Premier League • England

Liverpool on alert as Prem rivals plot to rekindle top midfielder deal after summer near-miss

Enzo Fernandez, Vitaliy Buyalskyi August 2022

Wolves are reportedly planning to reignite transfer interest in Liverpool-linked midfielder Enzo Fernandez after just missing out on his summer signing.

Both Premier League clubs made bolstering their midfields a key priority during the last transfer window. Wolves in fact paid Sporting a club-record fee for Matheus Nunes.

Liverpool were initially against signing another midfielder but made a U-turn and signed Arthur Melo on deadline day.

Before both sides made their moves, though, Argentine star Fernandez was on their shortlist.

Indeed, Wolves sent an entourage out to South America to try sign him. Although, Fernandez instead chose to swap River Plate for Benfica.

Nevertheless, The Sun claims that Wolves are keen to go back in for Fernandez in the upcoming January window.

The Molineux club are ‘huge fans’ of Fernandez and will try to convince the 21-year-old to cut short his Benfica adventure after only a few months.

Wolves have Enzo Fernandez problems

However, the newspaper adds that Wolves could encounter significant obstacles in their renewed efforts to sign Fernandez.

Firstly, he is not represented by super agent Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency. While Wolves have strong ties to Mendes and Gestifute, their reach may not extend as well to Fernandez’s De 9 Futbol agency.

What’s more, the midfielder has settled brilliantly at Benfica, scoring three goals in 11 games.

And two of those came in the Champions League qualifiers, with Fernandez’s reward for his efforts a Champions League proper debut against Maccabi Haifa.

As such, given he is just getting going – and getting noticed on the European stage – he may fancy staying in Portugal.

Bruno Lage’s Wolves have ambitions of returning to the Europa League or securing a Europa Conference League spot. However, they look highly unlikely to secure Champions League football any time soon.

The Sun adds that Wolves are ‘more likely’ to get a deal over the line for Fernandez at the end of the season.

Liverpool monitored rising star

Sky Sports reported during the transfer window that Liverpool watched Fernandez closely and had him on their shortlist.

Manager Jurgen Klopp did confirm that one of his targets decided to join another club. The speculation has been that the player in question was Wolves’ Nunes or Real Madrid man Aurelien Tchouameni.

Still, it could well have been Fernandez too amid the player’s switch from River Plate to Benfica.

And Liverpool could well have more appeal than Wolves, given their push for Champions League qualification once more.

They are reportedly keen on waiting to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham next summer. However, Fernandez looks an exciting alternative of a similar age and similar potential.

Benfica have maintained a 100 per cent start to the season, helped by the signing of Fernandez.

And in the Champions League, their opening 2-0 win has pushed the excitement about their campaign up a notch.

The expectation is that Fernandez may well make a move to the Premier League soon. Wolves have a history of signing players from the Portuguese league.

What’s more, the Portuguese top flight has proved a happy hunting ground for Liverpool in recent transfer windows.