Liverpool have made initial contact regarding a summer move for Sporting Lisbon talisman Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves, according to reports.
This comes from Portuguese outlet Record. They say that Liverpool made contact with Sporting to sign the versatile midfielder in the January transfer window, and are set to return again this summer.
Liverpool make initial approach for Pote
The 22-year-old directly replaced Bruno Fernandes as the club’s creative hub in terms of goals and assists in the Primeira Liga last year.
In 15 Portuguese top-flight appearances, Pote has clocked up a whopping 14 goals and two assists this term.
The five-time Portugal international joined Sporting in the summer of 2020 following a year at top-flight side Famalicao.
Goncalves also endured a two-year stint with Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves from 2017 to 2019. During a short-lived spell at Molineux, he managed just one senior appearances for the Black Country outfit.
However, fast forward a couple years, and Goncalves is among the best-rated players in his home country. In fact, 2020/21 is shaping up to be Sporting’s most successful season of the modern era.
Having already won the Taca da Liga trophy, Rúben Amorim’s impressive side are currently on course for a first league title in just under two decades, with the team currently five points clear of reigning champions Porto, despite having played a game less.
How much will he cost?
According to Record, Liverpool would have to be prepared to spend handsomely to land Goncalves given he has a £53 million release clause in place at Sporting.
He currently wears the No.23 shirt at the José Alvalade Stadium – the same number worn by Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Old Trafford in 2003.
Wolves midfielder Jaoo Moutinho, now of Wolverhampton Wanderers, also wore the famous shirt number for many years before his departure to Porto in 2010.
At 22, Goncalves could be seen as a like-for-like replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, whose Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season.
Jamie Carragher recently identified Wijnaldum’s soon-to-be vacated position as an area Liverpool need to heavily invest in during the upcoming summer window.
“Liverpool need three players. A centre back, someone to replace Wijnaldum and someone to come in for the front three”, Carragher said, per Sky Sports.