he’s ranked among the top 2% of positional peers in Europe for passes per game, the top 5% for blocks and successful dribbles per match, and the top 8% for pass completion.

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Comfortable in possession, confident in taking on opponents and diligent enough to put in the work off the ball, Neves already appears to have so many qualities to his game, hence why Benfica are demanding more than £100m for him.

It’s not the kind of fee that Liverpool usually throw around, but having reportedly agreed a £111m fee with Brighton for Moises Caicedo last year before Chelsea hijacked the move, the Anfield hierarchy aren’t afraid to dig deep when they identify the perfect target.

If LFC were to go big on the Portuguese midfielder this summer, it couldmake for a hugely exciting first transfer window for sporting director Hughes and new head coach Arne Slot.

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