It is being reported by Portuguese news outfit A Bola, that Liverpool are in advanced talks to sign Porto playmaker Otávio Edmilson da Silva Monteiro, who goes by ‘Otavio’.
Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to have instructed club chiefs to sanction the transfer of the 26-year-old who has really started to blossom over the last couple of seasons in Portugal.
The fee that is being mooted is understood to be in the region of £35 million, with Liverpool chiefs knowing that they need to invest in the squad if they are going to mount a challenge to wrestle back the Premier League trophy from Manchester City next season.
Operating as an attacking midfielder, the Brazilian could step into the shoes of Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum who is being heavily tipped to leave Anfield and join Barcelona.
What do we know about Otavio?
Having moved to FC Porto in 2016 from Vitória Guimarães SC B, Otavio has gradually developed his game over the years. Earning some comparisons to fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, because of his movement and style of play, there is no doubt though that he is far less clinical.
Despite this, he has racked up an impressive number of assists in his last four seasons, directly contributing to 35 league goals. Diminutive, with an eye for a pass and hard to mark, it is understandable why Klopp is thought to be so interested, with Liverpool needing somewhat of a creative force in the middle of the park.
Otavio could be just the player and may just form a flourishing relationship with compatriot Roberto Firmino who has shone under the German boss. Meanwhile, he could also provide the link to what could become an interesting Samba spine, with goalkeeper Alisson Becker at the base and Fabinho in the heart of midfield.
Do Liverpool need Otavio?
While there is no doubting the player’s potential, it begs the question of whether Liverpool should be concentrating their recruitment efforts in other areas of the squad this summer. It is no secret that they are considerably light at centre back, with both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez still ruled out.
Meanwhile, it has been suggested that adequate cover for both Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah is needed, in addition to an upgrade on striker reinforcements for Firmino. Having also signed Thiago Alacantara from Bayern Munich last summer as well and with Naby Keita offering another option, the signing of Otavio could be seen as somewhat of a luxury.
Then there is the matter of finances. While the 2020/2021 season has been a turbulent time for many football clubs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most will have limited transfer budgets this summer.
The Reds spent just over £85 million in last summer’s transfer window, with Thiago and Diogo Jota, being the two flagship signings. It is crucial that the club get their recruitment right this time around if they are to mount a serious title challenge. Rivals Chelsea and both Manchester clubs will no doubt be adding to their squads and Klopp knows that this summer is crucial.
A former Press Association Sports Journalist (NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists), now based in Lisbon, Matt also has over a decade of experience working with the top operator brands. These include Coral, BetVictor, and numerous others, having held a number of senior positions and still retains strong industry relationships. He enjoys reading, writing, travelling, all things business, sport, meeting new people, learning new things and also holds football coaching qualifications.