LONDON - Liverpool are on the brink of making Alisson the world’s most expensive goalkeeper after agreeing a £67.5million deal with Roma. The Brazil international broke off from his holiday in Sardinia on Wednesday to head to Merseyside and is set to sign a six-year contract.
He will have a medical on Thursday after Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s sporting director, reached an agreement with his Roma counterpart Monchi that will see the Anfield club pay £58.5m up front with £9m in add-ons. Liverpool’s first offer of £62m was rejected by Roma on Tuesday but manager Jurgen Klopp was adamant that no time should be wasted in order to see off competition from Real Madrid and Chelsea for the 25-year-old.
When asked if he was going to be active until the final day of the window on August 9, Klopp replied: "I don’t think so - I don’t hope so. Maybe something happens but it should not be the last day. I really thought the idea of moving the transfer window was good but only if we do it all together. In terms of squad planning, I am fine. In terms of football, we are in a good way but not where we want to be. A lot will come once the other boys are back.
"We will be fine at the end. At the moment, I am happy with the squad. Could something still happen? We will see. Big teams, successful teams - if you don’t buy it you have to build it. That means stay together, bring additions in and make the next step. That is how it is. The team and squad is in a really good moment. We had a situation last season where we had 12 fit players. They know we need the depth in the squad. They know we need quality and they know if we win something, we will win it with 25 players."
The move for Alisson will almost double the previous record fee for a goalkeeper, set by Manchester City 12 months ago when they signed Ederson from Benfica for £35m. No problems are envisaged with regard to personal terms but Liverpool are anxious to get the deal concluded swiftly. Ideally Alisson will be confirmed as their fourth signing of the summer before they head to the United States on Friday.
He would not join up with Liverpool for that tour - in which they will face Manchester United, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund - as he is entitled to another week of holiday after Brazil reached the World Cup quarter-finals.
Alisson was stopped by TV crews in Italy Wedbesday night but all he would say was: "I want to thank the Roma fans. I’m sorry guys but I’ll have to talk later. OK?" The arrival of Alisson will almost certainly end the Anfield career of Loris Karius, whose start to pre-season left Klopp with no option but to address the problem.
It had been Klopp’s intention to give Karius (below) the chance to redeem himself after he made two huge mistakes against Real Madrid in the Champions League final but the signals have not been right and it culminated in him making an error at Tranmere last Tuesday.
Liverpool have been pursuing Alisson since January but there was a period when they felt the fee Roma demanded was too high. There are parallels with the chase for £75m defender Virgil van Dijk, in that Klopp would rather have the right player than settle for a more economical target. Alisson is the only man Liverpool’s manager wanted for this position.
Chelsea tried to land Alisson for new manager Maurizio Sarri but several factors - not least goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ unresolved future at Stamford Bridge - meant they were second favourites. Alisson is understood to have received positive reports from within Brazil’s World Cup squad, headed by Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, urging him to move to Anfield.
Alisson is almost certain to be Liverpool’s last signing of this window. They have already strengthened their midfield by adding Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke and Fabinho from Monaco but they have not contacted Lyon about Nabil Fekir since a £53m deal collapsed on 9 June. For all the rumours that continue to swirl about forward Fekir, Liverpool have moved on and the main focus will now be on trimming down their squad.