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Liverpool Eye Argentine Midfield Maestro – Rating The Rumour

Alan Varela The Long Term DM for Liverpool?

Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.

The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.

We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.

With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at Alan Varela to Liverpool which has been reported by Ojogo.

Fit

The phrase “hand in glove” comes to mind. Varela is an ideal fit into Liverpool’s midfield as an upgrade on Japanese dog of war Wataru Endo. The Argentine midfielder is outstanding in the holding midfield role, offering his services in either a protective role or as an energetic mobile ball-winner.

It’s very easy to see Varela fitting into Liverpool’s midfield under either Xabi Alonso or Ruben Amorim, the two top candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp in the summer. Both managers employ a double pivot and Varela lining up next to Alexis MacAllister would give Liverpool a duo that could go toe to toe with any opponent, while also having Curtis Jones and Endo as rotation options.

Fit Rating – 2/2

Need

Liverpool attempted to land a big money defensive midfielder in the summer of 2023, but came up empty handed and pivoted to Endo on a low cost deal from Stuttgart. The Japanese midfielder has turned out to be one of the signings of the season, and Liverpool’s record with him starting – 17 games, 15 wins, 2 draws with a +36 goal difference, shows the value of a player of his ilk.

He is 31 though and ultimately is best suited to a squad role. Under Alonso and Amorim, who both employ a 3-4-2-1 formation, the defensive midfield role is one of the three Liverpool will have to address barring any unexpected departures.

Need Rating – 2/2

Level

Varela joined Porto in the summer from Boca Juniors, off the back of three excellent seasons. His contract contained a low buy-out clause which enabled Porto to snap him up at a bargain price of £8mil.

Any questions about his ability to adapt to European football were answered quickly as Varela has shone for the Portuguese side even while they struggle domestically. His stand-out performances have largely come in European competition, including an outstanding showing against Arsenal in the Champions League.

Level Rating – 2/2

Affordability

It has been reported that Varela’s contract at Porto contains a £60mil buyout clause. That’s an affordable fee for Liverpool, and that’s before we know whether Porto will be willing to negotiate on the price.

Porto President Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa has shown a willingness to sell for below contracted buyout clauses in the past and Liverpool have a solid relationship with the Dragons following recent deals for Marko Grujic and Luis Diaz.

Affordability Rating – 2/2

For Sale?

The buyout clause means that Varela is available for transfer, and Porto’s model of buying low and selling high means that every player has a price.

If Liverpool want to pair him with his Argentinian compatriot Mac Allister in a new look midfielder under their next manager then it’s unquestionable that a deal could be made.

Availability Rating – 2/2

Final Rating

What’s rare is beautiful and this rumour grades out as a 10/10. It’s a transfer that would make sense for everyone involved and one that Liverpool should absolutely pursue.

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