Media Digest: All three of today’s stories are about midfielders, with a £24m discount on one, a £32m transfer decision with another and a Declan Rice ‘red alert’.
Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport report that Liverpool have already decided that Arthur Melo will return to Juventus at the end of his loan spell but have no intention of cutting short the midfielder’s time at Anfield.
The Reds have an option to buy Arthur permanently for £32m in the summer of 2023 but it was only at the Juventus end that this detail was made clear when the deal was announced, which hinted at the time that Liverpool had little intention of keeping him.
Arthur was an emergency signing when Liverpool finally accepted their need for a new signing in the summer but just as he was building up his fitness, he suffered a long-term injury that is expected to keep him out for another few months.
£24m midfield discount
Liverpool have been told that it will take €32m (£28m) to sign Flamengo defensive midfielder João Gomes despite the player having a contract containing a €60m (£52m) release clause. That news comes from journalist Jorge Nicola (via Sport Witness).
The Reds are in need of a midfielder to bolster Jürgen Klopp’s squad and with that potential £24m discount might be tempted to make a move for the 21-year-old, who has also been linked with Manchester United.
Spending a mid-range sum in January on a player like Gomes would leave enough money in the summer to buy Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund with Liverpool needing at least two new midfielders in 2023.
Liverpool ‘on red alert’
West Ham have privately admitted that they are likely to lose England international Declan Rice in 2023, according to Football Insider, which has supposedly led to Liverpool and Chelsea being on ‘red alert’.
Despite the obvious transfer cliché term of ‘red alert’ being used, it does make some sense that Rice, now 23 and starring for his country at a World Cup, would want to move to a club with Champions League football.
He has already turned down a £200,000-per-week offer to stay at West Ham for the long term and it seems an exit could be on the cards at some point.
Rice is contracted until 2024 but West Ham have an option to extend that for another 12 months. Transfermarkt value him at £70m and there will likely be plenty of competition should he decide to leave the London Stadium.