Liverpool have been tipped to move for young São Paulo forward Gustavo Maia, but only if Barcelona decline their option to sign him themselves this summer.
Back in March, Barcelona struck a deal to obtain the rights to sign Maia this summer for around €4m, having fought off competition from a number of Premier League and La Liga sides to do so.
The agreement was not a commitment to sign Maia, but rather paying to ensure they remain at the front of the queue for his signature this summer. Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness) note that Barcelona have until 17 July to trigger their option, but it's by no means a certainty that they will.
With Barcelona hesitating, Liverpool have had time to put together an offer of their own, and they are said to be 'ready' to buy Maia right now, but they have to wait for Barcelona's option to expire.
In terms of the expiration date, Marca state that Barcelona have until 30 July to make a decision, but they believe that Barcelona are likely to complete the signing of Maia, but only after a board meeting to discuss the club's finances going forward.
Barcelona want to land Inter's Lautaro Martínez, and 90min understands that they are confident a deal is all but agreed, but the problem is that affording his €111m release clause is impossible right now. The club might need all the money they can get, so spending around €4m on Maia might not be the best move.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, it looks like they might miss out on this one. Barcelona appear to be keen on finalising the deal, and Maia's agent Nilson Moura told Marca that the 19-year-old's dream is to move to Camp Nou.
"There were higher offers, but he always wanted to play for Barcelona," Moura said. "He said it even a few years ago in an interview and we saw it well also because his style combines perfectly with that of Barça.
"[Barcelona] came to see him at the São Paulo Cup . He scored three goals and we started to negotiate. They did not even intend to close anything now but since there was interest from other clubs such as Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool , they hurried up."
Source : 90min