Liverpool to replace Barca-bound Mascherano with £10.7m Porto star Meireles

With Javier Mascherano finally about to seal his long-awaited move to Barcelona, Liverpool haven’t wasted any time in finding a replacement, as reports say that Liverpool have lined up a £10.7m move for FC Porto midfielder Raul Meireles.

On Friday morning, it was reported that Liverpool and Barcelona had agreed a fee for Mascherano, with Liverpool to receive £16m up front and £6m more based on add-ons. Much of that £16m looks to be going to one place, as late last night it emerged that Liverpool had moved to agree a fee with Porto for the 27-year-old Meireles, with it believed that a contract had already been agreed.

After impressing for Portugal at the 2010 World Cup, Meireles was linked with Manchester United and Chelsea this summer, but it appears he’s now headed for Merseyside, with the deal set to be finalized upon his successful completion of a medical.

Meireles started his career at C.D. Aves before moving to Boavista in 2003, and after impressing in the 2003/04 campaign for Boavista, he moved to their city rivals Porto in the summer of 2004. Meireles played a significant role in Porto’s run of four successive Portuguese league titles from 2005 to 2009, and he also collected three Portuguese Cup and three Portuguese Supercup titles. Last season, he notched two goals and six assists in 26 league appearances..

Meireles, who was a part of the Portuguese U-16 side that won a European title in 2000, made his senior debut in 2006, and he has six goals in 38 caps. At the 2010 World Cup, he started all four games as Portugal advanced to the round of 16, and he netted a goal in their 7-0 rout of North Korea.

As he wasn’t selected for Porto’s Europa League qualifiers against Belgian side Genk, Meireles will be available to take part in Liverpool’s European campaign.

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