Liverpool in talks with Sporting Lisbon over Gelson Martins as Mohamed Salah negotiations stall
Liverpool are in talks with Sporting Lisbon regarding a deal for winger Gelson Martins as the club continue their quest to bring in a pacy attacker.
The Reds have been in negotiations with Roma about Mohamed Salah, but fear being priced out of a move for the Egypt international, and Press Association Sport understands Martins is seen as a potential option.
It has been claimed in Portugal that Martins has a buy-out clause of 60million euros (£52million), but that Sporting's failure to qualify for the Champions League means they would take 50million euros (£43.5million).
The 22-year-old made 44 appearances last season, scoring seven goals and providing 14 assists, and produced a particularly impressive individual performance against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions League in September.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is known to want to add more pace to his side for next term. It is understood the club have also been monitoring Keita Balde at Lazio and Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa in addition to Salah and Martins.
It is believed Roma's valuation of Salah is far in excess of Liverpool's, who had a £28million bid rejected last week, and the Serie A club are asking for more than the 40million euros (£35million) being reported in Italy.
Roma's American chairman James Palotta told US radio station SiriusXM: "For the moment, there is nothing with Liverpool. We'll see what to do."
However, that did not prevent Salah, away on international duty, allowing himself to be pictured with two fans holding Liverpool shirts.
Klopp is keen to significantly strengthen his squad this summer in preparation for Champions League football and has been linked with a move for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
It is understood the Holland international has made Anfield his preferred destination, should he leave St Mary's, although Saints have asked the Premier League to investigate an alleged illegal approach from Liverpool for the player.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard reckons the 25-year-old's capture would be a major boost for Klopp's plans.
"I'd love to see him in a red shirt. I'm a huge fan," Gerrard told a 'Steven Gerrard Live' event in Belfast.
"I thought he was fantastic at Celtic and I thought we should have had a go for him back then.
"It will cost us a few more quid but I think he is a piece of the jigsaw that would be very welcome and very big for this team."