Liverpool ‘close to signing’ 26-year-old midfielder

Portuguese publication A Bola claim that Liverpool are close to signing midfielder Otavio from Porto.

The Reds are on the hunt for new central midfielder following the departure of Gini Wijnaldum, and a number of names have been linked with a move to Anfield.

Otavio’s name isn’t one that has been given any serious mention until now, but as evidenced by the signings of Fabinho and Diogo Jota it isn’t always common knowledge who the club will swoop for until the last minute.

If there is any truth to the claim it can be expected that the deal will be done very soon. The 26-year-old currently has a €40 million (£34.3m) release clause, but this increases to €60 million (£51.5m) on Thursday. It seems unlikely that Liverpool would be willing to pay the higher figure.

There is also the possibility of using Marko Grujic as a makeweight in the deal. Grujic spent last season on loan at Porto, and the club appear keen to make the move permanent.

Brazilian by birth, Otavio gained Portuguese citizenship earlier this year. An attack-minded midfielder, he can play on either flank or as a No. 10 in addition to his regular position in the centre of the park.

At only 5’8″ there could be question marks over the diminuitive player’s ability to assert himself physically, but there is certainly no doubting his skill with the ball at his feet. It’s difficult to tell how much truth there is to this transfer rumour, but for sure it won’t drag on. Expect him to either be signed or forgotten about within the next few days.

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