Powerful Sevilla defender Diego Carlos has spoken out for the first time after being labelled as Liverpool’s No 1 target to become Virgil van Dijk’s long-term defensive partner.
The Brazilian defender moved to Spain from Ligue 1 side Nantes in the summer and has impressed, appearing in 24 matches in all competitions to help the club into third place in the table and in with a chance of bringing Champions League football back to the Ramon Sanchez Stadium.
The 27-year-old’s displays, however, have not gone unnoticed and it’s been claimed that Liverpool were interested in signing the player in January and that the Reds had tabled an offer for his services.
According to Spanish news outlet El Desmarque, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is also casting eyes on Diego Carlos, whom he sees as an ideal long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos.
However, the source adds that Liverpool remain in the driving seat ahead of the summer window – whenever that may open – and are willing to do what it takes to beat their European rivals to his signature, with the player seen as the perfect foil to play alongside lynchpin Van Dijk in the heart of their defence.
It is claimed that Klopp‘s side could activate the €75m release clause in his contract to bring him to Anfield.
However, speaking for the first time about Liverpool’s reported interest in him and that they had made a bid, the Brazilian said: “I am clear that coming to Sevilla is already taking a very big step,” he told Estadio Deportivo.
“If I ever leave Sevilla, it would be to go to a much bigger club, because Sevilla is already a great [club].
When asked if he has received an offer from Liverpool, Carlos said: “So far, my agent does not talk to me about those situations.
“I am not interested to know about other teams.
“I always tell him that, if he is going to tell me something, then it [must] be something firm. He should not come to me with stories, because I must have my head in Sevilla.
“I don’t want those things to cause me a distraction.”
Liverpool are said to be targeting the player as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who looks poised to leave Anfield this summer.
One man who had caught their was Leeds loanee Ben White, though their spies had outlined one key weakness that means an approach now looks unlikely.
Soares talks up Diego Carlos qualities
Carlos, it is said, has “everything” to be able to become one of the best centre-backs in the world and would reportedly benefit more by moving to Merseyside than to the Spanish capital.
Furthermore, the player’s former manager at his first European club has also spoken of the player’s enormous potential.
Fabiano Soares, who worked with Diego Carlos during his time at Portuguese side Estoril, has been hugely impressed by his progress in LaLiga and reckons he has exactly what’s required to succeed in the Premier League.
“There are some Real Madrid defenders who are worse than him. At Barcelona, there’s a lot more space because they’re a team who need fast players. And he’s very fast. That is why Klopp should be keeping an eye on him,” Soares told ESPN Brasil [via Sport Witness].
“He is a dynamic, intense, fast player. Football nowadays, for the slow player the market isn’t so good. Players who are fast and strong and competitive and who have quality, the coaches will always look at them.”