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Barcelona president offers transfer hint after links with Liverpool forward Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz during a training session one day before the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament quarter-final football match between Colombia and Panama at ASU Competition Field in Tempe, Arizona, on July 5, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)


Liverpool has a potential decision to make on Luis Diaz this summer, with the Colombian approaching something of a crossroads. But new head coach Arne Slot only has a dilemma if transfer interest materializes, and Barcelona president Joan Laporta might have just provided a hint.

It's Barcelona that has been linked most vociferously with Diaz. Former player Deco, who is at the club in a directorial capacity, is believed to view the Liverpool man as the top option to strengthen the attack (Sport).

PSG has also been mentioned as a possible suitor, following the departure of Kylian Mbappe. But Liverpool is not expected to actively market Diaz, and the player himself has declared that he is content at Anfield.

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As such, the likeliest scenario that would see him depart is a concerted push from Barcelona. But Liverpool supporters have validly questioned whether the Catalans could even afford Diaz, amid their notorious financial constraints.

Club president Laporta has dropped the biggest hint yet that Barcelona could scrape together the funds for Diaz. However, in the same breath, he has suggested that the La Liga giant might look elsewhere. "Economically speaking, we could commit to the signing of Nico Williams," Laporta said, via ESPN. The Athletic Club star has been a breakout star of Euro 2024, and has a release clause standing at $62m (£49m/€58m).

Liverpool may well hold out for more in the event that a club comes in for Diaz. But if Laporta is confident Barcelona could find $62m, and pay it up-front in order to trigger the clause, there's clearly a belief that money is there to be spent.

Joan Laporta, president of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on May 19, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made claims about the club's financial health. -Credit:Eric Alonso/Getty Images

However, if Williams is targeted, then Diaz will presumably not be pursued. And it seems Laporta is a big fan:

“Nico’s a player I like — I like him a lot. We are working with [new manager Hansi] Flick on possible signings. Now we have to leave Deco to close the operations we are working on.

“Shortly we will be able to announce some good news with regard to the financial [issues] and we will be back within LaLiga’s Fair Play limits. And that will allow further good news in terms of [signings].”

Of course, Deco's apparent preference for Diaz could yet win the day. Alternatively, Barcelona could fail in a pursuit of Williams and turn to Liverpool instead, seemingly armed with more money than expected. But the idea that the Colombian is the number one choice at the Nou Camp now seems a little shakier.

Liverpool.com says: It's almost a win-win for Slot. If Diaz stays, he's exactly the kind of winger with whom the new coach loves working. But if he leaves, he will generate a very healthy fee, despite having probably entered his peak years already.

If Barcelona is armed with a decent transfer kitty, do not rule out a move, whatever Laporta says about Williams. But there's little doubt the Athletic Club youngster is one of the game's hottest properties at the moment, so it would not be a huge shock to see the younger player preferred.