It must be great to be a football journalist in Portugal right now. The World Cup is in full swing, providing multiple games to talk and write about every day. And what’s more, Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo (you may have heard of him before) scored a hat trick in the country’s opener against neighbors and rivals Spain. Why, that gives you so much to write about that pointless transfer speculation shouldn’t be necessary at all!
Portuguese newspaper A Bola (as reported by The Mirror) have claimed that Liverpool are interested in the services of Porto’s twenty five year old left back Alex Telles, and may be willing to pay up to his £35m release clause this summer.
Alex Telles is certainly a gifted player. An attacking left back being able to notch 13 assists in one league season is a very impressive feat, even if it is in Portugal. He has a lot of pace which he combines with excellent crossing ability, and is even able to take a decent set piece. Having said all this, most would agree that Andy Robertson performed brilliantly for Liverpool in this season just gone by. And while there is a case for an upgrade on Alberto Moreno, it’s not clear why the club would want to spend £35m on someone who would likely be a back up option.
A Bola is hardly the most reputable source around. Having said this, the French outlet Le Parisien have also made claims on the transfer, which may suggest there is at least something there. In recent times (primarily since the Van Dijk apology of last summer) Liverpool have generally kept a tight lid on imminent transfer dealings (see: Fabinho), so it is possible that some information is now more likely to be leaked on the side of the player than the club. While Liverpool didn’t land Nabil Fekir, the French media broke the story long before anyone in England had a sniff of it.
Nonetheless, if this isn’t just completely made up, it’s probably coming from Telles’ agent trying to push his value up. If it’s real, we’ll surely hear more in the coming weeks and wonder why on Earth we’re spending so much on a backup to Andy Robertson. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.