Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are expected to sign a new central midfielder next summer because a number of their current stars are in the back end of their glittering careers.
Liverpool are reportedly considering a move for Mateus Nunes next summer as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham. Despite the midfielder joining Wolves a matter of weeks ago.
The Reds will need to strengthen their midfield in the near future due to the likes of Thiago Alcantara, 31, Jordan Henderson, 32 and James Milner, 36, being in their thirties. Fabinho, 28, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 29, are also entering the back end of their careers, while Naby Keita, 27, has less than 10 months remaining on his existing deal.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had admitted they need to sign a new central midfielder, but only if that player is right for his team. Arthur Melo, 26, was brought in from Juventus on a season-long loan on deadline day as a temporary solution to their midfield woes.
It’s believed Bellingham, 19, is Liverpool’s main central midfield target, but he had no intention of leaving Dortmund during the recent transfer window. The Englishman has already won 15 senior caps for his country and is set to star at the World Cup later this year.
Bellingham has also impressed at club level. He’s played 99 games for Dortmund since leaving Birmingham City in July 2020 and won the DFB-Pokal during his first season in Germany. He also scored in Dortmund’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.
Bellingham is already one of the best midfielders in Europe and has a bright future ahead of him, but Liverpool could be deterred by his price tag. Dortmund are set to demand around £100million for their prized asset, who still has three years left on his contract.
There’s also a good chance Bellingham will not want to leave Dortmund next summer. Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash, he said: “I’m here to win for Borussia Dortmund and I’m very happy here at the minute and I’m focused on all of the goals we have as a team and I’m not looking past that.
“The club have done loads for me and made me feel very welcome since I first came and gave me the opportunities to develop even further. To look past that and into the future would be disrespectful… It’s not something I am thinking about, to be honest.”
As such, it’s believed Liverpool have prepared a transfer shortlist of central midfield targets. And, according to Portuguese outlet UOL, Nunes is on it. The Portugal international, 24, impressed during his time at Sporting Lisbon, winning the Primeira Liga title in 2020/21.
Nunes recently signed a five-year contract at Wolves after completing a £38m move from Sporting in August. Despite this, it’s claimed Liverpool are monitoring the midfielder’s progress and will consider a bid if he impresses in the Premier League this season. The Reds are also reportedly interested in Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, 21.
Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward is thought to have a close working relationship with Nunes’ agent, Jorge Mendes. The Portuguese mediator also represents Darwin Nunez, who completed an £85m move from Benfica to Liverpool in the summer.
Nunes has picked up many admirers during his blossoming career. Speaking after a Champions League clash between Sporting and Man City in February, Pep Guardiola insisted: “I would say that Matheus Nunes is one of the best players in the world today.