high stakes | 

Liverpool and Man United in the mix to sign World Cup star Enzo Fernandez

After some sparkling displays in Qatar, a high-stakes transfer battle is under way for the 21-year-old.

Enzo Fernandez© NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Liverpool are embroiled in a battle with Europe’s heavyweight clubs in the race to sign Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.

After some sparkling displays in Qatar concluded with the Benfica midfielder being named as the best young player of the tournament, a high-stakes transfer battle is under way for the 21-year-old.

Liverpool had Fernandez under scrutiny before the World Cup and have a good relationship with Benfica chiefs after signings Darwin Nunez last summer.

Yet the Anfield club may now be beaten to the punch in the battle to sign Fernandez, with Real Madrid also believed to be preparing a bid in excess of €75million to seal a deal in the January transfer window.

Confirmation that Liverpool have an interest in Fernandez came from assistant manager Pep Lijnders, who confirmed he was a big admirer of the dynamic performer.

“Argentina played to their strengths and Enzo and (Alexis) Mac Allister were so important,” he said, referring to Fernandez and the Brighton midfielder, respectively.

“How they managed midfield together with Rodrigo, how they balance each other, it was great.

“Lionel Messi was incredible, obviously, and he started so many attacks with Enzo, who was exceptional.”

As is often the case when a player becomes the subject of a transfer auction, Liverpool may not have the financial firepower to compete for Fernandez’s signature.

Yet their interest in the player is well known and they may make a move in the January window.

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