Liverpool are now interested in battling rivals Manchester United for the transfer of Antony, who would become only the Reds’ eighth Brazilian player yet in a summer move from Ajax.
Jurgen Klopp is studying strengthening his ranks at Anfield over the off-season and could put the Merseyside natives in conflict with the Red Devils. Erik Ten Hag is looking to start his Old Trafford reign by returning to Ajax and taking one of the Dutch side’s top talents to England.
That’s according to UOL Esporte, who report three Premier League clubs have made Antony concrete proposals for his signature. Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle are each eager to explore a transfer. However, the forward has little appetite for joining the Magpies.
Klopp endorses Liverpool move against Manchester United interest in Antony of Ajax
Antony would prefer to join either Liverpool or Manchester United, who have an advantage with Ten Hag in charge. The 22-year-old has worked with the in-bound Old Trafford boss for two seasons, during which his performances have merited a €50-60m (£42.5-51m) price tag.
Klopp admires what the Brazilian has shown in Amsterdam, and has endorsed the Reds now exploring his transfer. The Reds have frequently kept tabs on the Sao Paulo-native since he left Brazil with Ajax in 2020. Antony has so far scored 22 goals and 20 assists over 79 games.
However, the Anfield hierarchy will only explore the nine-cap Brazil international’s services once Mohamed Salah’s contractual situation is resolved. Ajax will additionally hold out for a large fee as Antony’s former club Sao Paulo are owed 20% of any profit above €20m (£17m).
Liverpool stepping up their interest and securing Antony’s transfer would see the Ajax talent become the Reds’ eighth Brazilian player. Three currently play at Anfield in Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino. So, who else could Antony join for Brazilians to play on Merseyside?
Alisson, Fabinho and Firmino head Liverpool’s current Brazilian’s amid interest in Antony of Ajax
Klopp signed two of Liverpool’s three Brazilians in Alisson and Fabinho during the summer of 2018. The Reds paid Roma what was a world-record £67m for a goalkeeper to sign Alisson in that July. He followed Fabinho to Anfield, after the midfielder left Monaco in May for £43m.
Firmino had already enjoyed Premier League football with the Reds for three seasons before his compatriots joined Klopp’s side. Brendan Rodgers agreed a £29m move with Hoffenheim in June 2015, with only Andy Carroll’s £35m deal in 2011 costing Liverpool more at the time.
Alisson and Fabinho continue to hold down key roles with Liverpool, while Firmino has fallen to a backup role this season. The Rodgers signing also faces a somewhat uncertain future on Merseyside, with Firmino entering the final year of his £180k-a-week contract this summer.
Philippe Coutinho last Liverpool transfer for Brazilian no longer at Anfield
Philippe Coutinho was the last Liverpool transfer for a Brazilian player no longer plying their trade at Anfield. Rodgers paid Inter Milan £8.5m in January 2013 to sign a then-20-year-old playmaker, who would secure the Reds a substantial profit when joining Barcelona in 2018.
The Blaugrana agreed to pay a British record £105m up front to buy Coutinho in the winter market four years ago. Future add-ons took the total value of the deal to £142m, yet Barca did not see much for their money and have now agreed to sell him to Aston Villa for £17m.
Coutinho will complete a permanent move to Villa Park at the end of the season after a loan move in January. He left the Camp Nou following 106 games for 25 goals and 14 assists – far from his 54 goals and 45 assists over 201 appearances with Liverpool, his most for one club.
Alexander Doni set the example for Alisson to follow with Liverpool move from Roma
Alexander Doni set the example for Alisson to follow, with the goalkeeper joining Liverpool from Roma in July 2011. Kenny Dalglish acquired the Brazilian in a free transfer at 31-years-old to understudy for Pepe Reina. He had held a similar role in Rome behind Julio Sergio.
Doni would spend just two years at Anfield before joining Brazilian outfit Botafogo in a free transfer. The 10-cap international also only made four appearances for the Reds across all competitions, which saw him concede three goals and earn a red card at Blackburn Rovers.
Diego Cavalieri joined Reds from Palmeiras for first European experience
Diego Cavalieri joined Liverpool from Palmeiras in July 2008 for £3m for his first European experience and move away from Brazil. He arrived in England and immediately set out his intentions to oust Reina, noting via the Mirror: “One day I can get the number one position.”
But Cavalieri would only spend two years on Merseyside before joining Cesena in Italy after just 10 appearances. He also conceded 12 goals to four clean sheets, and only played once for Cesena before returning to Brazil with Fluminense where he remained for seven years.
Crystal Palace offered Cavalieri a second chance in England in 2018 with a short-term deal at Selhurst Park. Yet his four months in south London did not return any outings and he moved back to Brazil with Botafogo until September 2021, after which he has stayed a free agent.
Lucas Leiva enjoyed a decade at Liverpool for Antony to follow amid interest
Lucas Leiva enjoyed a decade at Anfield after Rafa Benitez secured a £6m deal with Gremio in 2007. The midfielder had not previously left Brazil or his boyhood club before joining the Reds. But Leiva would go on to make 346 appearances for the Reds across all competitions.
His time at Anfield included helping Liverpool to win the EFL Cup in the 2011/12 season for his only medal in England. Leiva would leave Merseyside in 2017 for Lazio, where the 22-cap international has since helped I Biancocelesti to win the Coppa Italia in the 2018/19 term.
Fabio Aurelio first Brazilian player to join Liverpool after 2006 arrival
Fabio Aurelio became the first Brazilian to play for Liverpool when Benitez convinced the left-back to join his ranks in a free transfer from Valencia in July 2006. He had previously worked under the Spaniard at the Mestalla, during which they won a La Liga title together.
Six years would pass with Aurelio at Anfield before he left to join Gremio in 2012, where he stayed until retiring in 2014. He almost left Liverpool in the summer of 2010, as well, after Aurelio had initially rejected the Reds’ offer of a new contract on a pay-as-you-play basis.
Aurelio’s Liverpool career would include 133 appearances, four goals and 17 assists across all competitions. He never played for a single club more often than with the Reds. But the Brazilian was only the first-choice in his left-back position during the 2008/09 campaign.