Liverpool set for close look at £67m forward who could be the next Sadio Mané


Liverpool have been linked with a move for Porto’s Luis Diaz, and they will soon get the chance to inspect him at close quarters once again.

Díaz featured in Liverpool’s comprehensive 5-1 drubbing of Porto in matchday two of the Champions League, and will play in the return fixture at Anfield, with Porto still in with a chance of qualifying from the group.

Díaz has been one of Porto’s standout players in 2021, and they will be hoping he can make the difference against Liverpool in a must-win game for Sérgio Conceição’s side.

Díaz netted in both games against Milan in the group, one of which was a vital winner in the home tie in mid-October.

The Colombian, who plays as a left-winger, has a tall and powerful frame, but also possesses great technical finesse and can easily glide past players in a manner more seen in smaller players.

In recent days, Díaz’s agent has spoken of the possibility of the player trading in the Primera Liga for the Premier League in January.

“Chelsea and Liverpool interest rumours? It’s normal,” he told Radio Renascença. “If a player plays well, if he starts to stand out, if the majority considers him the best player in the Portuguese League… it’s normal.”

Portuguese outlet Jornal de Notícias state that Jürgen Klopp sees Díaz as an ideal signing in January, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané departing for the African Cup of Nations for a month.

Yet as always the case with the top Portuguese sides, getting a deal over the line will be extremely difficult. Díaz’s contract doesn’t expire until June 2024, giving Porto the upper hand in any negotiation. Porto and Benfica are two of the very best sides in Europe for extracting maximum value for their players.

Porto have generated some €690m in players sales over the last decade (although, surprisingly, Liverpool have actually earned more in the same time frame), and that figure will climb when Diaz is eventually auctioned off to the highest bidder.

A January move for Díaz to Liverpool remains very improbable, considering Jürgen Klopp isn’t particularly a fan of buying in the winter window unless absolutely necessary. Moreover, with Porto undoubtedly demanding a high price for Díaz, with a figure in the region of €70m being touted, then it makes it next to impossible for any deal to be concluded.

However, Díaz would be s superb summer option for Liverpool. He could operate on the left in Klopp’s 4-3-3. This would allow Mané to switch into a more central position, with Salah on the right. Díaz has all the characteristics needed to play in Klopp’s system, and in many ways he resembles Mané before his move to Liverpool in 2016.

With his contract only having two years remaining at that stage, Liverpool could be in a better position to drive the price down, if even just a little. Diaz is also within FSG’s age for playing recruitment, as 24. With 11 goals in 17 games in all competitions this season, Diaz’s star is on the rise. But while a January move can nearly be all but ruled out, a summer move is a real possibility.

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