Premier League • England

Slot sanctions Liverpool move for Brazilian talent as quality Reds star responds to Real Madrid links

New Liverpool boss Arne Slot and midfielder Alexis Mac Allister

New Liverpool boss Arne Slot and midfielder Alexis Mac Allister

Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister has offered a definitive response to claims he will quit Anfield for Real Madrid – while Arne Slot has greenlighted a Reds swoop for a top young Fluminense star in what could prove his first signing for the club.

The Reds are gearing up for what they hope will be a bright new era on Merseyside, with Dutchman Slot chosen as the man to replace Jurgen Klopp in the Liverpool dug out. Stepping into the German’s shoes will be no easy feat, given the seven trophies Klopp delivered together with the energy he brought to the club and the connection he had with the fans during his hugely-memorable tenure.

Slot, though, has been chosen due to his similar man-management style and approach he has to the game, with the 4-2-3-1 formation he prefers not a million miles different from the 4-3-3 Liverpool tended to play under Klopp.

Keeping the same core of players who made Liverpool so successful under Klopp at Anfield will be key – and a report earlier this week suggested that Slot is keen to build his Reds squad around six key stars to ensure their golden period continues.

And while the Merseysiders have confirmed both Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip will depart at the end of their contracts, Slot will largely plan to keep the rest of his big names in place, despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding both Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez.

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However, some unwelcome attention of late has seen Argentina midfielder Mac Allister linked with a shock move to Real Madrid.

Mac Allister quickly distances talk of move to Real Madrid

The World Cup winner moved to Anfield in a bargain £35m deal last summer and, while he took time to settle, soon started showing his qualities with some absolute quality displays in the middle of the park.

And those displays have been noted in Spain too, amid claims that Mac Allister has emerged as Real Madrid’s No 1 target to replace Toni Kroos after he announced this week he would be retiring from the game.

Kroos has enjoyed a stellar career, helping Los Blancos to win 21 major pieces of silverware and, quite possibly, another Champions League trophy in what will be his final ever match for the club.

As a result, it was suggested that Carlo Ancelotti had earmarked Mac Allister as his preferred replacement in midfield and amid claims the player has a £65m exit clause in his Anfield deal.

However, TEAMtalk understands that such a clause does not exist and is not something typically that Liverpool agree on when signing players; the same of which can also be said of Mac Allister’s Anfield deal which is currently due to run until June 2028.

Thankfully Mac Allister has also now denied claims he could depart for the LaLiga champions, stating: “I am very happy at Liverpool. I’m happy, a good season individually. We had objectives that we couldn’t meet, but I still think it was a very good season,” he said.

The 25-year-old finished the season with seven goals and seven assists, and hopes to take his form into this summer’s Copa America.

“It is always a pride to be in the national team, I am very happy I found out about the call through the networks, at the same time as you,” Mac Allister explained.

Liverpool transfers: Slot makes move for Fluminense starlet

Liverpool, meanwhile, could be edging closer towards a first signing of the Slot era with the Dutchman seemingly keen on a deal for Fluminense talent, Matheus Reis.

The 17-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for the Brazilian side, but his talents have already drawn some attention after some eye-catching displays for their Under-2os side.

Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City, Chelsea and AS Monaco are among the clubs having registered their interest in his signing.

Now reports from South America claim both Liverpool and Newcastle have reached out to his agent in an effort to strike a deal for the attacker whom is claimed has ‘lots of potential’.

The teenager already has a €50m exit clause in his deal with the Rio de Janeiro side, but as is typical these days, clubs are trying to beat the curve and sign up the top Brazilian talents before they become the global superstars they are tipped to become.

Reis is considered among the next wave of top Brazilian talents with Endrick moving to Real Madrid this summer and with Chelsea having also virtually closed on a deal to sign Estevao Willian.

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And like the latter, Liverpool hope to agree a deal for Reis to enable him to move to Anfield when he turns 18 in the summer of 2025.

It’s understood that Slot has given his go ahead for the deal to go through and if an agreement can be struck, he could prove the first signing, of sorts, of the Slot era at Anfield.

Reis has represented Brazil’s Under-17s, despite being born in Mexico City, and having declared his allegiance to lo Selecao.