Liverpool monitoring in-demand wonderkid amid contract talks

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Liverpool’s injury woes are well-known.

The Reds have lost centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has also struggled this season.

Andrew Robertson has spent time on the sidelines too, and one has to think that the Reds will be looking towards the transfer market in January to strengthen the backline.

They did try to strengthen in the summer, bringing in the back-up left-back Kostas Tsimikas, but he has yet to truly impress.

As such, it is little surprise that the Reds are one of the clubs being linked with Sporting CP full-back Nuno Mendes, per A Bola via Sport Witness.

The Portugal U21 international is just 18 and has also attracted interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.

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He has made his first-team breakthrough this season, playing in every Liga NOS game thus far this term, and the Reds are eyeing up a move.

Mendes currently has a release clause of €45m (£40.4m) in his contract but Sporting are hoping to raise that by convincing him to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Liverpool, per the report, would back out if the buyout clause exceeded that amount, and the Reds are yet to actually discuss a deal with the Portuguese club.

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Still, Mendes is said to be keen to stay at Sporting.

The teen is reported to be looking forward to renewing his deal, perhaps because of the sheer amount of first-team football he is currently getting.

That could change, of course, if a big offer is tabled.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Mendes appears to be a star in waiting.

He has had a rapid rise through Portugal’s youth teams and he has some mightily impressive statistics.

WhoScored stats show that Mendes averages 1.7 tackles per game in the league, 3.3 interceptions, just 0.7 fouls and 1.1 clearances.

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He also averages 0.7 shots, one key pass, and 1.4 dribbles, along with 1.9 crosses.

WhoScored rates his dribbling as “very strong” and his crossing as “strong”; this is a properly moden full-back with the ability to make things happen at both ends of the pitch, and he’s 18.

Whether the price rises or not, Liverpool should be signing Mendes whatever the price, as he offers a back-up for Robertson for perhaps the next decade or more.

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