Liverpool might have a new Luis Diaz question to answer after Barcelona interest

Luis Diaz warms up before the Premier League match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Luis Diaz was one of the most consistent performers in a Liverpool shirt last season and given what happened with his parents in the middle of the campaign, that is a testament to his quality and mentality.

And yet, with Arne Slot's first summer about to get underway, he is one of the players most discussed as a possible star who could depart. There are arguments to be had both ways.

On the one hand, Diaz was consistent and could kick on again next season. On the other, he is already 27 and only netted eight times in 37 appearances in the Premier League last season.

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Diaz is a proven option and has never had a full season without incident to show Liverpool what he can do — disrupted either by injury or kidnapping. Equally, there might be a more ruthless forward out there who could improve the Reds' forward line. It is a genuine conundrum.

Then, of course, there is the fact that his father has talked up a possible transfer to Spain. Diaz Senior was keen to see his son play in La Liga, with Barcelona — if it could afford a move — the obvious place for the Colombian this summer.

How likely is it, though, that the Catalan side would be able to afford a transfer? AS reported that Barcelona would need to sell Raphinha first to fund a move and The Telegraph said last month that Liverpool would demand $96m (£75m/€88m) for the player.

Neither of those things is out of the question but it feels more likely that Liverpool would add to its forward line this summer rather than cash in on a current asset and attempt to replace Diaz, who was a regular starter on the left last year.

Now, though, the Daily Mail is reporting that Diaz is on the radar of clubs in Saudi Arabia (and that Joe Gomez is too). There is another question there — would he even think about going there, no matter the salary? — but the Barcelona query over being able to afford such a move would be eliminated.

Whichever Middle Eastern club it was — and Diaz's former manager at Benfica, Jorge Jesus, is in charge of Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League — would be able to stump up what Liverpool was asking. In a drive to find players who are in their prime rather than those well into their 30s, it could make sense as a move for the league as a whole.

While there is no guarantee that Diaz would want to move to Saudi Arabia even with an eye-watering sum of money placed in front of him, it is more realistic that a big enough package to tempt Liverpool could be cobbled together from there than at Barcelona. Any move to Spain would be hypothetical at this stage — but Al Hilal or another Saudi team might just put an actual question on the table.