By Danny Wright
Liverpool are willing to up their bid for Sporting Lisbon attacker Gelson Martins after having their first offer rejected, according to a report.
Portuguese news outlet A Bola claims that the Reds had an approach worth somewhere between £35million and £40million turned down by Sporting, but they are now prepared to up the stakes to £43.7million.
It is understood that the Premier League giants firmly believe that they can produce a deal in a meeting with the Sporting chiefs.
Martins has been with the Lions since 2010 after he was signed from Futebol Benfica.
He has steadily progressed through the ranks and played a starring role in the first-team last season as he featured in all but three matches across all competitions.
The attack-minded winger, who can play on both the right or left flank, produced a series a fine displays in Liga Nos, scoring six goals and supplying 14 assists in 32 appearances.
Martins’ blistering form saw him earn his maiden senior cap for European champions Portugal in October, when he featured in a 6-0 thrashing of Andorra in a World Cup qualifier.
He now has a total of six international caps and has supplied four assists in those games.
Football Insider Verdict
Liverpool definitely need to add another winger to their ranks this summer as they prepare for life back in the Champions League, but it simply isn’t a priority. Jurgen Klopp has to build from the back and add one or two new centre-backs and a left-back to his rearguard before he should think about strengthening what is already a very good front line. Missing out on Virgil van Dijk is a big blow, but there hasn’t been any convincing signs that they’ve began a serious pursuit for someone else. Klopp has to get this summer transfer window right otherwise he could run the risk of losing his job.
In other Liverpool news, the 25-year-old has jetted into Merseyside for a medical.