Premier League • England

Liverpool make approach for dazzling Brazilian midfielder as Fabrizio Romano reveals top two Slot targets

Arne Slot is keen to bring Atalanta midfielder Ederson to Liverpool this summer

Arne Slot is keen to bring Atalanta midfielder Ederson to Liverpool this summer

Liverpool have made an enquiry with Atalanta for the signing of midfield talent Ederson with the player confessing he is ‘curious about a move to the Premier League’ and with Fabrizio Romano also revealing Arne Slot’s main summer priorities.

The Merseysiders are preparing for a bright new era on Merseyside with Slot about to commence his role as the successor to Jurgen Klopp, once the small matter of a family holiday in Ibiza is out of the way. The Dutchman does right to get in some much needed R&R ahead of what is sure to be a full-on summer and season ahead as he plots to continue the fine work done by his predecessor at Liverpool.

While TEAMtalk understands that Slot will officially begin his duties at their Kirkby training base some time next week, the Dutchman has already held a series of chats with the club’s CEO of football Michael Edwards and incoming new sporting director Richard Hughes over their transfer priorities this summer.

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And Slot, who was chosen by Edwards as their new manager due to his similar tactical approach and man-management style he has to Klopp, is thought to have identifed two positions in which he’d most likely to strengthen in this summer.

First up, Slot is believed to have made clear his wish to sign a new No 6 and long-term heir for Fabinho, who departed in summer 2023. And while Liverpool do have Wataru Endo as an option there, Slot is thought to have made clear his wish to sign a younger, more long-term option.

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The Reds boss would also like to sign a left-sided central defender, while a new attacker could also be targeted if the right opportunity comes along and if Luis Diaz or Mo Salah – the latter less likely – departs.

However, getting a new defensive midfielder through the door is high on the Reds’ agenda with a slot (pun intended) opening up in the squad following the summer exit of Thiago Alcantara at the end of his contract.

The Reds have been linked with the likes of Morten Hjulmand and Joao Neves in recent days, but their respective exits clauses – set at €80m and €120m apiece – make either deal difficult.

It would, however, take a more modest sum to convince Atalanta to cash in on Ederson, despite the 24-year-old enjoying a stellar season for the Italian side as they stormed to Europa League glory and with the player having recently earned his first senior cap for Brazil.

Now Romano has confirmed Liverpool have made their approach to bring him in, though he is one of a few options they are considering at this stage.

“The Atalanta midfielder has responded to the links with Liverpool, but what’s the situation? Liverpool made contact with his agents weeks ago but never started any negotiation, they didn’t send a bid so far, there are no talks ongoing at this stage.

“We have to see if they will include Ederson in their shortlist or not, it’s really early for this and there are no meaningful changes to the situation so far. Atalanta, meanwhile, don’t want to lose both Ederson and [Teun] Koopmeiners,” the Italian told Caught Offside.

Tactically flexible, Ederson can play as a 6, 8 or a 10 – versatility that could become important for the Reds were they to push through a deal.

Romano reveals Liverpool transfer priority

But with Romano confirming Liverpool’s approach, Ederson has already reacted to talk he could be on the move to Anfield this summer, stating: “I’m happy at Atalanta, my focus is on Brazil now.”

However, he teased: “I like Italy but I’m also curious about the Premier League. The only possibility to leave is if Atalanta receive a proposal and then… they decide, it’s up to Atalanta…”

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Discussing Liverpool’s approach to the transfer market this summer, Romano insists the most important priority for the Reds will actually be at centre-half.

They have a vacancy in their backline after the departure of Joel Matip. And while the talented Jarrel Quansah illustrated his talents this season, they are in the market for a left-sided centre-half given Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez also prefer the right side of central defence.

With Virgil van Dijk also turning 33 next month, and with contract talks currently on hold for now, Romano very much expects the Reds to focus on a new centre-half this summer.

“I think the top priority for Liverpool will be the new centre-back,” he told his Daily Briefing podcast. “What they really want to do as priority target is the new centre-back and then an offensive addition is also important and possible in case they find the right opportunity.”

The Reds have been linked with Sporting Lisbon pair Ousmane Diomande and Goncalo Inacio, among others.