Liverpool have completed the signing of World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton.
The Argentina international, who was one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, makes the move to Anfield for what is understood to be for an initial fee of around £35m, but sources say it could go up to £55m.
Mac Allister, who was signed from Argentinos Juniors has spent four years at Brighton, including two loan spells back in his homeland.
Sky Sports understands he was identified as a key target for Liverpool before the World Cup and the club value his versatility.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, he said: “It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true, it’s amazing to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I wanted to be in [from] the first day of pre-season, so it’s good that everything is done. I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates.
“It was a fantastic year for me – World Cup, what we achieved with Brighton – but now it’s time to think about Liverpool and try to be a better player and a better human being every day.”
The 24-year-old’s arrival is likely to begin what looks set to be a busy summer at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp seeking to rebuild a side that failed to book a Champions League spot this season.
Alexis Mac Allister played a key role in Argentina’s successful World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Midfield is a particular area of need for Liverpool, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner all departing the club at the expiration of their contracts, while Arthur Melo will return to Juventus at the end of his loan deal.
Milner is set to move to Brighton, with his switch to the Amex near completion.
How Mac Allister could help Liverpool rebuild midfield
Liverpool’s midfield has been scrutinised for some time, seen as the root cause of their decline. Overhauling it offers a route out of their problems. The acquisition of Mac Allister could prove to be a significant moment for Jurgen Klopp.
The Argentina international has pedigree. Already a World Cup winner, the 24-year-old midfielder has proven himself in the Premier League at Brighton and has the breadth of skills that make him an ideal fit for the demands at Liverpool.
It is why Jude Bellingham was long seen as the solution. At its best, a Klopp midfield includes players who can defend and attack, tackle, pass and shoot. Mac Allister can do all of that. Speaking to him in January, he was acutely aware of his own positional flexibility.
“I always say that I like to be in contact with the ball,” he told Sky Sports. “The closer I am to the ball, the better I feel. I like to play as a midfielder. It does not matter if it is as a 6, an 8 or a 10. I grew up as a 10. But then I understood that I could play in more positions.
“I think it is important for the modern player to be able to play in different positions to give the team and the manager different options. If you ask me I would say that today I feel more comfortable as an 8, but I know I can play as a 6 or a 10.”
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson says: “If Liverpool are going to challenge for the league as well as just the top four, for them to get Mac Allister would be a great signing. He’s a top player, a World Cup winner and was a massive influence in that tournament.
“He’s a very good player, a very calming influence on the pitch. He keeps the ball and ticks it along, and reminds me a bit of an Ilkay Gundogan without the goals.
“He’s a different kind of player to Jude Bellingham who they wanted before, Bellingham would get forward a bit more, but Mac Allister does the simple stuff very, very well.
“People might say, ‘Oh, the simple stuff?’ but there’s not a lot of players who can do that.”