Liverpool ‘to open talks’ with Porto for £60m midfielder as Bayern Munich consider Reds target

Alan Varela is apparently on Liverpool's radar
-Credit: (Image: Diogo Cardoso/Getty Images)

Liverpool are reportedly set to enter discussions with Porto over defensive midfielder Alan Varela.

The 22-year-old is thought to have a release clause of £60m, although it is unclear whether Fenway Sport Group would be willing to meet that price. Arne Slot is rumoured to be a fan of Varela, who would fit into the tactical system he is expected to implement at Anfield.

Slot traditionally played with two midfield pivots at Feyenoord, and Liverpool are expected to make additions to that area of the pitch as a result. Wataru Endo and Stefan Bajcetic are the only natural options there with Alexis Mac Allister often struggling in the role.

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Spanish outlet AS says Liverpool are speeding up talks in order to try and land Argentine Varela sooner rather than later. It adds that Porto are expected to try to hold out for their release clause, with former club Boca Juniors set to receive a percentage of any fee received.

Varela - who has four years left on his deal - played 44 matches for Porto this season, chipping in with two goals and three assists as the club lifted the Portuguese Cup. The youngster has also earned two under-23 caps for Argentina, making his debut in March.

Meanwhile, Sky Germany (via FCBInside) says Bayern Munich will consult new boss Vincent Kompany before deciding whether to launch a pursuit of 20-year-old Mainz attacker Brajan Gruda, who has been linked with Liverpool.

The right winger played 29 times this season, mostly in attacking midfield, scoring four goals and registering three assists. His goal in the 3-1 Bundesliga final day win over Wolfsburg helped Mainz survive relegation to the second tier.

Gruda has two years left on his contract at the club but is expected to move on this summer. Liverpool are thought to be plotting to source a future successor for Mohamed Salah, who will soon enter the final 12 months of his Reds deal.