Two European giants are powerless to prevent Liverpool from snatching a Portuguese ace whose €100m release clause may well fall, per a report.
The bulk of arrivals at Anfield this summer are expected to come in midfield. However, there’s increasing speculation a new centre-half could be signed too.
The futures of Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are all under a cloud. That trio of centre-backs were all named as players who could form part of a sweeping 10-man clear-out at season’s end.
What’s more, Joe Gomez is understood to be on Newcastle’s radar and a bid is expected. Eddie Howe’s side will add a European campaign to their fixture list next year and are in desperate need of new recruits who boast European experience.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely Liverpool will axe four centre-halves in the same window. But with Virgil van Dijk showing signs of age, the Reds cannot afford to overlook such a crucial position for much longer.
To that end, they’ve repeatedly been named as a potential suitor for Benfica sensation, Antonio Silva.
Despite being just 19 years of age, Silva is already established in Benfica’s strongest 11 and has three senior Portugal caps to his name.
Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen – who played for Benfica between 2020-22 – recently claimed Silva is destined to become a football legend.
Clearly aware of the just how big of a talent they possess, Benfica inserted a release clause worth a whopping €100m (approx. £88m) into Silva’s new contract that was signed in September.
Italian outlet CalcioMercatoWeb highlight Juventus and Napoli’s interest in the player, though claim both Italian giants will be blown away by Liverpool.
Antonio Silva could be Liverpool centre-back for over a decade
Indeed, it’s stated it’s inevitable Silva’s future will lay outside of Portugal and a move to the cash-rich Premier League looks most likely.
The defender is ‘in Liverpool’s sights’ and there’s ‘every possibility’ the €100m clause will be activated this summer.
Doing so would rule Juventus and Napoli out of the race given neither club can come close to matching a fee of that size.
Another target on Liverpool’s radar is known to be RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol.
However, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg recently confirmed Leipzig have ruled out selling their Croatian superstar this summer.
They intend to retain Gvardiol for at least one more season until his €110m release clause becomes active in the summer of 2024. At that stage, they’ll be unable to prevent an exit if a requisite bid is tabled.
With Gvardiol off the table for at least another 15 months and a big summer ahead, Silva is fast emerging as a player Liverpool could sign for both the present and future.
Indeed, at age 19, Jurgen Klopp would be landing a player capable of marshalling his backline for more than a decade.