£13.1m star rumoured to replace 24-year-old at Liverpool flattered by Anfield links

FC Porto defender Rafa Soares claims he is “flattered” by recent reports linking him with a move to Liverpool and says he shivers when he listens to You’ll Never Walk Alone.

The 22-year-old came up through the ranks of the Portuguese outfit’s youth system and is yet to make a first team appearance for Porto. He impressed for Porto’s B team since making his way to the squad in 2013, which saw him go out on loan. The left-back spent last season at Rio Alve, making 32 league appearances and scoring three goals and registering five assists in the process.

Soares’ form for Rio Alve has seen him attract interest from several English clubs, including that of the Merseyside club. Despite expressing his delight over Liverpool’s interest, the player has set his sights on breaking into Porto’s first team in the 2017/18 season.

“I know I’ve been followed by English clubs especially after our campaign. Liverpool are a great club and to be linked is an enormous honour for me,” Soares told Omnisport, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“I followed Liverpool from young age and I shiver every time I listen to You’ll Never Walk Alone, it’s unique! Liverpool are famous and popular in Portugal where people value the history of a club.

“I’m naturally flattered, but I’m a Porto player and focused on succeeding here. My main goal is to establish myself and get first-team football. I feel ready and confident that after my last season I will be given a chance.”

“Fans support and trust me to become a symbol of the club, as I have been here for over 10 years and feel Porto in my bones.”

Liverpool are in the market for a left-back as James Milner filled in that position for the Reds last term. The former Manchester City man impressed in the full-back role and was ahead of Alberto Moreno in the pecking order.

Jurgen Klopp has seen his side return to the Champions League and is aware that he needs to strengthen the left-back position. A new signing is likely to force Moreno out of the club in the summer transfer window.

Soareas could be a possible addition for Liverpool, especially after he expressed his joy after being linked with the Anfield club. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Porto star has a €15m (£13.1m, $16.7m) release clause in his contract and the Primeira Liga outfit could be open to the idea of sanctioning his sale after Uefa’s sanction for not meeting Financial Fair Play rules this year.