Liverpool have been told that a €60million (£51.7m) bid would see them sign Pedro Goncalves, the next Bruno Fernandes, and Manchester United are in the mix as well.
The Red Devils are interested in spite of already owning the real Bruno Fernandes. I wrote an article last week about how Jurgen Klopp will regret allowing United to sign the 26-year-old unchallenged.
I had this to say: “Not only has Fernandes elevated Manchester United from languishing nine points outside the top four in January to a Champions League place last season to second place this term, but he’s also excelling in a role that Liverpool currently have limited quality.”
As much as it pains me to say, Bruno Fernandes has been utterly world-class since leaving Sporting for United and with the Red Devils sniffing around his 22-year-old teammate for Portugal, Liverpool need to beat them to the punch at the second time of asking.
The Reds fell asleep at the wheel in the race to sign Fernandes and they can now make amends by signing Goncalves, who is hugely talented which is why he is in the Portugal squad for the EUROs.
He is surrounded by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix and yet he won’t be out of place.
With 23 goals and four assists for Sporting Lisbon in the league, he produced the goods just in time to be selected to be part of Portugal’s European Championship title defence which kicks off against Hungary before huge clashes with Germany and France.
Pedro’s 23 Liga Nos goals accounted for 35% of Sporting Lisbon’s goals in the league this season, making him a key member of their 2020/21 title-winning side and while their title win was founded on a strong defence, without his attacking talent, Porto might have beaten them to the trophy.
While it’s important to remember that playing in the Premier League is a lot more challenging than Portugal’s Primeira Liga but, with WhoScored.com’s Josh Wright labelling Pedro the ‘next Bruno Fernandes’, it’s worth taking a look at how the United midfielder translated his form back home to life in England.
In his final half-season in Portugal, he scored 15 goals and grabbed 14 assists before his January switch to Old Trafford worth £47million. He got 12 goals and 8 assists in his first half-season with United, dragging the Red Devils from eighth to third place.
This season, the 26-year-old has exploded into life in Manchester, scoring 28 times and setting 17 goals up for teammates: a total return of 45 direct goal contributions.
Now, just because Bruno and Pedro are both Sporting Lisbon products it doesn’t mean that if Liverpool sign the latter they will be getting a player capable of contributing nearly 50 goals per season but it’s an argument to say that coming from the Primeira Liga doesn’t necessarily mean a decrease in quality.
However, at €60million (£51.7m), the Reds will need to see an instant return from Pedro and if Liverpool are genuinely interested they can use this summer’s EUROs to have a closer look at him.
Jota has excelled at Liverpool and in Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, he will have several Portuguese speaking teammates.