LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool have announced a deal to sign Brazilian midfielder Fabinho from Monaco.
The clubs agreed a transfer fee worth up to €50 million (£44m), a source told ESPN FC. The provisions of the deal should see Liverpool pay a guaranteed fee of €45m, with a maximum of €5m in further add-ons.
Fabinho is Liverpool’s first-choice defensive-midfield transfer target and will become the club’s first signing of the summer. He agreed a “long-term contract” after having a medical and will formally complete his move on July 1.
Liverpool see the 24-year-old as a direct replacement for Emre Can, who is expected to sign for Juventus on a free transfer this summer upon the expiration of his Anfield contract.
Fabinho, capped four times by Brazil but not part of their World Cup squad, has made 232 appearances for Monaco over five seasons, scoring 31 times mainly from his anchoring midfield position and helping them win the Ligue 1 title a year ago.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 28, 2018
“I am really excited about this move,” Fabinho told Liverpool’s website. “This is something that I always wanted — this is a giant of a team. The infrastructures of the club look exceptional.
“A football club of this size coming after my services, I didn’t have to think that much about coming over.
“I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I’m able to win titles with this club. I will try to grow and learn and improve myself, and to be part of the club’s history.”
Fabinho led Monaco by registering 3,200 touches in all competitions this past season. He also registered 83 tackles, 30 more than any other player on his club, who finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain.
After starting his career with Fluminense, Fabinho moved to Europe in 2012 with Portuguese club Rio Ave, who loaned him to Real Madrid, and the teenager made one substitute appearance for their first team.
He moved to Monaco on an initial loan at the start of the 2013-14 season and scored 23 league goals over five seasons, including seven in the campaign just completed.
In the wake of Saturday’s Champions League final defeat, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would see his midfield options boosted by the arrival of the Brazilian and Naby Keita, who will officially become a Liverpool player on July 1.
Liverpool may recruit again from France’s Ligue 1 again this transfer window, with a source saying that Lyon captain Nabil Fekir is another player on the Merseyside club’s radar.
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.