Liverpool have already secured their spot in the next round of the Champions League, but there could be another reason why Reds fans are taking a keen interest in their match against Porto on Wednesday
Liverpool are expected to be busy in the January transfer window, and they have been gifted an opportunity to repeat an old scouting trick on Wednesday night.
In a summer full of big-money incomings and marquee signings, the Reds spent just £34million on defender Ibrahima Konate.
Many expected Jurgen Klopp’s side to be more prominent in the market but they instead opted to use the time to ensure that the majority of their key players signed long-term deals at the club.
However, with a goalscoring crisis in January on the horizon, due to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both being at the African Cup of Nations, the Anfield outfit are expected to splash the cash in the midseason transfer window.
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The Reds have been linked with Porto winger Luis Diaz in recent months due to his scintillating form in Portugal this season.
The Colombian forward has scored nine and assisted two in eleven appearances in the Liga Portugal so far this campaign and is reportedly of interest to several Premier League outfits.
However, Liverpool could hold the upper hand in the race to secure the 24-year-old’s signature due to the Champions League.
Porto travel to Anfield on Wednesday night in the penultimate round of fixtures in Group B, with the home side already qualified thanks to a victory over Atletico Madrid.
But despite the irrelevance of the match, it does gift Klopp the perfect opportunity to plant the seed in the mind of Diaz to become one of his players if he is impressed by the winger’s performance on the night.
It also allows Diaz to showcase that he could be the man to solve Liverpool’s goalscoring woes in the first month of 2022.
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This won’t be the first time that the Champions League has given the Reds an opportunity to cast a spell on a transfer target after the player has impressed in the competition.
In 2019, Liverpool took on Austrian outfit RB Salzburg and it was the performances of Takumi Minamino that captured the interest of the Premier League giants.
The Japanese winger scored once in the two meetings between the club and his electric pace and willingness to press high and make his presence felt caught the eye of Klopp.
As a result, the Reds paid Minamino’s £7.25m release clause in January and instantly bought the forward into the first team.
Since his arrival, opportunities have been scarce for the 26-year-old but at no fault of his own, it has simply proven incredibly difficult to displace Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino in recent seasons due to their good form.
However, the no.18 could find himself involved a lot more soon as Klopp will be relying on the former Southampton loanee to step up in his teammates’ aforementioned absences.
It remains to be seen how Diaz’ situation pans out at Porto and whether Liverpool are willing to put a sufficient offer on the table for the Colombia international, and also whether his current club are willing to lose their top scorer midseason and potentially sacrifice their title hopes.