Liverpool are apparently still in negotiations with French club Lille for the early release of 19-year-old Belgian striker Divock Origi, reports Yahoo Sport. However, the Ligue 1 side are unlikely to agree to any deal this month, unless they sign a replacement during the January transfer window.
French website La Voix du Nord have reported today that Lille are in talks with Brazilian striker Derley, hoping the Benfica player can be the man to replace Origi in the Lille attack.
The 27-year-old moved from Portuguese side Maritimo after scoring 16 goals last season, finishing the second highest scorer in the league. He joined Benfica for €2.5 million, but has failed to make an impact.
The Brazilian has only made one start for the Lisbon club, with nine appearances off the bench. In total he has played 221 minutes for Benfica, scoring just once in the league since his move.
Any deal to Lille would initially be on loan until the end of the season, with the northern club having the option to buy in the summer.
The addition of Derley would give Lille enough fire power in attack to deal with the loss of Origi.
The Belgian has only scored three league goals this season, and his overall play has been lacking in desire and imagination. Lille have already recalled Abdoulay Diaby from his loan spell at Belgian first division side Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz after the Malian striker scored 12 goals in 20 games this season.
Lille also completed the deal for Angers winger Sofiane Boufal this week, in a move reported to be worth €4 million for the Ligue 2 side.
The moves for Derley, Boufal and Diaby, should strengthen Lille in attack enough to satisfy Coach René Girard to sanction Liverpool’s request for Origi to return to the Merseyside club.
The provisional agreement to take Origi to Liverpool this month is being reported by Canal +, to be worth an extra €6 million, which makes the total deal worth around €18 million for the French club.
Liverpool may be keen to bring the forward back to the club this month, but paying that sort of money for an untested 19-year-old may not be the best piece of business.