Liverpool are close to completing a deal with Gremio for Brazilian sensation Luan, with a £26m ($33.5m) fee in principle agreed between the two sides. Manager Jurgen Klopp wants to pair the striker with the Brazilian trio of Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, and has been tracking the 24-year-old over the past one year.
The Mirror reports that a deal is close to being agreed on, with the player turning down a new contract last month and has only a year left on his tenure at the club. Luan was part of the Brazil team, which won the Olympic gold. He is expected add some much needed impetus in the forward line for the Merseyside club.
Gremio were initially not willing to open talks for a transfer, but with the player's contract running down they have listened to bids from a host of European clubs, with the Reds currently in the driver's seat.
The player's representatives, who included agent Gianni Losito and business advisor Jair Peixoto, had travelled to London in April. The report states that they had discussed terms with the Anfield representatives and were close to completing a deal for the striker.
However, much depends on the Reds' ability to finish in the top four, for which they have to win their remaining two games and not allow Arsenal a back-door entry into the Champions League. Luan is known for his versatility and can play across the front three or as a number 10, an able replacement for the injury prone Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled to stay fit for a length of games.
The Reds take on West Ham United on Sunday, 14 May, where a win will take them only three points adrift of a confirmed Champions League berth. However, a loss here or against Middlesbrough in their next game will hand the initiative to Arsenal to win their remaining games and secure the spot.