Liverpool are reportedly in advanced negotiations over the potential signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Otavio from Portuguese outfit FC Porto.
According to a report from Portuguese publication, A Bola, Premier League bigwigs Liverpool are pressing ahead with their pursuit of FC Porto attacking midfielder Otavio and are in advanced talks to get a deal over the line for the Brazilian.
Having made his way to Europe from Brazil in 2014, Otavio has been with FC Porto ever since and has grown into one of the most consistent players on display in the Liga NOS. The 26-year-old had a loan stint away at Vitoria Guimaraes a year after he signed for the Dragons, after which he has been pretty much a regular starter.
To date, Otavio has featured 188 times for Porto, bagging 19 goals and setting up 49 more. The Brazilian enjoyed a fairly productive 2020/21 campaign, finishing with four goals and twelve assists from 49 games across all competitions, which has seemingly landed him on the radars of Liverpool in the current transfer window.
After what was a difficult 2020/21 campaign during which they suffered due to the lack of depth in the defensive department, Liverpool seem to have learned their lessons and are looking to ensure that they have enough cover in every area position on the pitch. To that end, defensive reinforcement has already arrived in the form of Ibrahima Konate, with midfield and attack now being the focus.
While Jurgen Klopp has Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri as options out in the wide areas, Mane endured an underwhelming 2020/21 term whereas Shaqiri’s time at the club could be coming to an end as well. Furthermore, Liverpool will be without Salah and Mane for a stretch of the campaign next year when the duo departs to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations.
So, it is imperative that reinforcements are signed in the attacking department, with Otavio emerging as a transfer target. The Brazilian attacking midfielder is a versatile operator who can play out wide on either flank, as a No. 10 or even in a traditional central midfield position. Such adaptability would certainly boost the squad dynamics at Liverpool, allowing Klopp to rotate his options.
To that end, the Reds have accelerated their pursuit of the 26-year-old, with Klopp himself said to be driving the interest in him. The report adds that Liverpool are already in advanced talks to secure Otavio’s signing, with FC Porto open to doing business despite having tied him down to a new deal till the summer of 2025.
Otavio, as per the report, has a release clause worth €40 million, which expires on 30th June, post which the amount will rise up to €60 million. This is cited as one of the reasons for Liverpool showing an urgency to get the deal over the line. Whether the Merseysiders do end up signing Otavio or move for alternate options such as Bayern Munich superstar Kingsley Coman remains to be seen.