Diogo Jota appears to be closing in on a transfer to Liverpool, as multiple reports since Friday evening indicate that a deal has been struck with Wolves.
Christmas came early for Liverpool supporters on Friday, as after months of being told there would be no major signings this summer, news of two came along at once. The signing of Thiago Alcantara was finally announced, before reports emerged out of the blue that the club were closing in on Jota.
The Portuguese winger had only been loosely linked in the past, but things escalated rapidly. The vibe went from ‘Liverpool are interested’ to ‘a deal is all-but done’ at breakneck speed, and by the time the 10.30pm exclusives came out, every major outlet was saying the same thing.
A deal now looks as if it could be announced at any time, with Sky Sports claiming on Saturday morning that the player will undergo a medical imminently. While the deal was initially believed to cost the Reds just over £30m, most outlets now agree that the up-front fee will be close to £40m, rising to £45m after add-ons.
Curiously, the first reports on the deal emerged moments after it became apparent Wolves were attempting to take the highly-rated Ki-Jana Hoever in the opposite direction. The two deals are not officially connected, but the timing is not likely to be coincidental. Wolves will pay up to £13.5m for Hoever, which may have influenced the Reds’ decision to green-light the acquisition of Jota.
Jota has impressed hugely since Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League, and scored 16 goals in all competitions last season. He will provide established cover for Liverpool’s fabled front three, while at 23, he has the potential to replace one of the trio in the long-term.
The signings of Jota and Thiago have set the Reds back more than £70m in total, and players will be sold between now and the closure of the window in October to offset that expenditure. Dejan Lovren’s departure made the club £11m earlier in the window, and he could be followed by a number of squad players.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic and Rhian Brewster all have the potential to command respectable fees.