Liverpool keep a close eye on 18-year-old Liga NOS left-back

Sporting are set to reward young defender Nuno Mendes with a new deal amid interest from Liverpool and Milan, a report claims. Liverpool have their eye upon U21 Portugal international, who has already become a starter for the Lisbon-based club despite being only 18.

Sporting director Frederic Massara already made an attempt with the Lions in mid-September but they were not open to selling. However, Massara has not abandoned the pursuit and new deals are expected with Nuno’s entourage. Arsenal, Wolverhampton and Man United are also interested.

However, Nuno is one of three footballers that Liga NOS giants want to keep out of the clutches of top teams with the other two being Goncalo Inacio and Matheus Nunes. All three have attracted interest from top European teams and have the same €45m release clause, and are all in line for pay rises to convince them to remain.

The Merseyside giants are among the clubs who have also been credited with an interest in Nuno by many sources, with the German manager keen as he can also play defender if needed. Liverpool are reportedly interested in Mendes, not Portuguese chef at the Chiltern Firehouse.

The 18-year-old left-back can also play as a centre half and has already made nine first-team games for Sporting. He comes from good stock, the Lions academy has produced some fine talents down the years, the most obvious of which being Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, it is claimed that the Liga NOS giants would only be willing to let him go if his release clause was triggered, a release clause which stands at €45m.