Fabrizio Romano confirms Arsenal have won transfer race but Liverpool have turned to £43m alternative

After Liverpool and Newcastle United made “exploratory contacts” regarding Nuno Tavares, Arsenal have won the race for his signature.

While Liverpool are set to miss out on one Nuno, they seem to have turned their attention to another after reports last week detailed interest in Sporting Lisbon’s Nuno Mendes.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Nuno Tavares to Arsenal is a done deal.

He writes on Twitter: “Nuno Tavares to Arsenal, done deal and ‘here we go’ confirmed. Paperworks to be signed between #AFC and Benfica board for €8m + add ons.”

Standard's Abdoul Tapsoba and Benfica's Nuno Tavares fight for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between Belgian soccer club Standard de Liege and Portugese team Benfica in Liege on December 10, 2020.
Standard’s Abdoul Tapsoba and Benfica’s Nuno Tavares fight for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between Belgian soccer club Standard de Liege and Portugese team Benfica in Liege on December 10, 2020. (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)

The player is scheduled to have a medical with the Gunners as a deal nears completion.

A report from Record in April stated that Liverpool, alongside Newcastle United, had made contact with Benfica for Tavares but Arsenal have now secured his signature.

Attention turns from Nuno Tavares to Nuno Mendes

Liverpool are now turning their attention to Sporting Lisbon star Nuno Mendes, Record’s website now reports.

They claim that the 19-year-old is being tracked by Liverpool but will cost £43m and after he won Liga NOS with Sporting Lisbon, his stock has skyrocketed.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 01: Nuno Mendes of Sporting CP gestures during the Liga NOS round six match between Sporting CP and CD Tondela at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 1, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal.
LISBON, PORTUGAL – NOVEMBER 01: Nuno Mendes of Sporting CP gestures during the Liga NOS round six match between Sporting CP and CD Tondela at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 1, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also monitoring his progress.

What does interest in Mendes mean for Liverpool?

It’s a curious story. Both Tavares and Mendes are left-backs and while Kostas Tsimikas had a poor first season at Anfield, he is set to remain at the club and will surely have a better time of things going forward.

That said, interest in left-backs could suggest that Liverpool are preparing for the possibility of Tsimikas leaving the club.

It does seem unlikely that the Reds will want to sell the Greek star when he is only a backup. Andy Robertson is hardly ever out of the side and so whether or not Tsimikas is fit and firing is an afterthought.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on February 07, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 07: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on February 07, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Additionally, Mendes is under contract with Sporting until 2025 after he signed a six-year contract with the Portuguese side last year.

What is Liverpool’s likely summer business?

A new midfielder and a new attacker are the most likely arrivals this summer but with Liverpool still assessing the market and waiting to generate funds from sales, it’s unclear who they will sign.

Georginio Wijnaldum leaving for free was expected but it creates an issue as his Bosman exit means there aren’t any extra funds allocated for a replacement.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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