Premier League • England

Liverpool, Arsenal given explicit go-ahead to secure £25m midfield transfer

Renato Sanches, Youri Tielemans Portugal v Belgium, Liverpool targets

The club president of Lille has given Liverpool, Arsenal and Wolves the clear green light to pull off a £25m raid for a regular in Portugal’s international side.

Lille shocked the world when pipping cash-rich PSG to the Ligue 1 crown last season by a single point. One player instrumental in their momentous upset was Portugal midfielder, Renato Sanches.

The 24-year-old was once one of European football’s most highly touted prospects. But after his career stalled at Bayern Munich and in an infamous loan spell at Swansea, Sanches has reignited his career in emphatic fashion in France.

Sanches was heavily linked with a move away over the summer as Lille’s title-winning team was systematically broken up. Liverpool, Arsenal and Wolves through their Portuguese connection were the clubs most frequently touted.

However, an untimely injury knee injury in August laid waste to any hopes of a summer switch.

Sanches returned to action prior to the international break, and Lille president, Olivier Letang, has provided an update on Sanches’ future.

In explicit terms, Letang insisted that Sanches “will be able to leave” providing an “offer from a big club arrives”.

“I have already discussed with him, if an offer from a big club arrives, Renato will be able to leave,” said Letang (via HITC).

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“We will see what could happen but, for now, he is with us – and he’s happy.

“We saw he had been able to show an interesting level of performance during his return from injury at the end of the season, but also at the Euros with Portugal.”

The HITC report claims Lille were asking for a fee of around £25m over the summer. That would be well within the means of both Liverpool and Arsenal if they chose to act on their interest.

In contrast, a move to Wolves is another avenue potentially open to Sanches. Citing Portuguese outlet Mais Futebol, the article claims Wolves ‘came closer than anyone’ to signing Sanches in the previous window.

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Liverpool eye Atletico forward to further ignite Salah

Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix celebrating after Luis Suarez scored a La Liga goal in October, 2021

Meanwhile, Liverpool are ready to open talks over a deal for Joao Felix amid claims that Atletico Madrid are ready to accept a huge loss on the star.

The Portuguese playmaker joined Atleti from Benfica in summer 2019 for £113m. That fee places him in the top five of the most expensive transfers of all time.

However, reports in Spain, carried by The Sun, claim Atletico are willing to cash in after he slipped down Diego Simeone’s pecking order.

Indeed, widespread reports claim they are seeking around £65m for the 21-year-old – with Liverpool leading the chase.

Felix can play either as a No 10, a central striker or on the wings. And they report that Jurgen Klopp can very much see a role for Felix in his Liverpool side.

The paper reports that Felix would further ignite Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian is already showing why he’s one of the world’s best this season.

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