How Liverpool was ‘blocked’ from signing key target in January despite agreement
Liverpool were forced to delay a potential move for one of their key midfield targets in January because of a FIFA regulation.
On deadline day, the Reds were quiet and failed to add a new player to their squad. The day went mostly as planned, and on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp said that Liverpool’s business for January was finished.
On January 1, they paid £37 million to PSV for Cody Gakpo, but that was the sum of the club’s incoming transfers.
Several young players left on loan, but there were no significant departures, and midfielder Jake Cain signed a permanent contract to join League Two Swindon.
Klopp will now have to work with what he has until the end of the season, with Liverpool hopeful of having injured quartet Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Arthur Melo, and Virgil van Dijk back in the upcoming weeks and months.
The Reds did have one midfielder on their radar but were unable to complete a deal.
Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes who moved to the Midlands from Sporting Lisbon for a sum of £44 million last summer, apparently caught Liverpool’s attention.
The Reds allegedly agreed to made a subsequent bid for the midfielder after coming close to signing him before the Wolves transfer, according to The Telegraph.
Although it was said that a transfer would probably happen in the summer, it was also said that the Reds and Chelsea, who were both interested, might make a January deal.
That, however, was not realistically feasible, as The Athletic pointed out. This season, Nunes has already participated in two competitive games for two different clubs; at the start of the year, he appeared in two games for Sporting.
FIFA regulations state that a player can be officially registered with three clubs in one season, meaning a Liverpool move could have gone through in January.
However, the Portugal international would not have been allowed to play competitively for the Reds, as the regulation states that a player can only play official matches for two clubs in one season.
Liverpool would have had to send Nunes back out on loan to either Wolves or Sporting for the duration of the season even though they had the option of signing him last month.
The Reds could now aim to finalise the deal in the summer, with the midfield being a crucial area that needs bolstering. Liverpool are clearly dissatisfied, and Athletic have stated that availability was the reason they did not progress in that area during the window.