Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been advised to rekindle his bid to sign Fluminense star Andre with a cult Anfield hero describing the Brazilian as a “fantastic talent” and someone who can make a real difference at Anfield.
The Merseysiders invested heavily into their midfield rebuild over the summer, bringing in four new players to the combined tune of £145.2m. However, with six players departing from the engine room over the summer, it is felt there remains room for another addition to be brought into the Liverpool fold when the winter window opens for business.
One man the Reds have been on the trail for over several months is Fluminense star Andre, who was subject of a Reds approach over the summer.
Back then, the timing of his sale was not to Fluminense’s liking, coming as it did midway through a season in which the club were chasing Copa Libertadores glory.
And while that decision ultimately proved entirely correct with Fluminense crowned kings of South America after a 2-1 win over Boca Juniors in the final, the Brazilian side are powerless to prevent the sale of their prized asset heading into the January window.
To that end, Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt has admitted his side are bracing themselves for a “stratospheric proposal” to lure their star man away.
And while his €35m (£30m) exit clause appears to have set his fee in stone, rising demand for his services could yet see the Brazilian side make even more than they bargained for.
However, in recent weeks, Liverpool’s interest in Andre has faded, with Klopp and Co deciding instead to pursue other targets.
Liverpool told to wreck Fulham plan to sign Andre
To that end, we revealed how Liverpool were more likely to move for another Brazilian star Gabriel Moscardo instead, though that trail has also since gone a little cold.
As a result, it seems Liverpool’s priorities in January will be on signing a new centre-half; a need that has become significantly greater off the back of Joel Matip’s season-ending ACL injury.
On that topic, a report on Saturday revealed the three players Klopp has shortlisted as possible options for the Reds to sign in January.
And with Liverpool, and Andre’s other suitors, Arsenal, also moving on to alternative targets, it’s seemingly been left for Fulham with a clear and unchallenged move to bring the player to the Premier League.
Indeed, with the Cottagers battling to retain the services of Joao Palhinha, it’s little wonder they have arrowed in on a €35m deal to sign the once-capped Brazil star Andre as his possible replacement.
However, former Liverpool star Lucas Leiva, who spent 10 seasons at Anfield between 2007 and 2017 after himself arriving as a relative-unknown from Gremio, is urging Klopp to rekindle his move to sign Andre.
Labelling the player a modern-day No 6, he feels his old club would be making a big mistake not swooping to bring the 22-year-old to Anfield and feels they should try and disrupt Fulham’s bid to sign him.
“He’s a very good player,” Lucas said on the Aldo Meets podcast. “I would say he’s the new modern number six you know. He’s not very big but he’s very strong.
“He just won the Copa Libertadores for Fluminense, a fantastic talent, he could be a good addition of course for Liverpool because it’s a position that’s really important to the team.”
A ringing endorsement from Liverpool old boy Lucas
Lucas continued: “You never know how these boys will do. I’m always very careful because I know how difficult it is to come from Brazil, he’s a fantastic player, but it depends now if the club and manager feel that his way of playing would fit the way Liverpool plays.”
Having made 346 appearances for the Reds over that 10 season spell, Lucas played with some of the Merseysiders’ modern-day icons. Time also spent with Lazio, where he played for five seasons, together with the 24 caps he won for Brazil, means he will have operated alongside some of the most technically-gifted midfielders of the last 25 years.
As a result, he’s certainly more qualified than most to suggest when a midfield player is someone worth pursuing, with Liverpool perhaps wise to listen to their former player’s endorsement.
Whether that is enough, however, to convince them to make a move appears unlikely, given, as he touches upon, they might well decide he doesn’t quite fit what they’re after.
The Reds did sign Wataru Endo as a No 6 over the summer and while there has been some sceptimism over the Japan international, his game-time under Klopp has increased in recent weeks, with the player named in their starting line-up for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.