Liverpool are reportedly in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, as manager Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his options in the anchor role.
That’s according to Italian outlet Tuttomercato, which states that the Reds have joined the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Roma, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco in tracking the talented 23-year-old—via Dan Gibbs of the Daily Express.
Carvalho has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal over the past few transfer windows, and he even told Portuguese newspaper A Bola in October that he has a soft spot for the Gunners—via Uche Amako of the Daily Express:
There is a club with which I've always empathised—Arsenal. Because of a player who I was very fond of, in this case I wear the number of him: Thierry Henry, a player with whom I always empathised, too.
However, Carvalho went on to add that his love for Arsenal and Henry has made him "look with more attention to the Premier League," which opens up the possibility of a switch to Anfield.
And he’s certainly a player Liverpool could do with. There’s a very good reason why Carvalho is being scouted so heavily, as he can prove unplayable at times.
The Portuguese star is very similar to former Chelsea star Michael Essien in his pomp: He’s a tough tackler, a willing runner and an absolute powerhouse on the ball. Here’s a reminder of why Carvalho is such a hot property:
His disciplinary record could do with some work, of course, but the fact remains that Carvalho would solidify any midfield line—and Liverpool’s desperately needs hardening up.
However, Sporting are understandably reluctant to sell one of their key assets, and Gibbs writes that the Portuguese giants are looking to tie the 23-year-old down to a new contract that will see his release clause rise to £46 million.
So, if Klopp wants to get Carvalho in red, he needs to act fast. Otherwise, he’ll be another player who slips through the German’s fingers.
Joaquin Ardaiz is just 16 years old yet has made the step up to the Danubio first team and attracted interest from the biggest clubs around the world—Barcelona and Manchester City are also tracking the youngster.
Liverpool need a near-flawless end to the 2015/16 campaign if they’re to make the Premier League’s top four, and as that seems unlikely, the biggest names are likely to shy away from a move to Anfield.
Champions League football remains a possibility if the Reds can win the Europa League, though, and their mission begins with a trip to Augsburg later this month.