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Liverpool in talks with Gelson Martins after Mo Salah hitch

Gelson Martins
Image: Gelson Martins scored six goals in 32 appearances for Sporting last summer

Liverpool have put a pin in their pursuit of Mo Salah and begun talks with Sporting Lisbon over the signing of winger Gelson Martins, Sky Sports News HQ understands.

Sky sources reported earlier this week that, despite agreeing personal terms in principle, the Reds were struggling to agree a fee for Salah with Roma, who are holding out for £35m.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has therefore begun exploring other options and turned to Martins - a 22-year-old Portugal international whom they have scouted throughout the season.

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at London S
Image: Jurgen Klopp is taking a central role in Liverpool's recruitment this summer

Martins has a release clause is set at £46.5m but Sky Sports News HQ understands Sporting would be willing to sell him for just under £40m in the right circumstances.

And the Reds might decide Martins represents good value for money for a player whose prime years lie ahead of him.

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Martins has been one of Sporting's key players this term, scoring six goals in 32 outings and the club are bracing themselves for interest, but they have not yet received any bids.

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Meanwhile, Liverpool have been reported to the Premier League by Southampton over an allegation of illegal tapping-up of their defender Virgil van Dijk, who is understood to want to move to Anfield.

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