Belfast Telegraph

United lose out as Fabinho heads for Anfield in £48m deal

By Robert Jones

Liverpool have confirmed their first signing of the summer after agreeing a deal for Brazilian midfielder Fabinho from Monaco.

The Reds announced the news last night, with Fabinho putting pen to paper on a "long-term contract" at Anfield.

It is a real coup for Jurgen Klopp's side, who are believed to have beaten out Atletico Madrid and Manchester United to earn the playmaker's signature.

It is believed the deal for the 24-year-old is around £48m, and he would be a direct replacement for the seemingly outgoing Emre Can, who continues to attract interest from Juventus.

"I am really excited," Fabinho said. "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 club. Hopefully I'm able to win titles.

"I will try to grow and learn and improve myself, and to be part of the club's history."

Fabinho was part of the Monaco squad that won Ligue 1 in the 2016/17 season and also made it to the Champions League semis.

Meanwhile, Loris Karius could find it hard to stay at Liverpool following his Champions League final blunders, according to former England No.1 Peter Shilton.

Karius made two second-half howlers in Kiev to effectively hand Real Madrid a third successive Champions League trophy.

The 24-year-old, inconsolable at the final whistle, has apologised to fans.

"If he does stay at Liverpool I hope the fans give him a chance," Shilton said. "They're the sort of fans who would do that, but I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Liverpool."

Shilton once let a shot slip beneath him in a World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley in 1973 and was also involved in the infamous 'Hand of God' goal by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup.

England drew the Poland game 1-1 but failed to qualify for the 1974 finals as a result.

"As a goalkeeper, you can't hide," Shilton added. "If an outfield player makes a mistake, a striker misses a couple of chances, it's easily forgotten. Goalkeeping is different."

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