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Liverpool dealt blow in race to sign Pedro Goncalves as Sporting Lisbon rule out selling £51.6m midfielder

According to Record, Sporting Lisbon are working to offer Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves a new contract to ward off interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.

The Premier League powerhouses have been attentive to Pote’s situation at the Jose Alvalade Stadium for some time, with Liverpool making initial contact over a move to Anfield during the January transfer window.

Manchester United likewise sounded out the chances of Pote leaving the Leoes during the winter market, to which both Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sides were informed that the 22-year-old would only be sold for his full €60million (£51.6m) release clause.

(Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

And in a further blow to any continued interest from Anfield or Old Trafford, Sporting now intend to increase Pote’s buyout clause to €80m (£68.8m) with a new contract that will also see his wage rise from €500k (£8.2k-p/w) to €700k (£11.5k-p/w) a year.

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Sporting are increasingly eager to tie Pote down with a new contract that better protects his services, having seen the Under 21 international play a crucial role in Ruben Amorim’s plans that returned a first Liga NOS title since the 2001/02 season.

The attacking midfielder has started 31 of the Leoes’ 33 league games this term and been involved in more goals than any other player at Amorim’s disposal, with 20 scored and four assisted, which directly influenced six wins and three draws for an almost unbeaten season.

It remains to be seen if Goncalves will accept Sporting’s offer to sign a new contract, with his current terms running to 2025, or if the youth international will look to test himself in a new setting next season after failing to meet the grade at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

TBR’s view:

Pote has been an absolute sensation for Sporting this season with as many goals scored as Luis Suarez for Atletico Madrid, Memphis Depay for Olympique Lyonnais and Ciro Immobile for SS Lazio in their respective domestic leagues but from midfield.

It is a very different player on show at the Jose Alvalade Stadium than the one Wolves fans saw during the Portuguese’s spell at Molineux between 2017 and 2019, having only made one senior appearance, but their loss may be to Liverpool’s gain if Klopp is willing to bet big.

Manchester United have certainly benefited from raiding Sporting for a creative midfielder in Bruno Fernandes, who is considered to be the standout Premier League player in his position since the Red Devils spent £47m rising to £67.7m (BBC) to secure his signature.

There’s no guarantees of Pote being a Fernandes repeat, but the Reds are in need of goals from central midfield with summer free-agent Georginio Wijnaldum their leading scorer in the Premier League this term with two ahead of Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones on one.

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