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Liverpool to land Sturgeon: Reds to bid for Portugal-based starlet

Liverpool (outsiders at 33/1 to win the Champions League) are reportedly tracking Fabio Sturgeon, a young midfielder currently creating waves in Portugal.

The Iberian-based attacker has made just 24 first-team appearances in all competitions for lesser known Lisbon talent pool Belenenses since 2011, netting once, but is tipped to be one of the top catches of the January transfer window.

Sturgeon has also attracted the attention of Portuguese giants, and Belenenses’ cross-capital rivals, Benfica, but is believed to favour a move to the Premier League.

Having already popped up on Brendan Rodgers’ radar, the Reds are rumoured to be willing to part with around £2.4m to land adaptable attacking midfielder Sturgeon. The 20-year-old is reported to have a substantially higher release clause, but the Anfield outfit look set to snap him up for less.

Starlet Sturgeon has turned out for Portugal, his country of birth, at Under 20-level, but is still eligible to play for England through his father. New Navigators boss Fernando Santos may need to move quickly if the youngster continues to dazzle, lest Roy Hodgson steal in and attempt to poach the potential future first-teamer.

Rodgers is believed to have an excellent scouting network established in Portugal, having already cast his net wide to snare highly-rated centre back Tiago Ilori. The defender, also of duel English-Portuguese nationality, was plucked from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 and is now on loan with Ligue 1 title contenders Bordeaux.

If versatile Sturgeon were to arrive at Anfield, he could be deployed behind the striker and also provide cover on either wing, which might be good news for the overused Raheem Sterling, who had to drop out of the recent Three Lions squad due to over-tiredness.

The addition of Sturgeon would certainly fit with Rodgers’ emphasis on youth, and the burgeoning midfield maestro could join an ambitious side with a young core, who are hoping to grow together.

Liverpool fans, however, will be hoping that their boss has more up his sleeve in the winter market, as the Reds look to boost their top four hopes after a lacklustre start to the season. The Merseysiders (11/10 for a top four finish) currently lie nine points off the pace of Premier League leaders Chelsea, and require further experience and ruthlessness, not just the exuberance of youth.