Super agent Jorge Mendes could hold key to next secret Liverpool transfer – Liverpool Echo

Liverpool’s most secretive transfer deals have paid off handsomely in the past two seasons.

First there was the surprise signing of Fabinho, who joined from Monaco just two days after the Reds’ defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League final in May 2018.

Then Diogo Jota put pen to paper at Anfield just over three months ago in a shock move after being purchased from Wolves for £41m.

Both of the deals were done in almost complete secrecy after both players were scouted extensively and they have both been outstanding during their time at the club so far – albeit for varying lengths.

But that is not where the similarities end, because the duo are both represented by football agency GestiFute – which is spearheaded by super-agent Jorge Mendes.

And it is because the Reds had struck up good terms with the Portuguese representatives when they thrashed out a deal for Fabinho away from the media’s glare in the summer of 2018, that Liverpool were able to largely keep a lid on discussions before a deal was secured in mid-September for Jota.

These sort of deals suit Liverpool down to the ground, because it keeps prying eyes away from any activity and nullifies any chance of rival clubs trying to pry the Reds’ incoming asset away at the very last moment with an offer and getting a run on all of their hard work.

Behind the scenes right now at Anfield efforts are ongoing to secure the next sensational talent who will help Liverpool to continue asserting their dominance at the top of European and domestic football.

As is commonplace with Liverpool‘s recruitment, a position on the pitch will be highlighted before a handful of transfer options are whittled down to a concise shortlist with overtures in turn being made.

It was the same with Jota as it was with the signing of Kostas Tsimikas, who also found himself the subject of interest alongside Jamal Lewis, Lloyd Kelly and Sergio Reguilon, as the Reds ran through the specifics of their left-back search last summer.

Even when Virgil van Dijk was so doggedly tracked by the Reds, as many as 30 centre-backs were looked at before the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Kalidou Koulibaly and Jerome Boateng made the shortlist.

More recently, the talented Ben White at Brighton has been tracked extensively as a player who could apply their talents in the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s backline but any sort of deal has not been struck or even drawn up with the summer window appearing more likely to aquire his services.

Of course, no position is more important to fill at Liverpool right now than centre-half due to the extensive injury issues and lack of senior option in that position – so it makes sense that any talented yet versatile young centre-back with extensive first-team experience is being looked at.

There is an understanding that the Reds are looking at next summer, to carry out any deal and they are known for getting deals done early in the market.

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However, all is not lost for those desperate to see a centre-back arrive in January because of the injury crisis at the back for Liverpool right now – despite the fact we are already just over halfway through the window.

The situation in both football and the outside world right now is difficult and finances are tight but Jota signed late in the summer window and at a time when funds were also tight, with the Premier League champions now indebted to Wolves’ flexibility when it came to negotiating the fee and structure of payments.

Working out a similar deal would be vital should any transfer suddenly begin to emerge – and agents who can broker such deals are key.

Klopp has not categorically ruled anything out and Liverpool are not totally unwilling to sign anyone should the right player become available.

Who would you like to see Liverpool sign in January? Let us know in the comments below.

And if the Reds’ search for a defender, who can masterfully apply their trade in the centre of defence, heats up then the signings of Jota and Fabinho could prove key because of the solid relationship the club are building with huge agencies holding many talented players on their books.

GestiFute, for example, possess the likes of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City quartet Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Ederson and Joao Cancelo while elsewhere they have centre-backs in the form of Nicolas Otamendi and Ruben Vezo – the latter of whom plays for Levante in La Liga.

Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp.jpg 

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Vezo and Otamendi are not likely the ideal signing for Klopp, of course, with any potential incoming players extensively tracked, monitored and assessed with the club completely unwilling to sign any short-term fix.

However, it does highlight another road Liverpool can take to get a deal done should they wish to and with someone like Mendes on side – he could be an ideal man to utilise in helping to set up any deal for a player the Reds desire.

If not, there is also a huge positive to take for the Reds in that players, agents and clubs will see how Liverpool like to get their business done and won’t shy away from opening talks with the club due to their standing in world football and the transfer market with major players.

Ultimately, it proves the work Michael Edwards is doing behind the scenes to build up good working relationships across the football network to move when the green light is given successful.

So, watch this space – because it may look like any deals are destined for the summer but things can change very swiftly.