Liverpool want Nuno Mendes, according to reports. They may need to sacrifice a player to get that one done, however.
O Jogo claim that Liverpool want Nuno Mendes. Even better, the 18-year-old is up for grabs.
Sporting believe they should sell someone in order to cover financial losses this season. Mendes is that player – they’ll hope to secure a hefty sum for him.
Liverpool, who have wanted him for a while, are still interested.
Why wouldn’t they be? He’s an 18-year-old who’s busy winning the title in his first full season. They wanted Mendes before he’s achieved anything – they’ll certainly want him now.
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We don’t know the price-tag, though. His release clause is allegedly £66m but Sporting will clearly go below that – they wouldn’t bother ‘putting him up for sale’, otherwise.
But Liverpool have something else to consider – Kostas Tsimikas.
It makes no sense to buy a new left-back when you already have two. Andy Robertson is going to be first-choice for a while, though.
That leaves Tsimikas, who would surely need to leave. He only joined last summer but we’ve barely seen him. The Greek has just 135 serious minutes this season, with five in the Premier League.
We recently wrote that Tsimikas is unlikely to get a proper chance this season, either. This campaign will almost certainly end before we can judge him properly.
So with that in mind, we think Tsimikas is an easy sacrifice to make, should Liverpool want Mendes.
Tsimikas will turn 25 in May – he’s entering his prime. But he’s not up to speed with Liverpool and may not even be good enough. We really don’t know.
Mendes, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to the backup role. He’s young enough that you can be patient with his chances and development.
But this year of experience – let alone a title win – means Mendes is capable of stepping into the first-team when necessary. And if all goes well, you get an elite left-back to succeed Robertson.
With Tsimikas, the best we’re hoping for is backup level, really. He’s only two years younger than Robertson and will never be his replacement.
Mendes might be, though. And Tsimikas would be a small sacrifice to get him.