According to fresh reports coming from Brazil over the past day, Liverpool have stepped up their efforts to sign extremely talented Brazilian forward Luan before the summer transfer window ends.
Globoesporte understands that Jurgen Klopp is prepared to rival Russian Premier League outfit Spartak Moscow, who have made a bid of £18million, in the race for the 24-year-old’s signature.
And the report goes on to say that Liverpool sent a scouting team to watch Luan play for Gremio in their Copa Libertadores tie against Godoy Cruz on Wednesday night as they contemplate an offer.
Who is Luan Guilherme de Jesus Vieira?
Born in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, a city located in Sao Paulo, Luan’s footballing education began by playing futsal – a five-a-side indoor game – before joining local football side Tanabi at 11-years-old.
From there he moved to his hometown team America SP, spending a season there, before eventually ending up in the youth system at Gremio, a side that plays in the Brazilian top division.
He made his first-team debut at Gremio within a year of arriving and hasn’t looked back since, racking up 182 appearances for them in the past three years and winning the Copa do Brasil in 2016.
During that time he has caught the attention of sides across Europe by scoring 53 goals, becoming the highest-ever goal-scorer (29) at Gremio’s home stadium, and he earnt himself a call-up for Brazil’s 2016 Olympics squad where he thrived and scored three times as they beat Germany to the gold medal.
Since then he’s made his full international debut, coming on as a second-half substitute during Brazil’s 1-0 friendly win over Colombia, and is now aiming to be considered for the 2018 World Cup.
Would he be able to adapt to the Premier League?
The Premier League is so vastly different to the Brazilian Serie A that it’s hard to assume that a player could seamlessly fit in, with a far more tactical approach needed to live in England’s top-flight.
But on paper Luan has all of the attributes needed to succeed and have a real impact, being fiercely quick on and off the ball and having the skills and trickery needed to leave defenders dumbfounded.
Much like Roberto Firmino, he comes in the typical South American mould, willing to chase the ball until the final whistle, hustle and harry defenders and beat an opponent with a simple drop of the shoulder.
Yet more than this he has an intelligence to his play that makes him aware of his teammate’s positions on the field, and often his clever runs off the ball opens up space for them to run into.
With fellow Brazilians Firmino and Philippe Coutinho also residing at Liverpool it could make the youngster settle into life in England quicker too, and he could build up a neat on-field relationship.
It’s likely Luan will be thinking of the World Cup that’s fast approaching on the horizon, and to put himself in the limelight he needs to make a move to Europe and shine – and Liverpool may be the place for him to do just that.
How likely is a move to Anfield?
Just a few weeks ago it appeared that any chance of negotiating a move to Merseyside had gone after other sides had entered the race, but Coutinho’s uncertain future has seen renewed interest.
Yet, after signing Mohamed Salah from Roma earlier in the window it could turn out that Klopp no longer sees the need for Luan as his attacking options are strong enough, therefore killing any move.
Andrew Robertson the most important Liverpool summer signing
The Scottish left-back has plugged a gap that has existed at Liverpool for some time.
Mohamed Salah rightly received all the praise yesterday, after Liverpool put Watford to the sword in the Premier League.
Liverpool beat the Hornets 5-0 at Anfield, with the Egyptian scoring four of the goals.
It is hard to argue with Salah being the club’s best signing in the summer. His tally of 37 goals in 43 games certainly highlights that fact.
However, the most important signing might have been that of Andrew Robertson.
The Scottish left-back joined from Hull City in a deal, reported by the Independent, to be worth around £8 million. That price-tag is now looking an absolute bargain.
Liverpool have had problems at left-back for a number of seasons.
Alberto Moreno looked like being the solution. However, the Spaniard’s defensive work and decision making made him a liability.
Jon Flanagan, who was Brendan Rodgers’ regular left-back, has not reached similar heights since a series of knee injuries decimated his promising career.
Last season saw James Milner fill the role. The experienced midfielder played well out of position but long-term, was not the solution.
Now, Liverpool have Robertson. The Scotland international has made the step up from his time at Hull with ease.
The 24-year-old Glaswegian is not only a threat going forward, but defensively he is exceptional.
His delivery into the box is undoubtedly exemplary, but he is equally adept at stopping opposing players from getting near Liverpool’s.
Liverpool have managed to bring in a player perfectly suited to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.
Heavy-metal is the way Robertson plays in both attack and defence and the fans at Anfield already love him.
At just £8 million and only 24-years-old Liverpool picked up the bargain of the summer in the Premier League.
If Robertson can continue to progress and play with the same level of consistency he already has, then a decade of dominance at left-back could follow as Liverpool’s left-back.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah within touching distance of all-time Premier League goal-scoring record
The Egyptian international has 28 Premier League goals this term.
Anfield witnessed a truly special moment in the second half of Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0, Liverpool were running riot in wintry conditions, and Mohamed Salah collected the ball just inside the box on a hat-trick.
What followed was absolute magic, emblematic of a dream debut season in the north-west for the Egyptian. Salah was mobbed by three defenders, but left all three in the dust with one deft cut-back.
Then, with two more Watford players crashing in on the ball, Salah remarkably managed to poke an improvised finish into the far corner past the helpless Orestis Karnezis.
As Salah wheeled away in celebration, tongue stuck out and arms extended, Anfield reveled in history in the making. That goal marked Salah’s 27th of the Premier League season and he would go on to score his 28th just eight minutes later.
The Egyptian is on course to smash the Premier League scoring records in emphatic fashion. The current record is 31 goals, a tally achieved by Alan Shearer in 1995/96, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, and fellow Red Luis Suarez in 2013/14.
With seven matches remaining, including fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Stoke, few would bet against Salah demolishing the 22-year-old record.
The achievement would place Salah in the illustrious company of Premier League legends, an incredible feat for a player who many in England wrote off during his short spell at Chelsea.
Thanks to Salah, Liverpool have barely missed a step after the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals and cementing their top-four position.
The prolific winger is proving all of his doubters wrong in audacious fashion, and with a Premier League Golden Boot and goal-scoring record seemingly on the way, he is one of the most in-form players in the world.
The early-April European clash with Manchester City will provide Salah with, perhaps, his biggest stage yet. Expect the top goalscorer in England to rise to the occasion.
Jugen Klopp wanted him in 2016, Filip Kostic set for cut-price exit
The Serbian is set to be relegated with Hamburg.
In the summer of 2016 Liverpool were being linked with the signature of Serbian winger Filip Kostic. The Independent reported that Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, had both watched the player, but had missed out. Hamburg instead signed Kostic from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart for £12 million.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have known all about Kostic through his Bundesliga links and seeing him move elsewhere would have been frustrating. But, nearly two years on from Kostic’s Hamburg move, Liverpool may feel they dodged a bullet.
This summer, if Liverpool still wanted Kostic, they could get him cheap. The reason why? His performances have not lived up to his ability since the Hamburg move. Now, the Bundesliga side look doomed to relegation. The result will be a firesale in the summer, as HSV look to meet financial demands. Kostic, being one of the most valuable players and highest-earners at the club, will be available.
Based on his form for Hamburg, Liverpool would be unlikely to take an interest in the player.
But, rather than dodging a bullet, perhaps this situation could work out perfectly for Klopp and Liverpool.
Whilst Kostic has had a rough time at Hamburg, a lot of that is down to the running of the club.
For the Serbian national team the 25-year-old has still been in good form and Liverpool might just be able to bring Kostic in at a cut-price.
With the World Cup coming up this summer, Kostic will look to shine. A deal for Liverpool before then may prove to be a masterstroke.
Liverpool can look at Kostic in two ways. One, a transfer failure they should be happy with. Two, an opportunity for a bargain this summer.
Either way Klopp and Liverpool cannot really lose.
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