Liverpool prepared to empty bank for 17-year-old ‘new Busquets’

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Liverpool and proposed midfield transfer targets go together like wine and cheese, but the latest name to be mentioned could cost more than your average bottle of plonk.

Deep-lying midfielder, Ruben Neves, is still only 17 years of age but stunningly, the Reds would have to stump up £29m to prise him away from current employers Porto who have set the enormous buyout clause.

Dubbed Portugal’s answer to Barcelona’s midfield maestro Sergio Busquets, there are clearly great hopes for Neves.

Early suggestions are that 11/2 top-four shots Liverpool are willing to fund such a megabucks transfer as they look to reconstruct an engine room which Steven Gerrard for sure, and possibly Lucas Leiva, will be vacating this summer.

Having already been linked to a throng of the most promising central midfielders on the continent, a word of caution about this proposed transfer must be advised.

However, given the apparent calibre of Neves – who is also the youngest player ever to score a goal in the Portuguese Primeira division to boot – there is sure to be a string of top clubs hunting down his signature.

Like the Barca star Neves is supposed to embody, the youngster is revered for his calmness in possession, ability on the ball and vision.

For someone so tender in their years to draw a comparison with arguably the best player in the midfield anchor role in world football, the boy must be pretty special.

Liverpool currently deploy Lucas in the same berth at Anfield, but despite his positive impact since reinstating himself in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up, rumours still persist that the timer is running down on his Reds career.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.