Diogo Jota will join Liverpool on a five-year deal from Wolves for an initial £41million, further highlighting the club’s ambition to retain the Premier League title.
The package could rise to £45m depending on appearances as well as the Merseysiders’ success domestically and on the continent.
Wolves’ flexibility with payment terms was a crucial factor in getting such a big outlay over the line in the current financial climate.
They accepted just shy of 10 percent of the guaranteed figure in the next 12 months, which is all nearly offset by defender Ki-Jana Hoever moving in the opposite direction for a total of £13.5m.
Jota has been analysed by the champions for the past two seasons, with Jurgen Klopp appreciating his versatility, intelligence in the final third and tirelessness both in possession and out of it.
Assistant manager Pep Lijnders was the biggest advocate of the player, having done due diligence on him through his contacts in Portugal. Like Fabinho, the 23-year-old is represented by the Gestifute agency and Liverpool have kept in touch with his representatives since initiating the monitoring process.
Jota offers greater competition in the attack, and as is the case with the recruitment of Thiago Alcantara, allows Klopp to experiment with different systems and approaches. Liverpool believe the attacker has the perfect attitude to earn his place and can advance his game at Anfield like their front three.
The club had enquired over Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, but initial discussions centered around receiving a record fee for the Senegal international. The package was deemed too pricey and, unlike Wolves, the Hornets were not amenable to staggered payment terms.
Hoever will make the switch to Molineux with £9m guaranteed, £4.5m in add-ons and a 15 percent sell-on clause inserted into the deal.
The Dutch teenager had only two years left on his contract and wanted a pathway into the first team with playing opportunities. Juventus and Atletico Madrid had also made checks on Hoever but didn’t follow it up with concrete offers.
Liverpool’s development coach Vitor Matos and Lijnders feel the transfer to Wolves will aid the player’s growth given the intention to utilise him on the right side of a back three or as a wing-back.