Having been linked with Liverpool in recent months, rumours of the club’s interest in FC Porto winger and Colombian international Luis Diaz has taken off in recent days, fuelled largely by reports out of the 24-year-old’s homeland.
If the rumours are to be believed, negotiations are already at an advanced stage and it’s only a matter of time before the pacy wide-man heads north to England for around £60M. There are, however, a few reasons for skepticism.
It needs to be noted off the top that the paper that pushed the transfer story into the mainstream in England was The Sun, which might normally be reason to discount it out of hand. However, their sourcing traces back to Colombia.
There, other football journalists have also been talking about the potential transfer in recent days. Still, it’s one reason at least for skepticism. As is today’s denial of interest—at least as a January target—from The Atheltic’s James Pearce.
Another reason for skepticism is that the player’s profile shows an attacker who isn’t at the same level as Sadio Mané or Diogo Jota when the Reds signed them—and is certainly well behind Mané and Jota’s current performance levels.
It’s worth noting that Diaz’ goal return looks significantly inflated, unsustainable in a similar way—albeit for different reasons—as Nicolas Pepe’s when he signed for big money with Arsenal after being heavily linked with the Reds.
None of which is to suggest a poor player. In fact, Diaz looks comparable to Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin, who at least seems statistically more appealing than a player like Adama Traore who exists as an end product void.
Still, for £60M one would expect more. It’s the kind of fee, after all, that would likely allow the Reds to secure Raphinha from Leeds United, a far more polished player with better numbers who also looks a better fit for how they play.
Players like Samuel Chukwueze, Christopher Nkunku, Jonathan David, or Moussa Diaby would likely cost less as well. All have better numbers than Diaz; all are better statistical fits, more like Mané or Jota when the Reds signed them.
Diaz is a massively exciting attacking player and, for the right price, could be a solid project for the Reds. But he would be a six- to 18-month project. And at £60M, it’s difficult to see Liverpool’s recruitment team making him the target.
Unless that number is a long way off, then, we’re fairly comfortable thinking that for all the chatter, there’s nothing to the Diaz to Liverpool rumours, at the very least as a potential January signing intended to challenge Sadio Mané.