Sporting Lisbon youngster Nuno Mendes is delaying contract renewal talks with the club amid interest from Liverpool, according to reports. The 18-year-old left-back is the latest talent to emerge from the Portuguese side and has already attracted the attention of quite a few clubs in the Premier League.
Sporting Lisbon have developed a knack for producing world-class talents over the year, with the most famous name being that of Cristiano Ronaldo. More recently, Bruno Fernandes made the journey from Lisbon to Manchester United and has become the Red Devils’ most important player.
Nuno Mendes was tasked with replacing the outgoing Marcos Acuna after the Argentine left for Sevilla in the summer, and the left-back has capitalized on the opportunity big time. He has played nine games this season and also has a goal to his name. His good form has piqued Liverpool’s interest, who are keeping tabs on his future at Sporting.
Mendes fears that Liverpool might back out if his £40m release clause is increased
In addition to Liverpool, Premier League sides Leicester City and Newcastle United have previously shown interest in Nuno Mendes too. Mendes is reportedly stalling on signing a new deal amid fears that an increased release clause would deter the Reds from pursuing his signature.
The left-back currently has a release clause of £40m, but Mendes is afraid that signing a new deal could significantly increase that amount. The Portuguese is currently on a long-term contract with Sporting, who are determined to keep hold of him.
Sporting are eager to give Nuno Mendes a significant hike in wages to ward off interest from other clubs, including Liverpool. However, the player’s agent, Miguel Pinho, is yet to sit down for a discussion with the Portuguese side, and their contract talks are already running behind schedule.
With the January window only a month away, Liverpool are keeping a close eye on the proceedings at Lisbon. Jurgen Klopp has already been riddled with injuries this term, so the Reds might consider a few reinforcements in the winter.
With the coronavirus pandemic severely affecting the spending power of football clubs around Europe, Mendes’ decision does have a logical angle.
Premier League current top seven teams’ players missing through injury or suspension (according to https://t.co/6UPnt3GStw)
West Ham 1
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The Portuguese has expressed his desire to renew, but his decision will be impacted by the interest in his services in the winter.
Liverpool have already brought in Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos in the summer as a backup for Andy Robertson. So whether they are serious about signing Mendes can only be assessed in time.