Liverpool could be midway through their master plan to sign Matheus Nunes, which they enjoyed success with back in 2007 when they acquired the services of Javier Mascherano. The Reds are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements and they are expected to splash the cash in that department over the summer.
Jurgen Klopp has paid the price for the lack of investment in his midfield ranks so far this season, with injury problems and ageing players failing to meet the mark in the Premier League. Thus, an injection of quality is anticipated at the end of the season – with one signing this month potentially kickstarting the spending spree.
Portugal international Nunes was admired over the summer and talks with Sporting were held, but Wolves swept in from beneath their noses to strike a deal… or so it seemed. Liverpool did not appear to put up a fight when a move to Molineux was agreed upon, and it may be because they anticipated a move this year.
Given how Mascherano arrived at Anfield 16 years ago, it would be no surprise for Liverpool to settle for playing the long game with Nunes in hope of signing him in a cut-price deal further down the line.
The Reds were interested in signing Mascherano from Corinthians in 2006 but settled for allowing West Ham to secure his signature – aware of how agent Kia Joorabchian was working to strengthen the club and put his client in the shop window. The Hammers had only just been promoted to the Premier League and thus expectations around the club were low.
Liverpool knew that if they could plug short-term holes in their squad, there would be an opening for them to pounce and secure Mascherano. The same can certainly be said for Nunes at Wolves, who is represented by Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes – who has worked with the Midlands side on numerous occasions previously.