Top-flight Premier League club Liverpool has announced a deal to acquire Brazillian footballer Fabinho from AS Monaco. The 24-year-old-midfielder will formally seal a switch to the Reds on July 1 after successfully completing a medical and finalising terms on a long-term contract at Melwood.
The club potentially sees the young footballer as a direct replacement for Emre Can, who is expected to sign for Juventus on a free transfer this summer upon the expiry of his contract with the ‘Reds.’
The club has reportedly agreed on a transfer fee worth up to $58.6 million (€50m/£44m), Sony ESPN has quoted a source as saying to ESPN FC. The provisions of the deal should see Liverpool pay a guaranteed fee of €45m, with a maximum of €5m in further add-ons.
Fabinho, who has four caps for his country, becomes the club’s first signing of the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old will arrive from Monaco, where he made 225 appearances and scored 29 goals in five seasons with the French club and had won the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17.
Fabinho told Liverpoolfc.com, “I am really excited about this move. This is something that I always wanted – this is a giant of a team. The infrastructures of the club look exceptional. A football club of this size coming after my services, I didn’t have to think that much about coming over.”
“I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I’m able to win titles with this club. I will try to grow and learn and improve myself, and to be part of the club’s history.”
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was delighted with the signing of Fabinho. Klopp believes the Brazilian not only raises the quality of the squad at his disposal even further but brings a mentality perfectly suited to the current dressing room. “We have signed a fantastic player, but someone who is an equally fantastic person I think,” the manager explained to Liverpoolfc.com.
“His reputation as a character in the dressing room and his attitude in training has come through from everyone we speak to. He has a lovely family also – adding a person like this to our dressing room only makes us even stronger. What we have – in terms of our environment at Melwood and in the team – means anyone coming in must be of that build. They must be the highest quality person and player,” said Klopp.
“He has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘6’, ‘8’ and ‘2’. This is cool. He is tactically very strong and football smart. I think he improves our squad and there aren’t that many players you can say that about in this moment, because the quality we have already is so high.”
“I like that he is young yet experienced also, with a high number of games at a club that compete to win. Also, international caps for Brazil tells you something about him. This signing gives us new opportunities and for that I am excited. I’m sure our supporters will make him very welcome and at home at our wonderful club and in our amazing city,” Klopp added further.
After starting his career with Fluminense, Fabinho moved to Europe in 2012 with Portuguese club Rio Ave, that later loaned him to Real Madrid where the teenager made one substitute appearance for their first team. He moved to Monaco on an initial loan at the start of the 2013-14 season and scored 23 league goals over five seasons, including seven in the title-winning campaign just completed.
Liverpool, especially after its crushing defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the last weekend’s UEFA Champions League finals, are looking to enrich their squad with the arrival of Fabinho and Naby Keita. Bundesliga club RB Leipzig player and the skipper of Guinea national team, Keita, will officially become a Liverpool player on July 1.
According to reports, the Reds are eying heavily on the French top-tier Ligue 1 for further recruitments with Lyon’s forward Nabil Fekir currently on their priority wishlist.