Liverpool has been credited with an interest in Fulham‘s Fabio Carvalho in recent weeks, but just what do we know about the Reds’ pursuit of the 19-year-old?
The hours until the January transfer deadline are quickly dwindling to zero and, as expected, Liverpool have not been active participants.
Outgoings may be on the cards and while new faces are not anticipated, Carvalho could prove to be the exception should things fall into place.
His name has risen in prominence with regards to Liverpool as the month has progressed – but what do we know about the teenager and his situation?
Who is Fabio Carvalho?
The 19-year-old has established himself as a regular in Marco Silva’s Fulham side in his maiden season as a full-time senior player, contributing seven goals and three assists in 18 games.
Carvalho, an exciting attacking midfielder who is capable of playing out wide or deeper in midfield, has risen through the youth ranks at Fulham having first started at Benfica’s academy.
The Portuguese-born Carvalho has represented England at U16, U17 and U18 levels and has seen his keen eye for a pass, first touch and proficiency in front of goal catch the eye of many.
Can see why Liverpool are opting for Fulham's Fabio Carvalho. You basically won't find a bigger goal threat among U21-players in that position anywhere. pic.twitter.com/lgSJWDvRg1
— Marcus Bring (@MarcusBr22) January 25, 2022
He battled through a toe injury earlier in the season before then being sidelined by COVID-19 for a total of nine league games, but in his last three appearances has four goals and an assist to help Fulham pull away at the top of the Championship.
What has been reported?
Firstly, it is important to note that Carvalho’s contract at Fulham is to expire in the summer as he resisted signing new terms in November.
It means he will be available for a free transfer in summer unless the Cottagers decide to cash in while they can in January.
So where do Liverpool come into it?
The Athletic‘s James Pearce reported earlier in the month that the Reds “have scouted Carvalho extensively and their reports have been described as ‘glowing’.”
Pearce added: “He would fit the bill at Anfield in terms of his age, profile and the fact he qualifies as homegrown.”
And let’s not forget Harvey Elliott travelled a similar path.
The Reds are not the only ones with reported interest, though, with clubs throughout the Premier League and Europe on alert for the highly rated prospect.
But while Liverpool’s interest is clear, the line has been that the Reds are not going to initiate a move this month – although “the club’s recruitment staff are monitoring the teenager’s situation closely” should Fulham look to cash in before his deal runs out.
With Fulham pushing for promotion back to the Premier League, the question will be if they are content to ride out Carvalho’s current deal as they try again for an extension amid a crowded room of suitors, or cash in while they can.
What is the price tag?
There is no definitive fee for a January switch, although £5 million was stated to be “far too low for a player of his value.”
The Elliott transfer will have hardened Fulham somewhat and should Carvalho leave in the summer and join an English club, they would need to settle for a compensation fee, likely through a tribunal.
The initial outlay of £1.7 million for Elliott wasn’t received kindly at Craven Cottage, though they would likely be guaranteed more this time around considering the 19-year-old’s current standing in the team.
Why are Liverpool interested?
At just 19, Carvalho represents an exciting homegrown prospect who has blossomed in senior football, after having first been handed valuable Premier League minutes at the back end of 2020/21 – even scoring in his first start at Southampton.
Liverpool are at the stage where a further injection of youth and a plan for the short and long-term future is needed, with Elliott the latest to make his breakthrough following Curtis Jones.
This regeneration in the form of a local talent ticks a number of boxes, and landing Carvalho would represent a clear strategy from the Reds who also landed Kaide Gordon last year.
With plenty of upside, it’s a move that is certainly realistic, and they’ll hope to land another bargain fee at a tribunal.