There is “nothing concrete” in reports linking Liverpool with a move for Sporting Lisbon attacking midfielder Pedro Goncalves, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Speculation in the Portuguese press earlier this week had claimed that the Reds, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Newcastle were all interested in signing the 25-year-old but, writing in his Substack column for Caught Offside, Romano said no team is currently negotiating with the player or his club:
“Despite reports linking him with the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle, there is nothing concrete on Pedro Goncalves at the moment. Sporting always wanted to keep Pedro so it was never a negotiation last summer.”
“For sure he’s going to be one to watch in the next years, but at the moment people close to him guarantee there’s nothing decided or close.”
Goncalves has a very high release clause
The Portuguese international only signed a new contract back in August and it includes an €80m (£70m) release clause.
Sporting are unlikely to sell Goncalves for below that figure. They are aware that interest in the player has increased, having come to people’s attention in England after scoring from the halfway line against Arsenal last season, but they are not prepared to let him leave on the cheap.
A potential replacement for Salah?
Goncalves can play on the left flank, as a right-winger, as a no.10 or no.8, and there have been some suggestions that the midfielder could be signed to replace Mo Salah.
Saudi Arabian clubs are keen to recruit the Egyptian, and there is a possibility that Liverpool will allow him to leave at the end of the season when he has less than a year left on his contract.
A number of names have been suggested as potential replacements for Salah, and Goncalves is likely to be on the list. The Reds have looked to Portugal to sign players in recent years, with both Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez having joined from teams in that country. Goncalves’s goal record is pretty impressive too, having scored 20 goals and provided 15 assists for Sporting last campaign.