Liverpool faces Man Utd competition for '$53m next Ronaldinho' as first Arne Slot transfer eyed

(Photo by Franklin Jacome/Getty Images)
QUITO, ECUADOR - APRIL 24: Luis Guilherme has caught the eye with Palmeiras this season -Credit:(Photo by Franklin Jacome/Getty Images)

Liverpool is edging closer to the post-Jürgen Klopp era, with just three matches remaining before the German departs Anfield. There has been much speculation over who will replace him but it now appears that Arne Slot will be in charge next season.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool is already being linked with reinforcements in the transfer window as it looks to strengthen for the new season. But reports suggest Slot has already identified his first piece of business, should his appointment be confirmed.

Richard Hughes will take over as sporting director at the end of the season and he will link up with Liverpool's next manager to lead the transfer business. Outgoings are as likely as incomings with Slot expected to put his stamp on the Reds squad.

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Injured duo Thiago Alcântara and Joël Matip are expected to depart on free transfers when their contract expires. Decisions will also need to be made over the futures of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, who will be 32 and 33 respectively when their deals run out next summer.

Slot will inherit a young squad once his appointment is confirmed and Spanish publication Nacional suggests he is eyeing another teenage addition. It is claimed the Dutchman is a big fan of Palmeiras midfielder Luis Guilherme.

The 18-year-old only made his senior debut a year ago but is developing an impressive reputation in Brazil, drawing similarities to ex-Barcelona and AC Milan icon Ronaldinho. The report states Liverpool would be willing to pay around $21m (£17m/€20m) for the teenager.

However, Palmeiras does not want to lose Guilherme and will demand a considerably higher fee, closer to $53m (£42m/€50m). Real Madrid is set to pay a total of $64m (£51m/€60m) for teammate Endrick and the Brazilian side value Guilherme at a similar price.

Liverpool is not expected to get a free run at the midfield ace though, with Manchester United also said to be monitoring the situation. Journalist André Hernan reports that the Red Devils have made checks on Guilherme, as have Borussia Dortmund and French side AS Monaco. says: The Reds are likely to seek reinforcements this summer under Slot, should his appointment be finalized. Klopp has given plenty of opportunities to young players this season and they will hope his replacement follows suit. Guilherme appears to be another exceptional talent but at 18, may not yet be ready for the Premier League. For that kind of fee, Liverpool will need someone primed to make an impact from the off.