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Liverpool 'consider triggering Alan Varela release clause'

Liverpool 'consider triggering Alan Varela release clause'
© Reuters
Liverpool consider triggering the €70m (£60m) release clause in the contract of 22-year-old Porto midfielder Alan Varela, according to a report.

Liverpool are reportedly considering triggering the release clause in the contract of Porto midfielder Alan Varela.

The 22-year-old made a name for himself with Argentinian outfit and boyhood club, catching the eye of Porto and earning an €8m (£6.9m) move to the Estadio do Dragao last summer.

Most comfortable in the number six role, Varela has seamlessly slotted into Sergio Conceicao's system at Porto and already has two goals and two assists to his name from 19 Primeira Liga matches.

The midfielder has also started all seven of his side's Champions League contests so far and earned particular plaudits for his display against Arsenal in the first leg of their last-16 tie, which the Portuguese giants won 1-0.

Varela is yet to earn his maiden senior call-up to the Argentina squad, only donning his countries' colours on two occasions at Under-20 level, but he is making his case to force his way into the World Cup winners' squad.

Benfica's Angel Di Maria in action with FC Porto's Alan Varela on September 29, 2023© Reuters

Varela's contract with the Portuguese powerhouses runs until the summer of 2028, but his deal is believed to include a release clause worth an affordable €70m (£60m).

According to O Jogo - via the Daily Mail - Liverpool are now weighing up whether to activate the Argentine's option, although Manchester City are also keeping close tabs on the situation.

The treble winners are not believed to be making a serious play for Varela at this moment in time, but they are understood to be keeping their eye on him via scouts, as are other top European teams.

Varela's fellow midfielder Ruben Neves - formerly of Porto and now on the books with Al-Hilal - talked up Varela's qualities to the Portuguese publication, saying: "He is an excellent player.

"It was an excellent signing for Porto, perhaps the team's most regular reinforcement in terms of time and quality of play. He is extremely aggressive and is always very well positioned in defensive balances.

Boca Juniors' Alan Varela celebrates scoring their first goal on May 27, 2022© Reuters

"Lately, he has been getting a little further forward, making his passing and finishing ability count. He's already scored two goals. He is very complete and has been one of the most important elements of the team."

Liverpool already underwent one significant midfield rejig last summer, capturing Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch and Alexis Mac Allister after conceding defeat to Real Madrid in the race for Jude Bellingham.

The Reds stand to lose Thiago Alcantara when his contract expires at the end of the campaign, though, and the Spaniard may have already played his final game for the club due to a muscle injury.

However, defensive reinforcements are expected to be Liverpool's number one priority in the summer window, although a new sporting director and new head coach will be appointed before transfer plans take precedence.

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