FC Porto battling old foe for Watford’s Joao Pedro, with deal to grease wheels of £34m Liverpool transfer

Watford Joao Pedro, Liverpool Virgil van Dijk

FC Porto are prepared to battle Benfica for Watford’s Joao Pedro, and a move could give a reported Liverpool approach for Otavio a timely nudge, TEAMtalk understands.

Both Leeds United and Liverpool have drawn recent links with Porto ace, Otavio. The 27-year-old is known as a tough-tackling wide midfielder who can also play further forward. Aside from simply getting his foot in, Otavio boasts tremendous end product, bagging at least 12 assists in each of his last three seasons in Portugal.

Talk has swelled of interest from within the Premier League. Indeed, Portuguese newspaper A Bola claimed Leeds have already seen a £25.7m bid knocked back.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are also in the mix, per the Daily Mirror. Liverpool were stated by that outlet to be preparing a £34m bid.

Otavio’s agent, Israel Oliveira, is reportedly in England looking to forge a deal for his client. And according to our sources, Porto’s are now mulling a move for Watford’s Joao Pedro which could be of benefit to Liverpool.

We understand the Portuguese club have joined the chase to sign the 20-year-old. To do so, they’ll have to beat bitter rivals Benfica in the process.

From the Hornets’ perspective, we’re told they’re not actively looking to sell. However, their arm could be twisted if a bid at the right price is lodged.

While Pedro and Otavio do not operate in the same position, the former’s arrival would bring a body on board and help to offset the loss of creativity if selling Otavio.

Coincidentally, Pedro was named on a shortlist of attacking targets at Anfield earlier in June.

Joao Pedro, Otavio futures linked?

Watford’s relegation will unquestionably make a Joao Pedro sale likelier than it would have been.

The young Brazilian featured regularly last term without completing the full 90 minutes on many occasions. He operated in a wide variety of positions in the front line and has long been known as a player with a bright future.

He could represent a smart pick-up for Porto, though it’s difficult to see him making the same impact as Otavio.

The 27-year-old is reportedly Porto’s highest paid player and is a veteran of many a Champions League campaign.

As with many Portuguese clubs, finances could dictate their direction in the market. Though it certainly looks a stretch to think they wouldn’t be weakened with Pedro in and Otavio out.