Liverpool face a tough battle to capture the signature of Romulo Borges after Barcelona entered the race for the Brazilian star.
As noted in the talkSPORT story, Barcelona are understood to be hopeful of signing Romulo even though they have been slapped with a ban on transfers for the next two windows. As explained by Sky Sports:
FIFA have barred Barca from buying and selling players in the next two transfer windows after they were deemed to have breached rules relating to the international transfers of non-Spanish minors.
However, the Catalans are convinced that an appeal against the ban will prove successful and are pressing ahead with plans to bring in quality players this summer, per the Daily Mail.
Romulo joined Spartak from Brazilian club Vasco da Gama in 2012. However, his time in Russia has been beset by fitness problems, per FTBPro.com. Romulo was hit by a severe knee injury last season and has struggled to nail down a first-team place since his recovery.
However, the Brazilian is certainly highly rated and has himself spoken of his interest in joining the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar at the Nou Camp. When asked about Barca's intererst in him, Borges told Sport (via talkSPORT):
They are only rumours, nobody has told me anything. But I am very happy to be linked with the club.
They are a very big team, and all players want to play there. Of course I would like to play at Barca – who would not like to?
But Liverpool could yet use the uncertainty surrounding Barca's transfer status to convince Romulo that Anfield is the place for him. The defensive midfielder could prove a viable long-term replacement for talisman Steven Gerrard, who at 33 years old cannot go on forever.
Gerrard has been in imperious form for Liverpool this season, scoring 13 goals in 28 Premier League appearances per WhoScored.com. The talisman will be almost impossible to replace in terms of the leadership he offers at the Merseyside club.
However, with Jordan Henderson growing in confidence at Anfield, Liverpool might already have a replacement captain in their ranks. That would leave Rodgers free to search for the best footballing replacement for Gerrard.
Romulo would fit that bill, providing steel in the centre of midfield to allow Liverpool’s dynamic front line to continue to flourish.
However, Jamie Sanderson of talkSPORT reported in January that Liverpool and Spartak are some way apart from agreeing on a fee for the Brazilian. With Barca entering the fray, manager Brendan Rodgers could yet fail to bring Romulo to Anfield.