Premier League • England

Liverpool ‘first in queue’ to sign elite Brazilian as Klopp is told €35m star is ‘definitely leaving’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match against Brighton at the Amex Stadium

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match against Brighton

Liverpool have ‘never parked’ their interest in signing Fluminense midfielder Andre and remain very much on course to sign the Brazil star in January with a source describing the Reds as being ‘first in line’.

The Reds blew their entire summer transfer warchest on rebuilding their midfield after Jordan Henderson and Fabinho decided to hot-foot it out of Anfield and move to Saudi Arabia. And with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Arthur Melo also departing Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp knew he had to invest his time and the club’s money into assembling a new grade A midfield.

Thankfully, and certainly in the case of Dominik Szoboszlai, Liverpool have exactly that. And with Waturu Endo, Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch offering further promise, hopes are alive that the 2023/24 season can see the Reds return to top form.

However, there is one player that did escape Liverpool’s grasp over the summer with efforts to prise Andre from Fluminense ultimately failing to get off the ground. The Brazilian opted to refuse all and every offer that came their way for the 22-year-old, knowing he could prove a vital cog in their efforts to become champions of South America.

Now, after winning through to the Copa Libertadores final, where they will play River Plate on November 4, that gamble appears to have been vindicated.

Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt, however, admitted the player would likely leave in January were Liverpool to come back in and match a fee close to his €35m release. In light of that, fresh reports suggest Klopp has ordered Liverpool to go all out to seal his signing in January with the defensive midfielder very much the club’s No 1 target.

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Liverpool ‘first in the queue’ to sign Andre

According to Liverpool oracle Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo,the Reds “have not forgotten” about Andre, and “haven’t parked their interest” in the 22-year-old No 6.

And while Doyle is unable to officially confirm if the Reds will definitely reactive their chase for Andre in January, he states Klopp will “not be overly worried the chance has now gone”.

Bittercourt himself admits there’s a strong chance the sale could go through, admitting last month: “The chief executive of Liverpool contacted me directly. And I replied to him: ‘My friend, I don’t sell a player now and I don’t deliver now. If you want to buy now to take in January, we can start talking, or if you want to wait until December and we talk in December’.”

Now according to transfer expert Graeme Bailey, Andre will “definitely be leaving” Fluminense in January. And, speaking on the Talking Transfers podcast, claims “many people think he’s the best defensive midfielder in the Brazilian top flight at the moment”.

Despite his relatively-tender years, Andre has clocked up over 150 appearances for the Brazilian side.

And Bailey also claims Liverpool are first in line for his signing, having watched him in action once again last week.

“He really is one on the agenda for January. I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t leave Fluminense. Will it be to Liverpool? I think they’re first in the queue,” Bailey adds.

“He’s definitely leaving Fluminense in January. And he may very well be turning up at Anfield.”

Andre gives nothing away on his future

Andre himself, meanwhile, has previously suggested he is open to the possibility of moving to the Premier League.

However, amid links to Wolves and Fulham, the player insisted recently that transfer speculation was part and parcel of being a footballer.

“It is obvious that it is normal to receive proposals. Even more so with the team doing well,” he told Globo Esporte.

“I am happy about the offers that arrive.”

Fabrizio Romano also believes Liverpool could also renew their efforts to sign him, commenting on his Here We Go podcast: “It’s not over; it’s still something we have to keep an eye on because Liverpool really like Andre.

“They had positive conversations with Fluminense; they have good relationships.

“Fluminense were showing how strong they are in the Brazilian and South American market as they said ‘no way the player is leaving’, so credit to Fluminense.

“It was not easy, but I think Liverpool will keep monitoring the player. This is a special player, this is not a normal player. Andre is a very, very good player.”

An all-action midfielder blessed with a brilliant engine, tackling ability and reading of the game, it is easy to see why Liverpool are so keen. Given the price tag involved too, it would come as a surprise were they not to try and trigger his signing come the winter window.

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