Diaz has officially made the move to Anfield for an initial fee of £37.5 million, with a further £12.5 million agreed in add-ons as he becomes Jurgen Klopp‘s new No. 23.
The 25-year-old is a surprise signing for Liverpool, who rarely conduct major business in the winter transfer window, but arrives following a tip-off over negotiations with Spurs.
Tottenham had been heavily linked with Diaz in the closing weeks of January, but as with Adama Traore – who has opted to rejoin Barcelona on loan – they have been let down in their pursuit.
According to the Telegraph‘s Sam Wallace, such was the manner in which Liverpool gazumped them to the transfer, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had “threatened to report” their recruitment team to Fenway Sports Group.
However, Wallace reports that the methods of Julian Ward, who led the process as he prepares to take over from Michael Edwards as sporting director, left FSG “delighted.”
Having repeatedly turned down Porto’s asking price of £50 million plus add-ons, Liverpool had nevertheless “asked that they could be informed” if any deal was struck for their priority target.
When Spurs agreed a package similar to that eventually paid by the Reds, Porto alerted Ward and he, along with Edwards and head of recruitment Dave Fallows, “moved quickly.”
With FSG sanctioning the fee, Liverpool jumped ahead of their Premier League rivals as Diaz made it clear he preferred a move to Merseyside.
After a FaceTime call with Jurgen Klopp, the club arranged for medical and media staff to head to Argentina to finalise the move and prepare its announcement.
Crucially, Liverpool have agreed to pay €8 million to Porto by Monday, which has allowed the Portuguese side to avoid UEFA sanctions during a period of financial difficulty.
“On Thursday, the Spurs chairman tried to get back into the running with an improved offer to Porto,” Wallace adds.
“But these things tend to have a momentum of their own. Those crucial funds for Porto had been arranged. Diaz and Klopp had spoken. The deal was moving inexorably in Liverpool’s direction and by close of play on Friday the backdoor closed gently behind them.”