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Liverpool: Fabinho reportedly set for move to Real Madrid

Liverpool: Fabinho reportedly set for move to Real Madrid

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is reportedly on the verge of agreeing a move to Real Madrid, according to a journalist from Colombia.

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Jose Luis Vergara tweeted that the two clubs had come to an agreement on the move and that it would be finalised in the current transfer window.

According to Vergara [via Sport Witness], the move will be made official once Liverpool find a replacement for the Brazil international, with Real Madrid set to pay €65million (£60m) up front and a possible €10m (£9.23m) more in bonuses in a five-year deal that would see Fabinho earn €7.5m (£6.92m) a year.

Fabinho, who joined Liverpool from Monaco for £39m last year, has previously been on Real Madrid’s books but played just one first team game for the La Liga club in 2013.

The 25-year-old featured in 41 of Liverpool’s 53 matches last season, starting 21 Premier League games and seven Champions League matches.

He had to wait until the Reds’ ninth league outing, against Huddersfield in October, before making his English top flight debut, but then featured in all but two Premier League games thereafter.

He was a tigerish figure at the base of Liverpool’s midfield, averaging 2.1 tackles per game last season, although his match average of one interception was far less impressive (via WhoScored).

He had a passing success rate of 85.3% and averaged 57.5 passes per game, 0.6 of which were key passes. Speaking on Sky Sports [via The Mirror] after the 3-1 win over Manchester United last season, Gary Neville said: “What I liked about him was sometimes you see a defensive midfield player and they play horizontally, the shuffle across horizontally, they pass horizontally. He actually moved up the pitch.”

He ended the campaign with a goal and two assists from defensive midfield, a position that can also be played by Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson at Anfield.

Neither of those are as effective as Fabinho in breaking up play. Keita averaged 1.5 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game last season, with Henderson recording match averages of 1.4 tackles and 0.9 interceptions.

They both had better passing success rates than Fabinho, however, with Keita completing 88.5% of passes and Henderson recording 87.2% accuracy.

Jurgen Klopp has experimented with Adam Lallana in a defensive midfield role in pre-season. The 31-year-old has initially taken well to his new role, with The Independent‘s Mark Critchley describing his performance against Lyon last week as “combative and controlling“.

Fabinho has shown himself to be a solid enforcer in his first season at Anfield, as his tackling ratio illustrates, while he can also get the ball into advanced positions. Plus, he is the only out-and-out defensive midfielder in Liverpool’s first team squad.

However, with Keita, Henderson and now Lallana all capable of playing that role for the Reds, there are bodies who could step into the ‘number six’ position straight away if Fabinho leaves.

While he has impressed for Liverpool thus far, £60m could be difficult for the European champions to turn down if Real Madrid have indeed lodged an official, concrete offer for that amount.

Liverpool fans, do you think the club should accept £60m for Fabinho to let him join Real Madrid? Share your views by commenting below!

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