Liverpool have been tenuously linked with Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes in recent weeks, and today the 24-year-old has done his bit to fuel the summer transfer speculation by coming straight out and saying that his footballing dreams include a move to England and the Premier League.
“I always said that I was an ambitious player and from a very early age I have had a dream of playing in England, where you can live pure football,” the Portuguese international said this week. “I want to have a good pre-season but if anything comes up I’m available to do what is best for the club.”
It echoes a statement last month from Fernandes, who has a release clause of around €100M, where he said that after turning down a chance to move on last summer he now feels “prepared” for the demands of playing in a bigger league. At the time, he was being linked with Manchester United.
Since then, the United links to the player who scored 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 total appearances last season have largely faded, replaced first by Manchester City and with City now being joined by Liverpool. So far, though, almost all of the noise is coming from the Portuguese side of things.
Though he seems to have settled in as an attacking midfielder or support striker, over the years Fernandes has played at every position from central midfield to centre forward, and first broke through as a winger. It’s a template that isn’t that different to Nabil Fekir’s when he was linked last summer.
As to where that puts him in the Liverpool squad if signed is anyone’s guess—Jürgen Klopp has shown a fondness for moving wide players central, a progression Fernandes seems to have already made, but there’s also a real need to sign a player who can share time with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.
Meanwhile, the expectation is that while a few signings will be made this summer, fans should not expect a squad overhaul, and if it were to happen, bringing in a player of Fernandes’ substantial stature and cost would likely be the only major addition to Liverpool’s final third options.