Liverpool would ideally like to make Fabio Carvalho their second signing of the January transfer window – but may have to wait until summer to be able to bring the exciting teenager to Merseyside. The Reds are closing in on the signing of Porto winger Luis Diaz with the Colombian international to undergo a medical in South America imminently.
An initial fee of £37.4million rising to £50m with add-ons has been agreed with Diaz heading to Liverpool over Tottenham having made it clear Anfield is his preferred destination.
But Liverpool have also been tracking Carvalho, who has represented England at under-19 level, during his breakout season in the Championship.
The Portugal-born 19-year-old has produced seven goals and three assists in just 17 Championship matches despite having not made a senior league appearance in his career before this season.
The attacking midfielder was also a standout performer at under-18 and under-23s level for the Londoners and is now translating his promise at first-team level.
And that has made the Premier League title hopefuls, and several other clubs across Europe, take notice, particularly with the player out of contract at Craven Cottage at the end of this season.
Due to his age, he will not be allowed to go for free and Fulham will be owed a compensation fee judged by an independent tribunal, unless a fee can be agreed with his prospective new club.
Express Sport understands Liverpool would be willing to pay £5million for Carvalho this month though Fulham are likely to want far more, and are very reluctant to lose him as they chase the Championship title.
And any late deal could perhaps be contingent on the Reds allowing Fulham to re-sign Carvalho on loan until the end of the season.
That’s with Cottagers boss Marco Silva, the former Everton manager, having ruled out a permanent exit this month.
“It’s completely out of our plans for Fabio to leave the club in this window, completely out,” the Portuguese said categorically.
“The most important players we have in our squad and the others that are behind, working hard to play and waiting for their chance, they will be with us until the end of the season and Fabio is one of them.”
Yet the chances of the attacker linking up with Klopp and co this term, even if he’s signed this month, are remote. Instead, it is most likely he will remain at Fulham before departing upon the expiry of his deal in the summer.
The two clubs were only last in negotiations last summer when Harry Wilson left Anfield to join Fulham for £12m. The Welshman has since produced nine goals and 11 assists in 24 matches.
Fulham also lost another academy product to Liverpool back in 2019 in Harvey Elliott, who enjoyed a brilliant start to the current campaign under Jurgen Klopp, impressing in Premier League starts against Burnley and Chelsea.
The 18-year-old’s form was curtailed by a dislocated ankle but he is now fit again and could return to action after the international break.
After a tribunal Fulham were paid £1.2m up front for Elliott, a fee that could rise to £4.3m if several clauses are met. That, while a record fee for a 16-year-old, was still around £4m below what Fulham would have liked.