After being linked to Porto’s rising star midfielder Ruben Neves throughout the autumn, links to the 19-year-old dried up when the January transfer window opened and it became clear that at the very least Liverpool weren’t going to make a move for Neves in the winter window.
Now they’re back, via Portugal’s Record, who claim Liverpool continued to track Neves throughout the spring and that Klopp is highly impressed by a player widely tipped to develop into one of the best holding midfielders in Europe. Earlier reports had Neves’ name put to Klopp as one of the favoured targets of Liverpool’s transfer committee.
For their part, Porto are reportedly not interested in selling just yet. There is a release clause in play, though, and at €40M it might not even be out of line with Neves’ true market value as one of Europe’s best teenagers. It comes out to around £31M converted to Pounds, and there’s a case that Neves right now is worth at least that much.
Certainly it would stand as better value than the €60M release clauses of player like Yacine Brahimi and Joao Mario, neither of whom is likely as good a player as Neves right now and neither of whom have anything like his upside, though as attacking midfielders, neither would fill a similar role or need at Liverpool.
Though the reality is that neither appear to actually be targets for Liverpool—instead, their linkages appear to be the work of A Bola testing the market for their clubs. As such, it’s tempting to think that Neves’ case is similar. The main difference is that for around £31M in the current transfer market, Neves’ buyout isn’t actually bad value.
There’s also the fact that Liverpool’s prior reported interest in Neves seemed fairly well sourced, making it clear that there has at least been real interest in bringing the budding superstar to Anfield in the recent past. Whether that interest remains, and whether the club might actually make a move for Neves now, is less certain.
Still, there’s at least a better case to be made for the validity of a new round of Neves to Liverpool rumours than there was with either Brahimi or Joao Mario, and £31M wouldn’t actually be unreasonable for a player of Neves’ talent and potential.