Luis Diaz will travel to Liverpool in the next 48 hours after the Reds agreed personal terms and a £54m transfer fee with Porto, claims a Portuguese source.
Liverpool flew an entourage to South America to try to push through a late move for the Porto attacker. And a deal has now been completed, subject to a medical, according to a Portuguese source. The Reds stole a march on Tottenham and Manchester United to agree a deal which will see them pay an initial £37.5m with a maximum of £16.5m in add-ons if the 25-year-old is hugely successful at the club.
Diaz was manager Jurgen Klopp’s first choice for a summer transfer. But growing interest, specifically from United, forced them to move early.
It is believed the Red Devils’ interim manager Ralf Rangnick had expressed a significant interest in bringing the player to Old Trafford and that sparked their arch-rivals into action.
Tottenham were also in the running. And Spurs were prepared to come up with the finances and were understood to have opened talks. However, the player made it known his preferred choice was Anfield.
If the deal is confirmed it will be a huge coup for Julian Ward, who succeeds sporting director Michael Edwards in the summer.
According to Portuguese transfer insider Pedro Almeida, Ward has agreed to pay Diaz a £3.32m salary or the equivalent of £64,000 a week, with £1.24m in bonuses.
So it will be the first transfer Ward has taken the lead on using Edwards’ previously implemented strategy.
Deal completed with player, 4M€ salary and 1.5M€ in bonuses, deal completed with Porto, 45M€ + 20M€ in objectives. #LFC
— Pedro Almeida (@pedrogva6) January 28, 2022
The potential arrival of Diaz, who has scored 41 goals and provided 19 assists in 125 games for Porto after joining from Colombia’s Junior FC in the summer of 2019, will significantly freshen up a forward line of which Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will all be 30 by the end of the season.
However, it does not immediately change the club’s stance on Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi. Both players attracted interest late in this window.
Diaz arrival will not mean sales
Liverpool have rejected initial approaches from Monaco and Leeds for Japan international Minamino. The attacker has made 18 appearances this season, although only six of those have been starts.
And there is no pressing desire to offload the 27-year-old, especially with Liverpool still in four competitions. And only a considerable offer could persuade them to sell a player they signed from RB Salzburg in January 2020 for £7.25m.
Meanwhile, Atalanta are also considering striker Origi. He has scored five goals in 11 appearances.
He could become an option if Newcastle-linked Duvan Zapata moves to the Premier League.