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Arne Slot 'identifies 20-year-old defender as top Liverpool target'

Slot 'identifies 20-year-old defender as top Liverpool target'
© Reuters
Liverpool's incoming head coach Arne Slot is reportedly keen on bringing Benfica's Antonio Silva to Anfield this summer, with the defender valued at £85m.

Incoming Liverpool head coach Arne Slot is reportedly interested in bringing Benfica's Antonio Silva to Anfield over the summer.

The 20-year-old has been a regular figure for the Portuguese giants this season, playing in 30 Primeira Liga matches and netting on two occasions.

Silva - despite his tender age - has already made a major impact on the international stage for an elite European outfit, featuring nine times for Portugal since his debut in November 2022.

Under the expert leadership of Roger Schmidt, the Eagles have unfortunately failed to keep up with Sporting Lisbon in the race for the top-tier title but do hold an impressive unbeaten record at home this season.

Since graduating from Benfica's academy during the summer of 2022, Premier League-linked Silva has made 94 competitive appearances for the club, scoring seven times.

Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva on May 21, 2023© Reuters

Liverpool's Slot wants Benfica defender Silva?

According to Real Madrid Confidential, Liverpool have located their priority signing ahead of this summer's transfer window as the Reds prepare for a return to the Champions League.

The report claims that incoming head coach Slot has identified Silva as a top target for the Merseyside club, looking to improve their centre-back options.

A deal for the 20-year-old is not to be cheap for Liverpool, though, with the Portuguese outfit looking to pocket around £85m from the sale of the defender.

It is understood that European powerhouses Real Madrid are keen on Silva, however Anfield is said to be the most likely destination for the player at this time.

Carlo Ancelotti's troops are already set to have a historic summer window, with the likes of Endrick and Kylian Mbappe preparing to link up with the La Liga champions.

Liverpool's Joel Matip pictured on September 30, 2023© Reuters

Fixing up for the future

Despite Jurgen Klopp still being in post ahead of his final game in charge of Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, incoming boss Slot has already started to plan his Reds reign.

His first port of call is set to be improving an ageing centre-back group, with one of its key components over the years ready to move on over the summer.

Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Joel Matip would be leaving the club at the conclusion of the campaign, eight years after joining from Schalke 04 in 2016.

It is believed that Slot wants to build his defence around Virgil van Dijk, and feels that Benfica man Silva is a good option to join the Dutchman at centre-back as the Reds embark on a new journey without Klopp.

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