Friday 17 November 2017

Liverpool move for exciting Brazilian teenager - and a new contract for Coutinho is on the table

Liverpool join the race to sign Santos' Thiago Maia
Liverpool join the race to sign Santos' Thiago Maia

Samuel Lovett

Liverpool are reported to be interested in signing Brazilian teenager Thiago Maia from Santos.

The 19-year-old plays as a deep-lying midfielder and should he make his way to Anfield, the Brazilian would compete with Emre Can and Lucas for the position alongside captain Jordan Henderson.

Maia has played for the Brazilian national side at U17, U20 and U23 level and has racked up 90 senior appearances for Santos during his three years in Brazil’s top flight.

A number of European clubs are said to have the 19-year-old in their sights, however.

According to ESPN Brazil, Monaco, Schalke and Napoli are similarly interested in the midfielder while Santos has already rejected an offer worth €18m from Zenit St Peterburg.

Now the Brazilian season is over, Maia is currently taking a break before the season starts back in January. "I'm on vacation, it's been a lot of work, but a very important year in my career," he said.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

"I was an Olympic champion and, in Santos, we had a regular season, the São Paulo title and the Brazilian runner-up. The Saints and my representatives decide if it's time for a transfer.

If it's to stay, the supporter can rest easy, I want to repeat the good season, play Libertadores and be a champion."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign another teenage talent: Nantes' Amine Harit.

Calciomercato reports that the Reds are in a four-way battle to sign the winger who has been labelled the ‘new Hatem Ben Arfa’.

It’s understood the club has been monitoring the 19-year-old and will move to sign the player when the transfer window opens in January.

Harit has clocked up 18 appearances in all competitions for Nantes this season and bagged his first league goal in Friday’s 2-0 win over Angers.

Lastly, the club is ready to offer a Philippe Coutinho a new contract – despite agreeing to one just 18 months ago.

With PSG and Barcelona both interested in the Brazilian, Liverpool are keen to tie down Coutinho.

The Daily Star claims the Reds are looking to increase Coutinho’s wages to £150,000 a week.

Independent News Service

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