Liverpool could repeat Diogo Jota transfer trick to seal Georginio Wijnaldum replacement

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Liverpool are in the market for a new midfielder this summer, following Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure to join Paris Saint-Germain. The Reds have been linked with a whole host of options and recent reports from Portugal have claimed that they are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Otavio from Porto.

Portuguese outlet A Bola claims that manager Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the midfielder and that negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs.

The report claims that Otavio’s release clause will increase from €40m (£34m) to €60m (£51m) next month, meaning that any transfer will certainly prove costly and Liverpool have already forked out £36m this summer to sign defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

However, the Reds could look to drive down the price by using the same tactic they employed when they signed Diogo Jota from Wolves last summer.

Jota made the switch to Anfield in an initial £41m deal that could rise to £45m with add-ons.

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However, the total net outlay for the transfer sits at around £30m, with Ki-Jana Hoever joining Wolves in return.

Wolves forked out an initial £9m for the Dutch defender, but the deal could eventually rise to £13.5m with add-ons.

Porto, meanwhile, took Marko Grujic on loan from Liverpool last season and a separate report from A Bola states that they are interested in making the move a permanent one.

Liverpool are said to value the midfielder at around €15m (£13m), meaning that if they were to sell him to Porto then they could once again reduce their total net outlay.

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It is not the first time that Liverpool have used fringe players as makeweights to drive down the cost of transfers, with the deal that saw left-back Andrew Robertson join the club another example.

Robertson made the switch to Anfield from the recently-relegated Hull City for an initial £8m plus £2m in add-ons.

Midfielder Kevin Stewart went the other way for an initial £4m plus £3.5m in add-ons, significantly reducing the total outlay for Robertson.

Like most clubs this summer, Liverpool’s finances have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In their most recent set of accounts which only go up to May 31 2020, they posted a pre-tax loss of £46m and their overall revenue was down by £43m to £490m.

However, the overall impact of the pandemic is thought to have cost them over £120m in total revenue, with Liverpool’s managing director Andy Hughes saying: “We were in a solid financial position prior to the pandemic and since this reporting period we have continued to manage our costs effectively and navigate our way through such an unprecedented period.

As a result, a lot of clubs are needing to be savvy in the transfer market and Liverpool are no different.

Repeating the same trick that helped them sign both Jota and Robertson certainly makes sense and it appears as though there is an ideal opportunity to do so with Otavio. 

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