With Liverpool taking on a Portuguese club in their Champions League quarter final at Anfield tonight, it’s perhaps not a surprise the Portuguese press are today talking up the possibility of a Portuguese player joining the Reds this summer.
Perhaps the only surprising thing is that it’s not a Porto player being linked. Instead, it’s Wolves’ 20-year-old left back Rúben Vinagre, who O Jogo say so impressed Jürgen Klopp earlier this season that he asked if the player wanted to join Liverpool.
Which, while amusing, probably doesn’t accurately reflect Liverpool’s approach to player recruitment under Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards. Still, Vinagre has promise and has shown it in 19 appearances for Wolves this season.
He’s also been second choice to the more veteran Spaniard Jonny, who arrived at Wolves last summer on loan and whose stay at the Molineux has since been made permanent, likely complicating Vinagre’s path to the starting job there.
It’s perhaps not entirely unreasonable, then, to think that he might be open to exchanging his current backup role for a more prestigious backup role—and in a similar vein, there has previously been talk in Portugal of Barcelona interest in Vinagre.
But then we come back to that one impressive performance against Liverpool and an offhand comment by Klopp to the player following the match, asking him if he wanted to come to Liverpool, probably doesn’t actually add up to a transfer.
It’s a fun story, and Liverpool could do a lot worse than bringing in Vinagre to develop while providing a depth option to Andy Robertson next season, but there doesn’t appear to be anything especially solid underpinning this rumour.