Liverpool defender search halts as Newcastle receive message over Lucas Beraldo

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Liverpool may be forced to wait until the summer to bring Newcastle target Lucas Beraldo to Anfield, according to reports. The Reds have been widely tipped to pursue the signing of a new defender to replace Joel Matip, who may have already played his last game under Jurgen Klopp after picking up a serious knee injury.

Matip is expected to miss the rest of the season as a result of his latest setback, while his contract will expire in the summer unless Liverpool decide to extend his current deal. The addition of a central defender could be high on their list of January priorities in light of Matip’s injury, with Beraldo said to be among the options under consideration.

The 20-year-old, who plays for Sao Paulo and is valued at £20million, is attracting a host of English clubs but may not be allowed to leave until the summer, according to The Mirror. It is said that Newcastle have already been informed that Sao Paulo are willing to bide their time for a suitable offer to arrive if it does not come in January.

The Brazilian side are thought to have received a £16m bid from an unnamed club but it seems that a move for Beraldo will have to wait until the end of the campaign. Liverpool and Newcastle are not the only ones vying for his signature, with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham and Brentford also said to be in the running.

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Sao Paulo played the last game of their season earlier this month to confirm a mid-table finish in Brazil’s top flight, with Beraldo insisting after the final whistle that he was not allowing himself to think about the possibility of a move away.

“I leave these things to my agents and the board,” Beraldo, who helped Sao Paulo to win the Copa do Brasil back in September, told Globo Esporte. “I have 30 days’ holiday and I’m going to forget about football to enjoy it with my fiancee and my family.

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“We managed to win a title that Sao Paulo didn’t have, we’ve made history. I’m just grateful for everything I’m experiencing being a starter in my second year as a professional at Sao Paulo. I can only thank them for everything they have given me and will give me.”

Beraldo made 21 league appearances for Sao Paulo over the course of their season, establishing himself as a regular starter during the latter stages of the campaign. He also played every minute of the two-legged Copa do Brasil final against Flamengo and is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s brightest defensive prospects.

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