Bruno Fernandes (POR), JUN 5, 2019 - Football / Soccer : UEFA Nations League Semi-finals match between Portugal 3-1 Switzerland at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Mutsu Kawamori/AFLO)

Liverpool move would “change everything” in race to sign Bruno Fernandes

Liverpool are positioned as favourites to sign Sporting CP’s Bruno Fernandes by the Portuguese media, after the midfielder praised their style of play.

Fernandes has emerged as one of the big-name transfer stories of the summer so far, after a campaign that saw him score 32 goals and lay on 18 assists in 53 games.

This included nine long-range strikes and four direct free-kicks, with the 24-year-old demonstrating his prowess from outside the penalty area as well as within it.

Unsurprisingly given his form this season, Fernandes has been linked with a variety of top clubs in recent weeks, with Liverpool a name regularly mentioned as a possible suitor.

Now according to Lisbon tabloid Correio de Manha, the most-circulated daily newspaper in Portugal, the Reds are “looking for an opportunity” to sign the attacking midfielder.

They add that though Tottenham are the “main stakeholders” in a deal that would be worth around £62.4 million, “a move from Liverpool can change everything.”

It is claimed that this is due to Fernandes’ admiration for Jurgen Klopp‘s approach, which stems from a relatively innocuous interview with De Cadeirinha podcast at the end of May.

“I really like Liverpool. It’s a more direct, more offensive, perhaps less organised, but more intense football,” he explained.

“When they don’t have ball possession, they are more intense.”

This is not Fernandes expressing his desire to join Liverpool, and therefore it would be wise not to use this as a basis for such a report.

But it would come as no surprise if the Reds were interested.

Following the breakdown of last year’s proposed £52.75 million deal to sign Nabil Fekir from Lyon, Klopp opted not to pursue an alternative immediately.

And while his side succeeded without a direct replacement for Philippe Coutinho this season, finishing a point off top in the Premier League and winning the Champions League, it is likely one is still under consideration.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 28, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bolstering the attack would be sensible given the departure of Daniel Sturridge, too, although Xherdan Shaqiri arrived last summer, Divock Origi emerged from the fringes and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are back from injury.

Fernandes would provide Liverpool with a top-level addition to complement Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but it is still unclear whether there is any concrete interest.

For better or worse, the Merseyside press are yet to confirm or deny these reports, unlike with other rumoured targets such as Nicolas Pepe and Max Kruse.

After Portugal’s victory in the Nations League final on Sunday, Fernandes told Sport Mediaset that he is “not trying to leave,” but that “if the opportunity comes to go to a team that you can’t refuse” he would “talk to Sporting.”

Liverpool are due to play the Lisbon outfit in New York as part of their pre-season tour on July 24.