The hunt for Liverpool’s midfield has led to the name of Mateus Nunez resurfacing, but despite the hype about the addition in January, he won’t be able to play until next season.
On Monday evening, a report by the Telegraph’s Sam Wallace said Liverpool were “exploring a deal” to sign a Wolves player for a fee reported in the region of £44 million.
That’s slightly more than the £42.2 million, including the allowances Wolves agreed with Sporting CP last year, but Sky Sports claims the Premier League side will demand more than £50 million.
As for Liverpool’s interest, while the hype about signing the midfielder this month is intensifying, any pursuit of Nunes may only be in the summer, as he is bound by FIFA rules.
In addition to playing 16 games for Wolverhampton this season, Nunes also played two games for Sporting at the start of the 2022/23 season, maxing out his quota for two clubs.
FIFA transfer rules stipulate that, although a player can be registered with a maximum of three different clubs in one season, he can only play official matches in two.
Theoretically, Liverpool could sign Nunes in January, but there is little to be gained here, and therefore he will wait until the summer for a player who, according to Wallace, “according to the club, has a great future at Anfield.”
Why the club didn’t act last summer and instead agreed to pay a higher fee if they returned to the bidding table is rather difficult, as the need was certainly obvious.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner ran out of contracts in the summer, and the midfield ideally needs three new contracts, and Jude Bellingham is known to be their No. 1 target.
Whether one of them will be signed in January remains to be seen, but Jamie Carragher didn’t beat around the bush when it came to assessing the club after the defeat to Brentford.
“If Liverpool think they can get into the top four without signing a midfielder in this window, they have absolutely no chance,” he sharply assessed the situation.