Liverpool, Man City enter race for ‘the new Pedri’ but must swoop in fast to avoid massive release clause jump

Liverpool target Alberto Moleiro Credit: Alamy
Liverpool target Alberto Moleiro Credit: Alamy

Liverpool and Manchester City are reportedly part of the chase to sign a midfielder dubbed as ‘the new Pedri’, with a January move far more preferable than a summer swoop.

Pedri came through Las Palmas’ academy before making his first-team debut in August 2019, when he was aged just 16. The central midfielder impressed during 37 appearances for Las Palmas, which saw Barcelona come in for his services. They spent an initial €5million to sign him in July 2020, though the deal had the potential to be worth €25m through add-ons.

Pedri has since established himself as a regular in the Barcelona starting eleven. He is now one of the most coveted teenagers on the planet, having won the Kopa Trophy in 2021.

Liverpool were briefly linked with signing the Spain international last year. However, their ambitious transfer plans were dashed when he agreed a new contract at the Camp Nou.

It includes a whopping €1bn (£873m) release clause. Barcelona will not hold out for this full sum if they ever need to sell Pedri, but it certainly prevents him from leaving on the cheap.

Liverpool will not be able to revamp their midfield with the signing of Pedri any time soon. But they could bring in a starlet labelled ‘the next Pedri’ instead.

According to a report from Spanish daily newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Liverpool are involved in the hunt for Las Palmas’ Alberto Moleiro.

He is a 19-year-old playmaker in a similar mould to Pedri. Moleiro is a Spain U21 international who will be hoping to follow in Pedri’s footsteps and force his way into the senior side in the future.

Barca affected by Liverpool, City interest in teenager

Barca were the first major European outfit to set their sights on Moleiro. And they were making progress in talks with Las Palmas, too.

But the potential move has come under serious threat due to interest from elsewhere. Liverpool, City and Real Madrid all hope to complete a swoop for the teenager as well.

A dark horse could be Borussia Dortmund. They are also on Moleiro’s trail and have great history when it comes to developing young talent.

They captured Jude Bellingham before Manchester United in 2020 and have turned him into a brilliant all-round midfielder. Perhaps Moleiro will consider Dortmund as a serious option as they will allow him to flourish.

Barca Universal cite Mundo Deportivo’s report and provide a bit of extra insight on the situation. They are the ones who label him ‘the next Pedri’, first and foremost.

Moleiro penned a new contract with Las Palmas earlier this year. It reportedly includes a €30m (£26m) release clause.

But this fee will double to €60m (£52.3m) if Las Palmas get promoted to the Spanish top flight. And with the side currently second in La Liga 2, there is a strong chance Moleiro’s release clause will jump up to £52.3m.

Due to this, it would be preferable for Liverpool to begin talks with Las Palmas sooner rather than later to try and get him in January. This would prevent them from having to fork out double his original release clause at the end of the season.

Spending £26m on a player from the Spanish second division does represent a risk. He may find the Premier League to be a significant step up.

However, it might just be a risk worth taking. After all, Pedri has gone on to become one of the most highly rated midfielders in world football after beginning life at Las Palmas. Perhaps Liverpool will aim to recreate Barca’s transfer trick by capturing Moleiro.

Meanwhile, Gary Neville reckons a Liverpool transfer target and one of Jurgen Klopp’s favourite players are both in the ‘generational talent’ category.

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