Klopp gobsmacked as Man City join Liverpool in heated battle for ideal Virgil van Dijk successor

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Manchester City are reportedly poised to battle Liverpool and five other European giants for one of Brazil’s best young prospects this winter. 

Pep Guardiola has a history of signing top young talents and turning them into superstars, and it seems he is looking to do that once again.

The target in question is Sao Paulo defender Lucas Beraldo. As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Liverpool are also interested in the 19-year-old. Jurgen Klopp sees him as a potential long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk. 

Beraldo broke into the Sao Paulo first-team last year. He has made 42 appearances so far – including starts in both legs of the Copa do Brasil final last month, which his side won against Flamengo – even though he is only a youngster.

Wolves also tried to sign the centre-back in the summer but saw a bid rejected.

With that in mind, there is clearly no shortage of interest in Beraldo and the race for his signature is expected to heat up even more when the transfer window re-opens in January.

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Man City join Liverpool in pursuit of Beraldo

According to journalist Alexsandar Vieira, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain are all interested in Beraldo, but it is Barcelona who are closest to making a bid.

São Paulo are said to be ‘fine with the situation.’ They are planning on either selling the player for a big amount in January or will keep him for the Copa Libertadores campaign next year.

Beraldo is under contract with the Brazilian club until June 2026. It is claimed that a bid in the region of €20m (approx. £17.3m) would be enough to sign him – this would make him the most expensive defender to ever leave Brazil.

The report points out that besides Manchester City, there are ‘minor clubs’ in England who are also interested in the player. This suggests that Premier League clubs other than Liverpool are also interested in Beraldo.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Man City or Liverpool make a concrete offer for Beraldo this winter. As it stands, though, it seems Barcelona are leading the race.

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