Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are reportedly preparing a massive bid to sign Portuguese youngster Gelson Martins for a fee of over £50m. The 22 year old has been linked with a move to many top European clubs after showing great promise while playing for Sporting Clube De Portugal and a move to Anfield could be a big role in taking his career to the next level.
The Merseyside outfit has been eyeing Martins as a potential replacement for Philippe Coutinho who has recently joined Barcelona in the winter transfer window.
The Reds were finally ready to accept a Blockbuster deal for Coutinho as they had ample of time to find a suitable replacement for him in the winter market. Jurgen Klopp was very adamant last summer as he wasn’t ready to let his star player go without any time to replace him but in the last 6 months they chalked out a few names who could replace Coutinho at the Anfield.
The Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp was determined last summer that Coutinho would not be allowed to leave and rejected a number of bids from Barcelona which went as high as £114m. The Merseyside outfit’s owners Fenway Sports Group took an unusual step of declaring a statement that the player would not be sold in that transfer window.
However, Liverpool’s stand has since then softened, paving the way for the deal to take place now.
It was the second most expensive sale of all-time in the history of football, behind his compatriot Neymar, who left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in a £198m move last summer.
It was also the biggest-ever fee for a player who did not have a release clause in their contract. Liverpool would have a handsome profit from the deal, who signed Coutinho from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013. The transfer has also broken the record for a player sold by an English club.
Though he will not be able to play for Barcelona in the Champions League as his name is being registered as an Anfield player in this season. So participation in both the Copa del Rey and La Liga will be important for him ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
A summary of Coutinho’s journey at Anfield:
2012-13 : 13 games, 3 goals
2013-14 : 37 games, 5 goals
2014-15 : 52 games, 8 goals
2015-16 : 43 games, 12 goals
2016-17 : 36 games, 14 goals
2017-18 : 18 games, 12 goals
Liverpool are ready to strengthen their attacking options furthermore by keeping an eye on Gelson Martins. Since his arrival at Sporting Clube De Portugal in 2015, he has made 74 appearances and scored 14 goals including putting in some great performances.
What Klopp finds attractive about Martins is his work-rate and ability to play in different positions; this generally is a beneficial characteristic to have if you are playing for the charismatic German manager. His pace and dribbling skills are of very high quality and he is also quite similar to Mane and Salah in terms of ability. Martins has also made an impressive start to life in the national team making 15 appearances and cemented his place in the youth squads.
The star winger is currently valued at £53.5m and has already bagged in five goals this season. The Serie A champions Juventus are also keen admirers of Martins and Liverpool may face stiff competition from the Italians.