Liverpool made an informal approach for Fluminense midfielder Andre this summer, the club’s president has confirmed, but they were told to wait.
As part of the rebuild of Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield over the summer, Brazilian all-rounder Andre emerged as a convincing target.
Links began during tough negotiations with Southampton over Romeo Lavia, with the Fluminense player touted as an alternative, and there were later claims of a £25 million bid.
But approaches for Andre were rebuffed as the 22-year-old and his club both resolved to push for silverware in Serie A and the Copa Libertadores.
Any chances of a late play for the midfielder on deadline day last week were scrapped as Fluminense beat Olimpia to reach the semi-finals of South America’s equivalent of the Champions League.
Now, Fluminense president has detailed his brief talks with Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan – and revealed he would be open to talks over a January transfer.
“Liverpool’s executive director contacted me directly. And I replied to him: ‘My friend, I don’t sell players now and I don’t deliver now’,” Mario Bittencourt told ESPN, via O Globo.
“[I told him]: ‘If you want to buy him now to take him in January, we can start talking, or if you want to wait until December, we’ll talk in December’.”
Bittencourt’s comments certainly align with reports in both England and Brazil around Liverpool’s pursuit of Andre, confirming the club’s interest.
It remains to be seen whether the Reds will return for the Brazil international ahead of the January transfer window, with conflicting reports over their plans.
But it arguably made more sense to sign Andre at the end of Fluminense’s season than in the summer, given he is midway through a gruelling campaign.
Following a 1-0 win over Fortaleza on Sunday, Andre has now made 43 appearances already this season, clocking 3,703 minutes on the pitch, with the potential to play 19 more.
Last season, Mohamed Salah played the most games for Liverpool, with 51, and was on the pitch for 4,301 minutes.
Perhaps, then, if a January move for Andre is sealed, little should be expected from the player until after a lengthy break and his first pre-season – which Klopp would consider before sanctioning a deal.