Liverpool linked with unlikely big-money transfer for Federico Valverde

No shortage of midfielders have been linked to Liverpool as the Reds continue their summer engine-room rebuild.

Alexis Mac Allister was the first to join for a reported £35m, followed by £60m Dominik Szoboszlai. Many suggest there could be one more midfield addition before the window closes, with Southampton's Romeo Lavia the most heavily linked in recent days. However, reports vary on whether the Reds will pay big for the 19-year-old and whether there need to be outgoing transfers first before any more players are signed.

The likes of Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), Manu Kone (Borussia Monchengladbach) and Khephren Thuram (Nice) have all been talked up in recent weeks — though interest in the latter seems to have been shelved following the Szoboszlai deal.

One eyebrow-raising name doing the rounds on social media and in live blogs is that of Real Madrid's Federico Valverde. The Mirror's Thursday transfer roundup mentioned a "shock" £77m bid, citing the Guardian — whose own transfer roundup column skeptically references "reports in Spain". The story has since been picked up by a number of outlets.

Where have the Federico Valverde links come from?

The original source of the story is Catalan site El Nacional, which claimed on Monday 3 July that Florentino Perez "instantly rejected" an €80m (£68m) offer from the Reds, who have since returned with €90m (£77m).

The outlet claims that the player does not want to leave Spain but speculate that he might see his game time limited following the arrivals Brahim Diaz and Jude Bellingham. That might well be true, but their claims that Liverpool are still on the hunt for more attack-minded midfielders despite signing Mac Allister and Szoboszlai do not correspond with anything reported elsewhere, with Liverpool seemingly likely only to invest in a player who can play the number 6 role, like Lavia.

National's claim that "even if it [the offer of 90m] is rejected again, they [Liverpool] will have no problem offering even more money" also suggests quite the lack of understanding in the way Liverpool have operated in the transfer market under FSG.

One of the standout stars of La Liga in 2022/23 (at least for the first half of the season), 24-year-old Valverde scored 12 times for Real Madrid across 56 appearances in all competitions. Pouring further water on any possibility of a Liverpool transfer —as if it was needed — the Uruguayan has a €1bn release clause and a contract until 2027.

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