Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign FC Porto’s young centre-half, Diogo Leite this summer. However, Porto are firm not to lose the defender, who is also a reported target for Arsenal and Manchester City.
Leite was in action and impressed once again for Porto U23s as they defeated Arsenal 1-0 to win the Premier League International Cup this week, with a host of Premier League scouts present to watch the defender.
The young Portuguese has been an ever-present figure for the Porto B team, making 27 appearances in the second tier this season. His eye-catching displays in defence have caught the attention of a number of clubs, including Liverpool, who are willing to send him out on loan next season if they get a deal done in the summer.
Despite breaking the bank for centre-back Virgil van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp is not satisfied with his options in defence and wants to add another player to his ranks.
The Reds are currently short of options at the heart of the defence, with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez ruled out for the season, leaving only Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Van Dijk fit.
There is a huge need to shore up the defence ahead of next season and as per reports, Klopp is targeting Porto’s Leite, who is a very solid defender but is yet to break into the first-team.
The young Portuguese seems to be way ahead of the players of his age. His tackling and dribbling skills are top-notch, while he is also a very good reader of the game.
Leite is a warrior, who never shies away from putting his body on the line. His lanky figure makes him a big threat during set-pieces, as he contributes to the attack whenever he can.
Strong and robust, the 19-year-old is a very good header of the ball and at such a tender age, knows to utilise his strengths to good effect.
Given his displays for the Porto B team so far, Leite is definitely someone for the future. His maturity to read the game and act well in pressure situations are his biggest assets. However, he is still a raw defender and needs regular game time to continue his development.
Currently, at Liverpool, Leite will not be getting any chances ahead of Van Dijk, Lovren and Klavan. Klopp’s idea of signing him in the summer and loaning him out next season surely makes sense.
Porto would do everything to keep hold of their starlet but the Reds will have to show desire in the transfer market if they really are to sign Leite, who certainly has all the qualities to be a future star at Anfield.