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Liverpool are said to be closing in on the signing of Gremio forward Luan in a £26 million transfer.
According to David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been keeping tabs on the 24-year-old for the past year. It’s suggested the striker turned down a new deal with his current club last month and is now set to depart, with just one year left to run.
“The player’s representatives, including his business advisor Jair Peixoto and agent Gianni Losito, flew to London in April,” added McDonnell. “It is understood contact was made with Anfield representatives, and terms discussed.”
Now, the Merseyside giants are said to be “at the head of the queue” to sign the player having made it clear they are ready to match the £26 million valuation.
Luan would be an exciting acquisition for the Reds, as he’s impressed with Gremio and during last summer’s Olympics for Brazil. Here’s what he can offer:
Stylistically, he seems like an ideal fit for Klopp’s setup. The German coach’s side have been at their best this season when deploying a fluid attacking three, with Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane interchanging to great effect.
Luan is the type of footballer who could come in for any of that trio. The Gremio man is versatile, inventive on the ball and technically superb. As sports journalist Rupert Fryer noted last summer, the forward was the Selecao’s star man on their way to Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro:
Rupert Fryer @Rupert_Fryer
Surprised by decision to call Taison over Luan, who was arguably Brazil’s best player at the Olympics.
8/22/2016, 3:25:55 PM
There is undoubtedly talent to harness in Luan, and he’d give Liverpool more variety in attack. The team’s downfall this term has been when one of those attacking stars have been unable to take their place in the Reds forward line.
Moving to the Premier League would be a big culture shock for the Brazilian, where huge physical demands are placed on footballers. However, the signs are he boasts the natural flair to make a big impression wherever he decides to ply his trade.
Ryan Bertrand Linked
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According to Peter O’Rourke of ESPN FC, Liverpool and Manchester City are both eyeing a move for Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand.
It’s noted in the piece the Reds are on the hunt for a new left-back having utilised James Milner in the position for much of the campaign. Klopp doesn’t appear to have faith in Alberto Moreno either.
“Betrand impressed against Liverpool this season as he helped Southampton keep four clean sheets against them, and they are monitoring his situation,” O’Rourke added. It’s also noted City want to snap up the 27-year-old, with Gael Clichy set to leave the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
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Bertrand joined Southampton on a permanent deal from Chelsea in 2015 and has blossomed into one of the most dependable full-backs in the Premier League.
Milner has done a decent job for the Reds in the role, although Jack Lusby of This Is Anfield suggested it may be time for him to come out of the team:
A player like Bertrand would make a big difference for the Reds. His energy and tenacity make him an ideal option for Klopp, while being naturally left sided would give Liverpool crucial width on the left side. It’s not something they’ve had much of with Milner and Coutinho on that flank this term.
City would be an attractive proposition for the player, too, especially given he’d likely play every week under Pep Guardiola. Additionally, Saints will not be keen to part ways with a footballer who has made a massive difference on the south coast.