Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer news: Matheus Nunes Sporting exit a ‘matter of time’, claims insider ‘close’ to Anfield goings-on

Matheus Nunes, Portugal v North Macedonia March 2022

Sporting will not be able to hold onto reported Liverpool target Matheus Nunes for much longer, according to former Red Abel Xavier.

Liverpool have added three new signings this summer, with the trio all exciting talents for the present and the future. Darwin Nunez’s adaptation has proved a key watch given he is a club-record signing from Benfica.

However, 19-year-old midfielder Carvalho has also settled in well. And Liverpool’s midfield will be the key area to watch this season. They have a wealth of options when all fit, but that is a rarity.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to dip into the transfer market again. He has nevertheless had links with another signing. Sporting midfielder Nunes is a name that has cropped up a lot, with the Reds supposedly ready to open talks.

But Wolves and Manchester City have also had links with the 23-year-old, who has eight caps for Portugal.

According to former Liverpool midfielder Xavier – who is also Portuguese and claims to be “very close” to the club’s transfer structure – talk of Nunes’ future will soon reach a conclusion one way or another.

“I am very close to the structure of Liverpool, in fact,” Xavier told Desporto Ao Minuto. “There is a lot of talk about the virtues of Portugal and obviously have Matheus Nunes rumoured.

“I believe that Sporting will not be able to hold a player of this size due to his quality, which means he would adapt to any top English team.

“It is normal, given the quality of player, not only of Liverpool, but also Manchester City, who may eventually lose some players in that position, that these two teams may be thinking about Matheus Nunes.

“His departure from Sporting is a matter of time.”

Matheus Nunes an exciting talent

Nunes has risen through Sporting’s academy to become a cornerstone of the team – and he is only just getting started.

He has only missed 10 league games in the past two seasons, contributing seven goals and eight assists in that time.

Two of those assists came in the Champions League last term, with Sporting in the hat for the competition alongside Liverpool for the new campaign.

As such, he would come as a ready-made talent with experience leading his side in the league and in Europe.

Liverpool links make sense

Given Liverpool’s recent signings from the Portuguese league – and affinity for Portuguese players – the Nunes links make sense.

Before signing Nunez from Benfica, the Anfield club poached Luis Diaz from Porto in January.

In September 2020, Portugal forward Diogo Jota arrived from Wolves. Carvalho, meanwhile, is an up-and-coming Portuguese midfield star who is hoping to make the World Cup later this year.

Could Matheus Nunes solve Liverpool's midfield problem?

Liverpool have turned their attention to Matheus Nunes as a potential Jude Bellingham alternative.

Liverpool previously focused on poaching players with links to the Red Bull football stable.

The likes of Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and Naby Keita have all played for either RB Salzburg or RB Leipzig in their careers.

There has therefore been a definitive switch of focus to Portuguese football and Portuguese talents. And Nunes could be the latest Anfield acquisition from that area.