Liverpool on the verge of a potential terrific transfer window
Adam Lallana became Liverpool’s third signing of the summer, after Rickie Lambert and Emre Can, so attention on Merseyside has immediately switched to selling Luis Suarez.
A player, who after the recent blots on his copybook, has stained the last remaining clean slates. It is understood the club are willing to enter negotiations with Barcelona, though forward Alexis Sanchez will be vital to any deal being struck, the Reds are keen to bring the Chilean to Anfield. The player’s inclinations to move to Arsenal, though, may put certain variables of the move in jeopardy. Liverpool don’t want anything less than £80m, though could drop that to £60m if Sanchez is included.
Catalan club Barca, are understood to want to pay no more than £60m and that doesn’t include adding a player into the deal, particularly as their valuation of Sanchez equates to £32m. A fee they claim a number of clubs have offered, including Arsenal, according to reports.
The price will be the biggest stumbling block, and there could be a repeat of the Tottenham-Gareth Bale-Real Madrid situation last summer. Barcelona are odds-on at 1/4 to be the Uruguayan’s next club, with director of football management Raul Sanllehi due to meet Liverpool chiefs in London for primary discussions.
It is a deal that could be long and protracted; handled initially by chief executive, Ian Ayre, before being passed across to his directors to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. This will ensure that manager Brendan Rodgers is ably assisted in carrying out the rest of the club’s imports.
Next on the list are a couple of defenders, as Rodgers looks to fill gaping holes in his backline. They are expected to return to Southampton for centre back Dejan Lovren, who may turn into the Premier League’s successor to Nemanja Vidic. It is expected that he could command a fee between £15m-£20m, though talks are set to be swift.
A left back has been high up on the list for Rodgers, who has reportedly been looking since the end of the domestic season. Alberto Moreno of Sevilla was his initial target for a fee in the region of £15m, though after the player helped them to a Europa League victory, his valuation has soared beyond what Liverpool are willing to pay.
Belgian striker Divock Origi is also expected to complete a move to Anfield for £10m. His club Lille are yet to confirm the deal, nevertheless it is understood from reports in France that one is imminent, despite the player still being involved in the World Cup. Any transaction between the two outfits is expected to involve a clause for the player to return to Ligue 1 on loan for another season, however.
Liverpool will be competing on four fronts again next campaign, having qualified for the Champions League, and Rodgers knows that he will need a significantly boosted squad, with more quality in depth. Set to be added to the jigsaw of talent is Benfica winger, Lazar Markovic, mooted for £20m, though at just 20 years old could be viewed as an extravagance too far considering, for a similar amount of money, it would buy the club more experience in Europe’s elite competition.
The same applies to the man his country call the ‘Alpine Messi’. Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri has been linked to Anfield and, at just 22, the Bayern Munich player looks like the real deal. His nickname is, on balance, justified. Running with the ball at his feet, drifting past defenders, going in either direction, he isn’t too far behind Lionel Messi. If Rodgers is able to land him, it may soften the blow of not being able to secure Sanchez, and will give Liverpool an upper hand in negotiations for Suarez.
Edinson Cavani and Mario Balotelli have previously been linked as potential replacements if Suarez does indeed go, though Porto’s Jackson Martinez, who has had an encouraging World Cup for Colombia, could also be hot property, and worth a bid if there is surplus left from Suarez’s move. Either one of these top strikers could complete an exciting transfer window for Liverpool.
Good luck Rodgers trying to accommodate everyone.