Liverpool 'to open talks' over £60m midfielder

  • Liverpool linked with Porto midfielder Alan Varela
  • 22-year-old comes with €70m (£60m) release clause
  • Ryan Gravenberch ready to fight for Liverpool future
Liverpool continue to be linked with Varela
Liverpool continue to be linked with Varela / Diogo Cardoso/GettyImages

Liverpool are set to open talks with Porto over 22-year-old midfielder Alan Varela, a report has claimed.

The Reds are expected to pursue a new midfielder during new manager Arne Slot's first transfer window and have long been linked with a move for Varela, whose contract with Porto includes a release clause worth €70m (£60m).

According to AS, Liverpool are now stepping up their interest in Varela and are expected to enter negotiations with Porto to try get a deal done.

Porto are likely to stick to the release clause as Varela's former employers, Boca Juniors, will take a percentage of any future transfer.

Varela is a defensive midfielder by trade and could take the place of 31-year-old Wataru Endo and free Alexis Mac Allister up to play in a more-advanced role.

Alan Varela
Varela has long been linked with Liverpool / Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

The departure of Thiago Alcantara opens up a spot in Liverpool's midfield and Dutch international Ryan Gravenberch recently admitted he hopes to make a big impact under fellow countryman Slot next season.

"A top club, I hope to play here for years to come," he told Algemeen Dagblad. "And soon a Dutch trainer with Arne Slot. I've never spoken to him. Not even during my time as an Ajax player. But he is a trainer who likes attacking football. That should suit me, you would think. We will see."

Liverpool spent big rebuilding their midfield last summer, including triggering Dominik Szoboszlai's £60m release clause to lure him over from RB Leipzig.

Slot is expected to pursue a new centre-back in the coming weeks to replace Joel Matip, while a new goalkeeper could be on the cards after Caoimhin Kelleher admitted he is prepared to leave in search of regular minutes.