Liverpool have completed a £45 million deal for Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Diogo Jota, reports Paul Joyce of The Times.
The 23-year-old Portugal international has put pen-to-paper of a five-year deal at Anfield reported to be worth £41 million which could rise to £45 million dependent on add-ons.
Dutch teenager Ki-Jana Hoever is heading in the opposite direction after sporting director Michael Edwards was able to sanction a £13.5 million deal – £9 million up-front and £4.5 in add-ons.
Liverpool’s recruitment staff have followed Jota’s progress closely over the past two seasons which saw him clock up 85 appearances under Nuno Espirito Santos – he scored 26 goals during two seasons at Molineux.
Klopp and Edwards have kept in close contact with his agency Gestifute, who are also a representative of Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.
A deal for Jota is claimed to have not been possible without the integral influence of Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders.
The former Porto youth coach was able to extensively utilise his contacts in Portugal to gather background information on Jota regarding the player’s character and coaching ability.
Wolves’ willingness to be flexible on payment terms was crucial. The Midland’s outfit have accepted less than 10 per cent of the guaranteed figure in the next 12 months. The vast majority of that is offset by the initial payment from Wolves regarding the deal for Reds defender Hoever.
What RTK has to say
Edwards has done it again.
Out of nowhere, Liverpool have swiftly shifted their attention from Watford forward Ismaila Sarr after the club deemed an asking-price of £40 million – which could rise with add-ons – too expensive.
The big attraction for Liverpool is Jota’s flexibility and ability to play across the front line. Klopp needed another elite attacker to alternate between Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Liverpool’s recruitment staff have followed Jota’s progress over the previous two seasons and the club have deemed the forward as a really good fit in terms of his determination, eye for goal, work rate and tactical intelligence on and off the ball.
Lijnders as well must take huge credit with Liverpool assistant manager digging deep to find out important aspects of the player’s mentality and temperament which convinced Klopp that Jota was the one to go for.
For Liverpool supporters, there has been a concern that the club’s front-three takes a significant drop-off in the absence of any of Salah, Mane and Firmino.
Liverpool signing Jota, a 23-year-old who has proven at the top level, ticks all the boxes for the club and given his age, it is scary to imagine how much better he can get under the guidance of Klopp.
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