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Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Rumoured to Rival for Anderson Talisca

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 20, 2018

Anderson Souza Conceicao ( Talisca ) of Besiktas JK during the Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig match between Medipol Basakseshir FK and Besiktas AS at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly ready to go up against the likes of Manchester United, Besiktas and AS Monaco in their efforts to sign Benfica star Anderson Talisca.

Talisca is approaching the end of a two-year loan spell at Turkish giants Besiktas, who want to keep the attacking midfielder, but Portuguese newspaper O Jogo reported Liverpool are also in the hunt (h/t Emre Sarigul of Turkish-Football).

Sarigul referred to another recent report from O Jogo that said United manager Jose Mourinho had "reserved" Talisca, whom Besiktas have a buyout option to sign for a sum "in the region of €20 million" (£17.5 million).

That clause complicates the saga, and the club's president recently said Talisca "wants to stay" in Istanbul, despite signing a contract extension with parent club Benfica, per Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen:

Jan Hagen @PortuBall

Besiktas president Fikret Orman on Talisca, who recently renewed his deal with Benfica: "There's a €21m option to buy and we've until June 1st to activate it. Talisca wants to stay and we want to keep him." A Bola claim Man United will get involved, quoting a €40m fee. https://t.co/YEv2baWiB4

The Brazilian spent two seasons in Lisbon—where he impressed to a lesser extent—before moving to Turkey on temporary terms in 2016, and Talisca this month confirmed his intentions not to return to Portugal's capital:

Jan Hagen @PortuBall

Talisca on his renewal with Benfica: "Since my arrival[at Besiktas], I haven't wanted to go back to Benfica. I renewed[my contract] against my will." https://t.co/2284WoytyA

His record of 16 goals in 38 total appearances has caught the attention of several European heavyweights, and Mourinho's alleged admiration of the player is one particularly big threat to Liverpool's hopes.

The Merseysiders have a good record with South American attackers in recent years, with Luis Suarez thriving at Anfield before Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino took the spotlight.

Talisca, 24, was recently rewarded for his success in the Super Lig with his first call-up to the Brazil national team under manager Tite, and South American football writer Robbie Blakeley suggested he belongs in the Selecao:

Robbie Blakeley @rio_robbie

Very excited to see Talisca play in the yellow of Brazil

TalkSport cited the same A Bola article referred to by Hagen, where it's mentioned Talisca could court a €40 million (£35 million) fee, which could be seen as affordable if the position is deemed to be in need of an upgrade.

That's where the confusion lies, however. Many might argue the club has greater need to find Virgil van Dijk a similarly talented centre-back partner, as well as an additional midfielder to incoming Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, and possibly a goalkeeper.

Even in his capacity as humble loanee, Talisca was a driving force in Besiktas' run to the Super Lig title last season and has a knack for finding the winning touch, per OptaCan:

OptaCan @OptaCan

0 - Besiktas have not lost a game in which Talisca scored since the beginning of the 2016/17 season (22 goals in 17 matches; 14W 3D). Talisman. https://t.co/ILWy3Wbqom

There's also a question as to how Talisca—who operates similarly to a false nine, best behind the striker—fits into a Liverpool formation focused so heavily on front three Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane. Like Salah, Talisca also boasts fearsome dead-ball potential.

This summer looks likely to ignite a European scramble in a storyline that could take many turns, with Besiktas and United each staking big claims to acquire another emerging Brazilian maestro.

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