Liverpool have announced the signing of Sevilla forward Luis Alberto on a long-term deal.
The Spaniard, recently on loan at Barcelona B, arrived on Merseyside at the back end of the week to undergo a medical and put pen to paper.
Having been given the green light to move in for the 20 year-old after Barcelona decided not to exercise their buying option, Liverpool had a £6.8m bid accepted by his parent club.
Alberto was at the club’s training complex, Melwood, to sign a ‘long-term contract’ and his new manager Brendan Rodgers said “He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player.”
The forward, comfortable on either wing but preferring to play as a second striker or attacking midfielder, appeared 38 times for Barcelona’s second team last year in Spain’s second tier – bagging 11 goals and 17 assists along the way, having previously played seven games for Sevilla’s first team and scoring 25 in 77 for Sevilla B.
Yet the Catalan giants decided not to follow up their option to buy the Spaniard, and after initially looking like staying at Sevilla, the Reds have finally got their man.
Liverpool have clearly learnt from the transfer failings last season after missing out on big targets like Clint Dempsey, by getting their business done early this time round.
Deals in principle have already been agreed for Manchester City defender Kolo Toure and Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, while the club are nearing a deal for Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after agreeing a fee believed to be £9m for the Belgian.
Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reportedly a top target for Rodgers, although the Reds boss faces stiff competition with a number of clubs including Real Madrid and Chelsea supposedly interested in the Armenian.
LUIS ALBERTO FACTFILE
Position: Second striker/attacking midfield, left wing
Stronger foot: Right
Best attributes: Free kick accuracy, vision, positioning, finishing
Plays a bit like: Cesc Fabregas, David Villa