Arthur Melo is flying to Liverpool as the club close in on a loan move for the Juventus midfielder.
The 26-year-old is expected to join the club on a straight season-long deal with no option or obligation to make it permanent.
Brazil international Arthur is due on Merseyside around lunchtime and expected to undergo a medical this afternoon. The transfer deadline is at 11pm in England.
Despite previously saying Liverpool did not need midfield reinforcements, manager Jurgen Klopp admitted last week his team may need other options in the middle of the park.
He said: “It must be the right player. Some players are just unavailable, that’s how it is, but if we can do something, and if we will do something, then we are 100 per cent convinced about it. If we are not convinced, then we will not do it. That’s the situation.
“If it’s the right player, we need him. If it’s not the right player, we don’t need him.
“I’m the one who said we don’t need a midfielder, and now we need a midfielder.
“You were all right and I was wrong. That is the situation.
“But that specific point doesn’t change it. If we do something, then it has to be the right one.”
Arthur began his career with Gremio in his home country, before joining Barcelona in 2018. He scored four goals in 72 appearances with the La Liga club over two seasons.
He then joined Juventus in June 2020, initially signing a five-year contract. He has made 63 appearances for the Italian club over the last two seasons.
Arthur was also part of Brazil’s Copa America-winning squad in 2019, assisting Gabriel Jesus’ goal at the end of the first half as they beat Peru 3-1.
Di Marzio: Liverpool’s loan deal for Arthur agreed with Juve
Sky in Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio speaking on Sky Sports News:
“The two clubs agreed the loan last night, during the night, a long night. The player is flying now, he’s flying from Turin to Liverpool.
“No option to buy, but I think Arthur Melo can convince Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool that he can play there. It depends on him.
“He’s had some problems, probably because he’s not the right player for the way of playing or the style of play at Juventus. But I think in Liverpool he can do a very good job.
“The news is that he’s flying and the two clubs have agreed the deal for the loan.”
Can Klopp extract Arthur’s talent?
Football journalist Mina Rzouki on Sky Sports News:
“I’m not sure whether Arthur Melo is more of a body they’re bringing in right now. For a lot of us when we watched him grow at Barcelona and then move to Juventus, we were really excited for him to come.
“You can see the potential, you can see the brilliance, but then there’s a part of you that thinks it’s never come to fruition or shown on a consistent level.
“He’s had fights with coaches who have not been able to see eye to eye with him on a tactical level, not because he’s not professional, but he has something in his head that he wants to achieve.
“He thinks ‘I want to deliver a direct ball’. But what if there isn’t the opportunity? Can you be flexible enough in your midfield to be able to say ‘right now, the team needs me to do this’. He doesn’t make those decisions very effectively, which is what really angered Andrea Pirlo, for example.
“I’m interested to see whether we can see that potential extracted by Jurgen Klopp because we know that he’s a magician at that.
“He’s surplus to requirements [at Juventus], plus they’re desperate to show what he can do. They hope that he will take off at Liverpool and then there would be an outcome rather than just a loss of money.
“They know for a fact that Arthur won’t be played. Allegri has made it clear that he doesn’t require him in the team and he has many others in the team that he can play over him.
“Arthur likes to be in perfect condition when he plays, he doesn’t like playing with a slight injury. That’s always been the rumour, I can’t tell you that as a fact, but it’s always something that has put off certain coaches.
“It’s a case of ‘let’s see whether he shines at Liverpool, maybe then we’ll get a flood of offers in and we can do some business.”
Liverpool’s midfield issues in focus: What is the solution?
Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
“Klopp’s midfield, and indeed the system itself, is heavily reliant on the press-resistant, pedigreed pass-master Thiago. There is no control without him nor the ability to progress the ball as well or with as much variation.
“He is an excellent plan – but for his availability, which was no secret when he was signed from Bayern Munich. When Liverpool cannot pair Thiago and Fabinho, their offensive protection, build-up and transitions suffer. The midfield acts as enablers for the full-backs and the forward – a source of steel, stability, cover.
“Naby Keita is another who is rarely available but contributes rare progressive qualities. Liverpool are attempting to find a mix of what Thiago – Vitinha had the most similar profile, but moved to Paris Saint-Germain – and the Guinea international provides with ball retention and carries.
“If there were fewer bodies in midfield – a bloated nine – the club would recruit two for the position.
“Ultimately, an overhaul does need to take place not just in terms of attributes needed, expiring contracts and availability, but also the age profile of the department including James Milner (36), Jordan Henderson (32) and Thiago (31).
“Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho – aged 19 and 20 respectively – are extremely gifted but cannot assume responsibility for driving Liverpool’s midfield forward. Jude Bellingham is different in this regard given his sheer scale of experience.
“The recruitment department are aware that the middle ground is missing: their speciality of signing players aged 21 to 26 – think Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson, Roberto Firmino – who are primed to take the step up in their careers and form the nucleus of a long-term approach.
“Having successfully refreshed their forward line, midfield surgery must take precedence.
“It is obvious that all Liverpool’s ills in the centre of the park cannot be cured before deadline day and operating in the final days of a window never stems from a position of strength.
“However, a recruitment team rightly esteemed as one of the very best in the business surely must have a solution for a series of predicted problems.”
Henderson to miss Merseyside derby with hamstring injury
Liverpool captain Henderson will have a scan on Thursday morning on the hamstring injury that forced him off 26 minutes into the second half of the 2-1 win over Newcastle.
Klopp was unable to give details on the full extent of the injury, but it’s clear Henderson is now set to miss Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Liverpool are already missing Thiago, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from their midfield.
Thiago is closest to a return, although Saturday is likely to be too soon for him.
Fabio Carvalho snatched a dramatic winner eight minutes into time added on, finishing the game in a midfield three alongside Fabinho and the excellent Elliott.
Klopp could also go for the experience of Milner against Everton, while Curtis Jones is fit and available after being named on the bench against Newcastle.
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