Liverpool reportedly agree terms with Philippe Coutinho's replacement
What's the rumour?
As reported in the Metro, who get it from Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manha, Liverpool have agreed personal terms with sensational Portuguese winger Gelson Martins - but they are yet to meet eye-to-eye with Sporting Lisbon when it comes to the valuation for the winger.
The reports state that Liverpool have offered Martins a contract worth £4.4m a year – or around £80,000 a week - considering that Martins is making £890,000 a year with the Lisbon club (as stated in the same report) it's not hard to see why the winger is "pleased" with the offer.
Sporting, though, knowing fully that Liverpool's coffers have enough and more after the £142 million sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona want the Merseysiders to go ahead and activate Martins' £53 million (or €60 million) release clause.
Liverpool are said to want him for half that and there is a bit of a to-and-fro going on between the clubs.
In case you didn't know
Gelson Martins is just 22, a winger comfortable on either flank; but also eminently capable of playing behind a striker. He graduated from the Sporting academy and having played 40 times for the B team he made his senior team debut in 2014-15. Since then, he has racked up 100 apps for the senior team, netting 20 goals.
The heart of the matter
In a move calculated to jack up his price even more, the same reports go on to suggest that Sporting Lisbon have opened talks with their winger to tie him on to a long-term contract (till 2021) and raise his release clause to a wholesome €100 million (£88 million).
With Martins also likely to feature prominently in the Portugal national team - he has already racked up 15 appearances for Fernando Santos' side since his debut in October 2016 and a good showing in Russia would - logically - increase his value even more.
It might, then, be in Liverpool's best interests to move quickly and seal the deal as quickly as possible.
Rumour Rating/ Probability
In terms of probability, it's highly likely in our studied opinion that Martins would have agreed a move to Liverpool considering the wages he has reportedly been offered. Considering what tough negotiators Sporting are, though, it is also highly unlikely that he would move for as low a sum as Liverpool reportedly want him to (considering Sporting Lisbon's transfer history).
He would, however, be a good for the high-tempo, high-pressing, fast-moving style of play favoured by Jurgen Klopp.
Here's Gelson Martin doing his magic:
He would be pretty entertaining in that team of like-minded entertainers.
Gelson Martins seems an eminently sensible option, in this author's opinion, as he adds a new dimension to an already frightening attacking unit and at just 22, Klopp would be able to mould him in a way that would best suit his philosophy.