Get ready for the Liverpool rumo(u)r mill to hit overdrive. It looked like the majority of the Red’s business was done and dusted early in the transfer window with the addition of midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai. Surprise interest from clubs in Saudi Arabia for Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, however, have thrown the window into chaos yet again.
While the potential for a deal for club captain (for now) Jordan Henderson seems less likely at this point, it seems Fabinho is very much on his way out of the club. Liverpool’s temporary (also for now) sporting director Jörg Schmadtke is now left scrambling to find a player like Roméo Lavia to not just provide cover for Fabinho before becoming a long term replacement, but instead someone who can come in and do a job immediately.
Journalist Melissa Reddy provided a list of names that the Reds are assessing as the successor of Fabinho, including the aforementioned Lavia as well as Sofyan Amrabat, Ryan Gravenberch, and Kalvin Phillips. A series of reports, all linking back to journalist Neil Jones, has added Benfica’s Florentino Luís as a name to watch.
The inclusion of the Portuguese midfielder should come as little surprise. The Reds were said to be monitoring Luís this past winter, again with attribution to Neil Jones.
Luís would certainly be a stylistic fit for what Liverpool look for in their holding midfielder. An assessment by Ben McAleer of Whoscored.com shows that the Benfica man provides plenty of ball winning capability in the middle of the pitch, but is also very competent at jump starting quick counter attacks after gaining possession.
Luís is said to have £103m release clause, which may seem cost prohibitive even with Fabinho bringing in a reported £40million transfer fee. Liverpool, however, have had good dealings with Primeira Liga clubs in recent years, having signed Darwin Núñez from Benfica and Luis Diaz from Porto in the past two seasons.