Luis Diaz: Why Liverpool pounced, what he’ll bring, his signature move and the ‘Noodle’ nickname

Liverpool were going to sit tight until the summer before bolstering their attacking options.

Luis Diaz has long since been on their radar but the Colombia international’s release clause of €80 million (£66.6 million) was viewed as prohibitive.

“Not on the agenda for January, not at that price,” a senior club source told The Athletic early in the new year.

However, with Monday’s 11pm GMT deadline fast approaching, plans changed after it emerged Porto were willing to significantly reduce their demands and Premier League rivals Tottenham were trying to secure his signature.

It was effectively now or never and Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group sanctioned the move.

Deputy sporting director Julian Ward, who will take over from Michael Edwards this summer, led the negotiations which resulted in a €60 million (£50 million) deal being agreed. Liverpool will pay around €45 million (£37.5 million) initially with a further €15 million (£12.5 million) to potentially follow in add-ons. Ward has a strong network of contacts in Portugal, having previously worked for their national team as their head of analysis and technical scouting before later becoming Liverpool’s scouting manager for Spain and Portugal.

With Diaz currently away on international duty, a medical is likely to take place in Argentina this weekend before signing a long-term contract.

The 25-year-old left-sided attacker is enjoying an outstanding season with Porto, scoring 14 goals and providing five assists in 18 league games. In all competitions this term, he has netted 16 times in 28 appearances.


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