LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool linked with Boca Juniors midfielder – a market Reds should explore?

There’s a new name on the list for midfielders being linked with Liverpool, with Boca Juniors’ Alan Varela said to be scouted by the Reds.

Varela is a 21-year-old Argentine defensive midfielder, a key player for Boca in his fourth season as a professional.

A Boca website reports that Liverpool had scouts in attendance to watch Varela in their recent match at La Bombonera against Tigre.

Liverpool were also said to have scouted Varela back in March, with the player interesting five clubs, including Barcelona and Newcastle.

It’s claimed that Varela has a release clause of $15 million (£11.7 million).

What makes the links with Varela interesting is that supporters have pointed to the South American market as an area the Reds should be doing business, with one example being Alexis Mac Allister.

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Argentina won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brighton paid Argentinos Juniors £6.9 million in 2019, before sending him on loan to Boca Juniors for a season.

The Seagulls also signed Moises Caicedo, from Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle, for just £5 million.

Man City‘s capture of Julian Alvarez is another example, signed for £14.1 million.

Capturing a player like Varela for what is a relatively low fee, then loaning him back to Boca to develop for another season could well prove a relatively low risk, high potential return.

One of the reasons the South American market is now one English clubs can explore more is the changes made to work permit rules.

In 2021, we explained: “For a club like Liverpool, it could open up a new source of talent in South America, as long as the players they identify are good enough to take up one of those valuable squad places.”

Mac Allister recently likened Liverpool to Boca in an interview while back on international duty with Argentina.

While Varela seems more like a signing for the future, especially as Boca’s season runs in line with the calendar year so would at the earliest be a January arrival, Liverpool’s main area of focus is midfielders for this summer.

The short list for that continues to look like Khephren Thuram, Manu Kone, Gabri Veiga, Ryan Gravenberch and Romeo Lavia.

All of those players are now currently away on international duty, so don’t expect any new signing to be confirmed imminently.

Liverpool’s players return to pre-season training in July 8.