Liverpool’s extensive summer recruitment programme is increasingly likely to include a cut-price transfer for Porto’s Ghanaian international Christian Atsu after a significant breakthrough in negotiations.
The two clubs are in advanced talks and Liverpool are moving in on a deal that would see the 21-year-old winger sign for as little as £3m, on the basis that his contract expires next summer and he has already made it clear that he will not be signing another one.
Atsu, a quick, talented but sometimes erratic winger, was brought into the Porto first-team squad during André Villas-Boas’s time at the club and is seen by the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as a player who can offer his team more width and penetration in attacking areas.
Flying wing Atsu has long been on Liverpool’s radar – Rodgers made an attempt to sign him last summer, shortly after succeeding Kenny Dalglish, but Porto slapped a massive price tag on an exciting young talent.
However, Atsu has fallen spectacularly out of favour in Portugal, because he refused to sign a contract extension and insert a clause demanding £22m for his transfer.
Now, with the winger’s deal nearing its end, Porto have relented and are ready to offload him for as little as a £3m down-payment – just to ensure they don’t lose him for nothing when his deal expires.
Atsu would not put pen to paper because he has his heart set on a move to the Premier League.
He revealed recently: “My dream is to play in England – that’s where I see my future.”