Liverpool in talks with incredible South American wonderkid – and it could save them £70m: report

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during a training session at AXA Training Centre on January 05, 2023 in Kirkby, England.
(Image credit: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool are in talks to sign a 15-year-old wonderkid midfielder from South America, who could radically shift the Reds' transfer strategy. 

With the Merseysiders down in midtable this season and plenty of the squad looking tired, Jurgen Klopp is set to oversee a mass rebuild of the club that he has won a Premier League and Champions League title with in his seven years in charge. Midfield is the key problem area for Liverpool, though there could be incomings across the field. 

The club are bringing younger stars such as Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho and Stefan Bajcetic through into the system – and it seems as if their transfer policy is extending to looking towards the next generation. But while priority target Jude Bellingham could cost nine figures (opens in new tab), one target has emerged that could represent a bargain buy for the Reds. 

Jude Bellingham of England poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 16, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Jude Bellingham is Liverpool's No.1 target – but by no means the only figure targeted in midfield (Image credit: Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

According to 90min (opens in new tab), Liverpool are in talks to sign 15-year-old Ecuadorian talent Kendry Paez, with Rousing The Kop (opens in new tab) noting the Reds are "wising up" to the South American market.

Paez's club, Independiente Del Valle, wanted just £4.5 million (opens in new tab) when Liverpool were interested in Moises Caicedo. Ultimately, Brighton & Hove Albion paid the fee – and now the midfielder is valued to be worth at least £80m by the Seagulls. 

It's not just smaller sides like Brighton who have cut out the middle man to buy players straight from South America, either, with Real Madrid, Benfica and Arsenal signing the likes of Vinicius Jr, Endrick, Eder Militao, Enzo Fernandez and Gabriel Martinelli in recent seasons. 

Jurgen Klopp won't be able to bring Paez to England until 2025, due to his age – but should the Anfield outfit make a £10m deal now, judging by Caicedo's trajectory, the club could save themselves around £70m in a few years time. By structuring a deal that includes clauses and bonuses based on appearances and milestones, whoever buys Paez might not have to commit to paying out for a player who may not hit targets, either. 

Kendry Paez of Independiente del Valle fights for the ball with Fabricio Madueno of Alianza Lima during a semifinal match between Independiente Del Valle and Alianza Lima as part of Copa Internacional Mitad del Mundo U18 at Complejo Independiente del Valle on July 21, 2022 in Quito, Ecuador. on July 21, 2022 in Quito, Ecuador.

Kendry Paez of Independiente del Valle is highly rated by European sides (Image credit: Franklin Jacome/by Agencia Press South/Getty Images)

This summer is thought to be a big one for Liverpool in terms of outlay.

Bellingham is thought to cost around £100 million, while another target, Mason Mount, would command upwards of £60m, too. On top of that, Liverpool are said to be interested in both Josko Gvardiol (opens in new tab) and Antonio Silva (opens in new tab), two players who could cost £80m each. 

More Liverpool stories

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The search for a new owner is intensifying as wobbly form continues: goalkeeper Alisson says that the Reds can't afford to think about Champions League football right now, while club legend Jamie Carragher has called his former side "shambolic"

Meanwhile, Liverpool transfer news is ticking over and the club's plan is still to swoop for Jude Bellingham over the summer.

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.