Liverpool are reportedly close to agreeing a £26 million move for Gremio forward Luan.
Last month, in an exclusive for Anfield HQ, I reported that signing Luan would require a minimum fee of £30 million. Today, reports have emerged that Liverpool are edging closer to a €30 million move for the Brazilian – close enough.
The Mirror reports that: “sources suggest a deal is close to being agreed with the 24-year old’s club Gremio.” Luan rejected the opportunity to sign a new contract last month and that, with one year left on his current deal, Gremio has no choice but to negotiate a deal with European clubs.
If Lucas Leiva were to stay with Liverpool next season, that would take the Reds’ total of first-team Brazilians to four if Luan arrived in the reported £26 million deal.
According to The Mirror, Luan’s business advisor Jair Peixoto and agent Gianni Losito flew to London in April and discussed terms with representatives from Liverpool.
Liverpool are the frontrunners to sign Luan, with the Anfield club agreeing to meet his €30 million price tag (roughly £26m) and with Champions League football in the offing, a move for the Olympic gold medalist is highly likely.
It would come as no surprise that Jürgen Klopp is interested in him. Luan is a highly versatile attacker and would suit Liverpool’s fluid attacking play very well. Just like Coutinho, Firmino and Mané, he is adept at playing anywhere across the front three which would allow Klopp a level of freedom next season when it comes to selection.
Just yesterday, Klopp revealed that he is open to the possibility of fielding Philippe Coutinho as his number eight next season, opening up a spot on the left wing which Luan could occupy.
“Can we work on different things with Phil? Yes of course,” Klopp said.
“He plays at the moment kind of wing ‘10’ but he can also play as a No 8. That is possible and maybe he will have more influence and we can involve another player on the wing.
“That would make us stronger for sure, having his creativity in the middle of the park. He would have to adapt to that. He is young, full of talent and I’m pretty sure he thinks he is in the right place.”
Coutinho excelled as number eight during the 2013-14 season, where Liverpool almost won the Premier League. That being said, having the former Inter Milan midfielder there would require a quality defensive midfielder to protect the back four as Coutinho doesn’t offer much in the way of defence.
Many supporters have been hoping for Liverpool to sign a player like Alexandre Lacazette but I feel that Luan is far more realistic and – in tandem with Liverpool’s other attackers – will be able to take the Reds up a level.
Moreover, signing him for just £26 million is ideal when Lacazette would cost north of £40 million. There have been no definitive reports to indicate that Klopp would fork out that much for a striker this summer so I see Luan as being the likelier option.