Liverpool are in advanced talks with Benfica to sign Enzo Fernandez ahead of Manchester United, according to reports in Portugal.
The midfielder played a key role in Argentina’s World Cup success in Qatar and has attracted interest from several clubs ahead of the January transfer window.
Liverpool have already beaten United to one transfer as Jurgen Klopp’s side agreed a £50 million deal with PSV for Cody Gakpo on Boxing Day.
According to O Jogo, Liverpool have also ‘intensified’ talks with Benfica in the last few days about a deal for Fernandez.
Liverpool have also been in contact with the midfielder’s entourage but O Jogo reports that United are continuing to push for the Argentina international as well.
Fernandez has a €120m (£106m) release clause in his deal with Benfica and reports in Portugal claimed last week that the club have already turned down a €100m (£88.4m) offer.
The 21-year-old arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday following his extended break off the back of Argentina’s World Cup victory.
When asked about his future on Monday, Fernandez said: ‘I don’t know about my future or proposals, that’s what my representative is taking care of.
‘I don’t want to get into the subject. I am focused on Benfica, we have a game on Friday.
Speaking earlier this month, Benfica president Rui Costa insisted that Fernandez would not be sold unless his release clause is triggered.
‘We have the sole objective of having a winning season, no player will leave – unless it is due to the clause – which at this moment is fundamental for the squad,’ he said.
‘What I can promise our supporters is what I did at the beginning of the year. This is a sporting project, not a financial one. Fortunately, we are not experiencing financial problems and we have no need to sell players.’