Nottingham Forest deadline could see Liverpool sign 'quality' defender before June 30

Nuno Espirito Santo, manager of Nottingham Forest.Nuno Espirito Santo, manager of Nottingham Forest.
Nuno Espirito Santo, manager of Nottingham Forest. | Getty Images
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Nottingham Forest’s latest financial woes could be a positive for Liverpool in relation to their pursuit of one of their star players.

Having survived relegation, Forest’s attention now turns to their financial complications; more specifically, having to balance the books before June 30. The summer transfer window doesn’t open until June 14 however to avoid breaching spending limits and risking a points deduction next season, they must raise funds through sales - that’s according to iPaper’s Sam Cunningham.

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With Forest already experiencing a four-point deduction for doing just that last season, they will be keen to avoid making the same mistake again. And June 30 is now being known as a ceremonial date for clubs and ‘profitability and sustainability rules’ day is just over a month away. One player that could be an easy sale for Forest - given the performances and current interest in him - is centre-back Murillo.

Speaking on the defender, Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo told ESPN Brasil: “Murillo has a lot of quality. He’s a very quick defender, he’s well built, but I don’t just look at the good things. It’s better not to change what’s already good, just try to improve it. Now, there are aspects of his game that he has to improve. We mustn’t forget that a defender’s fundamental job is to defend.”

Previously linked with Liverpool, the 21-year-old Brazilian enjoyed a solid first season in England and dazzled at times with his mazy dribbles from the halfway line and shots from distance. While there is no doubting his technical ability, defensively he proved he is certainly capable, even if there is room for improvement. He’s also quick and strong and ready to put his body on the line and if Liverpool want to bring in a defender to replace Joel Matip with a sizeable potential - then Murillo could be that player.

Previous reports stipulated Liverpool had an interest in him before he moved to Forest and have kept an eye on him as the season has progressed. While his figures aren’t quite as impressive as other targets, the eye-test shows a player who has a vast potential and is someone who could be moulded into a very good defender over time. He does boast a high number of clearances per game and a low ‘dribbled past’ statistic (0.4) and covers a lot of ground in a left-sided position.

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Forest’s squad boasts other names such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Morgan Gibbs-White but the defender is the only one linked with a move to Anfield. It would be a bold move but given that the club need to sell, Liverpool could identify him as a bargain risk that could be worth taking.

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