Liverpool are expected to return with a bid for SC Braga centre-back David Carmo, after a late move for the 21-year-old was rejected at the end of the winter window.
Carmo was among a host of centre-backs the Reds approached in a desperate climax of the transfer window, with Ozan Kabak ultimately joining from Schalke on a half-season loan.
Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car was also on the club’s list of targets, but like Carmo, their advances were rebuffed due to an inability to find a replacement at short notice.
Kabak, who has made a strong start to life on Merseyside, could become a permanent member of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad if Liverpool activate a £18 million purchase option in their agreement with Schalke, but it is likely another centre-back is brought in next summer too.
They claim that Braga will be looking to receive a record transfer fee for the 6’5″ defender, having previously sold Francisco Trincao to Barcelona for €31 million.
Jornal de Noticias report that earlier this month Liverpool offered a €4 million loan fee with a purchase option of €20 million for the summer, but Braga rejected this.
Spanish publication AS, who cover interest in Carmo from Real Madrid, claim Braga were looking for a option-to-buy fee of €25 million if they were to allow their No. 16 to move to Anfield mid-season.
Now it would seem their price will be bumped up even further, though a valuation of just over €31 million – which converts to around £27 million – would still be a reasonable outlay for a player of Carmo’s potential.
The emergence of Madrid as competitors could muddy the situation for Liverpool, but it would seem the Reds are weighing up a number of candidates to strengthen a group that includes Kabak, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ben Davies.
As it stands, Nat Phillips will leave the club on the expiry of his contract at the end of the season, and while the injury crisis experienced this term is unprecedented, Klopp would surely be eager to have sufficient cover in place.
Carmo is, however, expected to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury suffered in last week’s 1-1 draw with Porto.