Manchester United are reportedly set to battle Liverpool for Real Betis defender Junior Firpo, who has a €50 million release clause.
According to a report by Spanish publication MARCA, Liverpool face competition from Manchester United in pursuit of Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo. The Spanish under-21 international has a €50 million release clause in his contract, which must be paid for him to leave the La Liga club.
Junior Firpo is just another gem who was unearthed by Quique Setien during his time as the Real Betis manager. In less than two years, the 22-year-old has managed to cement his place as the first-choice left-back for Los Verdiblancos, with only injuries restricting his game time this past season.
In 29 appearances across all competitions, Firpo had a useful return of 3 goals and 5 assists, and he has subsequently joined Spain for the ongoing UEFA Under-21 European Championships. But, all this while, the player has been attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in the world, the latest being Liverpool and Manchester United.
Liverpool have seen Alberto Moreno depart from the club as a free agent, leaving Andrew Robertson as the onlu option for the left-back slot. While the Scotsman is one of the best in his position across Europe, playing close to 60 games season after season tends to take its toll.
And so, having two quality options on the left side of the defence will only be a step in the right direction for Jurgen Klopp & co. to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title. To that end, Liverpool are reportedly considering a move for Junior Firpo, who is now also being linked with Manchester United.
The links with Manchester United are not new per se, with earlier reports suggesting that the Red Devils were weighing up a bid for the 22-year-old, although nothing seemed to come of it. United though, are in a similar sort of a predicament as Liverpool.
Luke Shaw enjoyed his best ever campaign with Manchester United, which saw him win the club’s Player of the Year award at the end of the 2018-19 season. But, with Shaw being the only natural left-back at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal, the need to provide competition to the Englishman is evident.
Indeed, mistakes appeared to start creeping into Shaw’s game towards the end of last season, and so the addition of Junior Firpo would only help. That the 22-year-old could also be a handy option to play further up only makes him a more attractive option for Manchester United and Liverpool.
As per the report, both Manchester United and Liverpool are prepared to meet his €50 million release clause, and Real Betis will not stop Firpo if he so wishes to leave. But, in a recent interview with MARCA, the player insisted that he remains committed to the La Liga club, amid talks of a possible move.
So, as it appears, a bigger hurdle for Manchester United and Liverpool will be convincing Junior Firpo to leave Real Betis than shelling out €50 million to sign him. The Reds though, would hope that with Champions League football on offer, they will have the edge and it remains to be seen what the future hold for the Spanish under-21 international.