Liverpool are 'expecting' an offer from Barcelona for Luis Diaz. That is the claim from one South American journalist.
Signed at the start of 2022 from Porto for an initial £37.5m, Diaz has gone on to become a key player under Jurgen Klopp – establishing himself as the preferred choice on Liverpool's left wing and even inheriting the number seven shirt at the start of the 2023/24 season.
The Colombia international has scored four times this season, including a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time against Luton as he made his comeback to first-team action having sat out two games amid his father's kidnapping.
Diaz's performances have not gone unnoticed in Catalonia, apparently.
Speaking on the 'Fútbol Total' programme on DSports on Tuesday, Argentine journalist Christian Martin reported that: "At Liverpool they are expecting, at some point, from Barcelona, an offer for Luis Diaz."
Backing up his big claim, Martin added that Diaz's 'dream' is to join Barça, while the La Liga side's president Joan Laporta has been a fan of the winger for some time.
He continued: "Luis Díaz has said he is a self-confessed Barcelona fan and that he and his family would like, at some point, to try the Barcelona experience on the field and off the field.
"At the time [back in 2022], Laporta said that they wanted to bring him in, but they didn't give him the money at that time. The story would be different now.
"At Liverpool they tell me: 'At some point we are waiting'. Anyway, Luis has a contract until 2027.
"Liverpool hope that Barcelona will offer them a player and Frenkie de Jong would be the one... If the numbers work, Luis would agree to go to Barcelona and it is his dream."
What's definitely true here is that Laporta did hold an interest in Diaz before he joined Liverpool.
Speaking back in 2022, the Barça president admitted: "There was a time when we were considering his signing, but at that time we were in an economic situation that we had to resolve and reverse.
"Liverpool beat us to it. He is a great player, but he belongs to Liverpool and I am not going to talk about this anymore."
On Barcelona being the club of Diaz's dreams, though, there is little evidence for the claim beyond a video from 2018 which shows the Colombian – then still playing for Atletico Junior in his homeland – naming clubs he would like to sign for some day. It's a list that included AC Milan and Chelsea, as well as the Catalan giants.
Nothing to worry about
The reality of an impending offer from Barcelona for Diaz remains unlikely.
Even if Martin's claim were true, Diaz is under contract at Anfield until 2027 and the days of Barça being able to muscle their way into transfers for whoever they like (see: Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho) are long gone.
La Blaugrana simply don't have the financial might to make an offer that Liverpool would deem too good to turn down.
Over the summer it was reported that Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal were prepared to put up €50m (£42m) to sign Diaz – a rumour that came to nothing.
In all likelihood, it would take more than double that figure to get Liverpool's attention – an amount Barça probably couldn't put up even if they wanted to amid the new era of reined-in budgets and mounting debt.
Excluding the bizarre Miralem Pjanic-Arthur Melo swap deal, Barcelona have not made a transfer exceeding €60m since the 2019/20 season.
BARCELONA IRÍA A LA CARGA POR LUIS DÍAZ 🚨
▶️ El equipo español estaría interesado en el jugador de Liverpool y Frenkie De Jong podría entrar en la negociación.
¿Te gustaría ver al colombiano en el equipo Culé? 🧐
— DSports (@DSports) November 13, 2023
Talk of Frenkie de Jong being used in a swap deal also shows little understanding of the Reds' recruitment policy.
The 26-year-old is undoubtedly a top talent but, having already undergone a major midfield revamp this summer, is unlikely to be top of the Reds' wish list – particularly when taking into account how high his wages would be.
Earlier this year, a report from Forbes claimed that De Jong – a player Barça have been trying to offload for some time – will earn around £300k a week this season on the terms of his current deal. Only Mohamed Salah earns more than that at Liverpool, with the Reds tied to a strict wage structure.