Liverpool started negotiations with 18-year-old Liga NOS defender

Nuno Mendes’ step up to the Sporting Lisbon first-team has caught the attention of PL clubs, according to reports in Portugal. U21 Portugal international is rapidly making a name for himself at the Liga NOS giants and has managed to force himself into manager Ruben Amorim’s plans in recent months.

Mendes made his senior debut in June and is also attracting transfer interest from several Serie A club, including Juventus and AC Milan. Liverpool and Arsenal are among Nuno’s suitors, but the defender will not come cheap.

Lions would be open to cashing in on the 18-year-old defender, but only if a side can trigger his £41m buy-out clause. The Portuguese defender has played nine matches in Liga NOS since breaking into the side and has played mostly on the left side of midfield.

Neither Gunners nor Reds would be expected to move for Nuno this summer with limited transfer funds at both teams. Both clubs are aiming to improve their first-team in the current window, with Arsenal manager securing the additions of defender Gabriel and forward Willian.

The Merseyside giants are on the verge of their first major addition after agreeing on a fee with Bayern Munich for Thiago Alcantara. The transfer window stays open until 5 October.

Both Gunners and Reds earlier this week, and also mentioned Juventus and Milan as other teams who are keeping a keen eye on the defender. They add that Nuno will only be allowed to leave if his buy-out clause is met, which is believed to be in the region of £41m.