Liverpool Reportedly Prepare to Meet Gelson Martins' £53.5M Release Clause

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2017

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 22: Sporting CP forward Gelson Martins from Portugal with Olympiakos Piraeus midfielder Alaixys Romao from Tongo in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Sporting Clube de Portugal and Olympiakos Piraeus at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 22, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly prepared to meet the £53.5 million release clause of Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins.

According to Portuguese outlet A Bola (h/t the Mirror), Liverpool are readying a bid for Martins.

The Mirror added there has been speculation linking Reds star Mohamed Salah with a sensational move to Real Madrid.

Following the Egyptian's arrival there has been little scope for anyone else to nail down a starting berth out wide for Liverpool, but if he or Sadio Mane were to leave, a replacement would be needed.

Otherwise, the Reds would be paying £53.5 million for an impact player off the bench, though Premier League leaders Manchester City have shown the effectiveness of accruing an unprecedented level of depth in attacking areas having fired themselves eight points clear at the top of the Premier League already.

Martins could therefore be a strong addition at Anfield, even if he wouldn't be part of the Reds' first-choice XI.

The winger had a superb campaign last season, per Squawka Football and WhoScored.com:

Like Salah and Mane, Martins uses his searing pace to great effect when bearing down on defenders, who he can then beat with his outstanding technique.

As his numbers last season demonstrated, he's incisive in the final third, too. This year, he has six goals and as many assists to his name in all competitions.

He grabbed one apiece against Steaua Bucharest in UEFA Champions League qualifying in the summer, earning the admiration of Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen:

The 22-year-old is an exciting prospect who is still honing his game, and he will likely benefit from remaining with Sporting at least until the end of the season, as the club gives him a platform to do just that.

Further depth can be an asset for Liverpool as they look to close the gap on City—not just this season but in the years to come—though the money involved is a lot for a player who isn't desperately needed.

For the time being, it would be better spent elsewhere, particularly given their defence is the weakest area of the team.

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