Premier League • England

Liverpool leave second forward signing late as talks ramp up; Origi twist ‘expected’

Fabio Carvalho claps the Fulham fans after their match with Blackpool, January 2022

Liverpool are taking their pursuit of Fulham ace Fabio Carvalho down to the wire, while Divock Origi’s future could yet remain away from Anfield, per reports.

Liverpool acted fast when securing the signature of FC Porto’s Luis Diaz over the weekend. Interest from Tottenham and Manchester United prompted the Reds to move for the Colombian six months early.

Diaz will be a player for the here and now, though Liverpool remain on the hunt for another forward with one eye on the future.

The Reds are striving to sign Fulham’s Portuguese-born sensation, Fabio Carvalho. The 19-year-old attacker can operate centrally or on either flank, and was the subject of a reported £5m bid from Liverpool.

If successful, Carvalho would be loaned back out to Craven Cottage for the remainder of the season. However, widespread reports suggested Fulham were seeking a higher fee despite the forward’s contract expiring in the summer.

Liverpool are hoping to strike early to avoid an overseas club signing a pre-contract agreement with the youngster. Additionally, they would avoid running the gauntlet in free agency, and also avoid a tribunal to determine Carvalho’s fee if signed on a free from another English club.

Fulham want higher Carvalho bid

Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has shed new light on the situation.

The Italian tweeted Liverpool and Fulham remain in ‘direct contact’ as the hours on deadline day tick down.

The clubs have been locked in negotiations all day, and at present, talks still remain ‘ongoing’.

Liverpool beat Spurs to signing Luis Diaz from Porto

Tottenham will miss out on Luis Diaz as Liverpool reignite their interest in the winger

Liverpool are reportedly prepared to offer a five-year deal and are on board with loaning Carvalho back to promotion-chasing Fulham for the next six months. What’s currently holding the deal up, as Romano alludes to, is the transfer fee in question.

With Fulham seemingly sticking to their guns, it is up to Liverpool to raise their offer if a deal is to be made.

Carvalho may not be the only action in Liverpool’s forward ranks, however. Cult favourite Divock Origi could also be on the move, according to Sky Sports.

The worst January deadline day signings in recent Premier League history

Origi part of transfer chain reaction?

Sky’s reporter, Dharmesh Sheth, said: “I was told yesterday to expect a twist with regard to Divock Origi. There were lots of rumours to say West Ham might be going in for him.

“They then got in touch again to say West Ham wouldn’t go in for Origi. With Diaz as well joining, he’s going to be further down the pecking order. But saying that, Liverpool have seen him score so many important goals.

“It won’t be the biggest blow if they don’t get a fee and he leaves on a free in the summer, because he’s scored so many important goals. Who’s to say he won’t score more before the season is out.”

While a West Ham move is rated as unlikely, interest from Serie A side Atalanta could be firmed up – on one condition.

Newcastle remain on the hunt for more firepower after seeing their Jesse Lingard hopes end. Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata is one target, and if the Colombian moves, Atalanta could move for Origi as his direct replacement. That’s according to the Times (via Rousing The Kop).

That scenario all appears unlikely with such little time left in the window. Nonetheless, stranger things have happened when football clubs get desperate.