Who is Alan Varela? £60m Porto star compared to Javier Mascherano wanted by Liverpool

Porto midfielder Alan Varela has been linked with Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)


One of the latest transfer rumours centred around Liverpool is seeing the club linked with Porto midfielder Alan Varela.

The summer transfer window is not yet open and yet the Reds are already being credited as suitors for potential new signings. Arne Slot is preparing for his first season as Liverpool's new head coach after replacing Jurgen Klopp in the Anfield dugout.

It remains to be seen what players Liverpool will target during Slot's first summer transfer window. Already the rumours are speculating that Varela could be a target for the Reds.

Varela has previously been linked with a move to Anfield in recent months. Argentina-based news outlet Deportes 24 has claimed that the Reds are joined by Manchester City and Bayern Munich in showing an interest in signing Varela. There have also been reports that Varela may have a €70 million (£60 million) release clause in his contract.

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So what more do we know about the latest player linked with Liverpool?

Varela is 22 years old and operates as a defensive midfielder for Porto. He began his career in Argentina and joined Boca Juniors in 2018 at the age of 17.

It took nearly three years for Varela to make his first-team debut for the Argentinian club in February 2021 when he was 19 years old. Varela did not take long to become a key member of the Boca Juniors first team, making 43 appearances in the 2021/22 campaign in what was his first full season in the senior set-up.

Varela eventually made 111 appearances for Boca Juniors before he signed for Porto last summer. Liverpool were linked with his signature at the time, but the midfielder instead decided to make the switch to Portugal.

Almost 12 months later the links to Liverpool are resurfacing, only this time Varela has Champions League experience behind him. The midfielder played a key role in helping Porto beat Arsenal in the last-16 first-leg win at the Estadio do Dragao back in February, earning plenty of admirers with his performance.

Such appearances have seen Varela compared to former Liverpool star Javier Mascherano

What has been said about Alan Varela amid Liverpool transfer links

Porto boss Sergio Conceicao spoke about the "evolution" Varela has undergone during his time with the Primeira Liga club. Conceicao explained earlier this year why he has been so impressed by what Varela brings to his team.

"I wanted a player who would occupy the same space as [Matheus] Uribe," Conceicao told O Jogo in February.

"I saw the potential to fit into the defensive line when a central defender comes out in coverage. He [Varela] didn't venture forward much, but it was for tactical reasons, because I think that He arrives well in front, defines well, has a good long pass and a good shot.

"There has been an interesting evolution. to appear more frequently. That's what we ask of the midfielders."