Inside Fabio Carvalho transfer story as FSG talks and Harry Wilson helps Liverpool secure deal

Inside Fabio Carvalho transfer story as FSG talks and Harry Wilson helps Liverpool secure deal


It would have been easy for Fabio Carvalho to pull the cat out of the bag on Monday night.

Enjoying the glow of promotion, confirmed as a Championship winner with Fulham and having just signed a 7-0 hammering of Luton with a goal of his own, it seemed as good a chance as any for an opportunistic journalist from get official confirmation on his next move.

The timid response hinted at a maturity that exceeds his 19 years. A laugh, a broad smile and a simple response of “we’ll see what happens” was sensible and measured, though it didn’t leave Liverpool fans the wiser.

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Fulham owner Tony Khan was more open, telling The Athletic: “He’s a player we’ve always valued, coming out of the academy and we would have loved to keep him. But we have reached a deal which is the best for the club and since that deal it has worked out wonderfully because he has been such a valuable part of the promotion.”

Carvalho will officially become a Liverpool player on July 1 when he signs a five-year deal, although the Reds have opted to respect the Cottagers’ situation and wait out their season before he is officially revealed at Anfield.

After a medical was carried out in London on transfer deadline day in January, the Reds ran out of time to complete a deal but were still confident Carvalho would ultimately be their player.

So much so, in fact, that Klopp took the unusual step of speaking out about Carvalho when asked during his first press conference after the deadline in February.

“We are still interested – it would be crazy if we weren’t,” Klopp said. “It was late, the window closed, it didn’t work. We’ll see what happens.”

Fulham were adamant that whatever happened with Carvalho’s future, he would remain their player for the rest of the campaign, having become an important part of an attacking free-goal team at the top of the Second Division.

Eleven goals and eight assists in his 37 appearances so far suggest he is a player ready for the bigger stage and while Fulham are understandably disappointed it is not with them, there is a respectful deal between the two clubs over a Liverpool player considered one of England’s best teenagers.

With the Portugal Under-21 international in the final six months of his contract at the start of the year, Anfield officials were desperate to avoid court with Fulham, after seeing relations between the two clubs deteriorate following the Harvey Elliott lawsuit in 2019.

Instead, a sum of £5m was agreed with an additional £2.7m added and a 20% sell clause inserted into the deal. Carvalho, despite being born in Portugal, is seen as a local product and that, it is understood, is a big factor for Liverpool given that some of their UK-born players like James Milner and Jordan Henderson are in thirties.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Robertson turning 29 on their next birthdays, the club fear they could see a situation where their local quotas will have to be hastily assessed in a few years.

That’s why the push to pursue the best youngsters across the country, like Carvalho and the deal that saw Kaide Gordon join Derby County in January 2021, continues behind the scenes.

Liverpool were also aware that Carvalho could have spoken to clubs outside England about a pre-contract deal and given his performances this season the player was attracting strong interest from elsewhere on the continent with Champions League opponents Porto one of many credited. with interest.

The agreement reached with Harry Wilson last summer was one of the keys to the agreement between the two clubs. After relations turned frosty following the Elliott saga, bridges were built when Liverpool agreed to a postponement of payments until this summer, effectively seeing the Wales international join on loan.

Despite the nature of those terms, Wilson is officially a Fulham player and he was another important element in a side that plundered 106 goals in the Championship. This helped smooth things over after Elliott was sued.

Courtesy of Fulham, Carvalho has already been able to visit his new place of work, having visited the AXA training center in Kirkby. It was here that personal terms were agreed and a second medical checked when the attacking midfielder met his new manager for the first time. ECHO understands that Liverpool have been hugely impressed with the way the Championship leaders have handled negotiations during this period.

FSG chairman Mike Gordon was part of the team managing the talks alongside current sporting director Michael Edwards and his successor Julian Ward and their conversations with Fulham CEO Alastair Mackintosh as well as the owner Tony Khan, put Liverpool on the cusp of an announcement from Carvalho.

Klopp is delighted with the capture and sees his versatility and possession ability as traits that can be shaped in the years to come, while the youngster’s character is seen as an ideal candidate for the current squad composition.

It reaffirms Liverpool’s commitment to finding the best youngsters in the country and ensuring their best years are at Anfield.

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