IT’S the middle of June and Liverpool have already managed to upset a good chunk of their supporter base by signing a kid who most have rarely seen play, being made to issue a public apology for tapping up their top target and dragging out negotiations over a couple million pounds for another.
Many have been swept up in the transfer fever and allowed themselves to get overly excited about Liverpool’s potential new boys, which has led to disappointment, in spite of the fact that the transfer window doesn’t officially open until July 1.
What won’t have helped the mood among supporters is that rivals Arsenal, Everton and the two Manchester clubs have all made signings at this stage — though Arsenal and Manchester United have only made one signing each, the same as Liverpool after confirmation of the Dominic Solanke deal.
Perhaps it’s the issue of spending money, John Henry and co have been known for their moneyball strategy and some will continuously covet more free-spending owners. Aside from Arsenal’s Bosman signing Sead Kolasinac, Everton have spent over £50 million on Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen, Manchester City just shy of £80m on Bernardo Silva and Ederson Moraes, and United around £30m on Victor Lindelof, while the amount The Reds have spent so far is to be decided, once a tribunal over a fee for Solanke has concluded.
However reports suggested the club were willing to go all out in their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, with the fee touted to be upwards of £60m, so who can truly say that the club aren’t willing to spend at this stage? The only indication of that has been the highly publicised talks with Roma to sign Mohamed Salah, where the two parties have struggled to agree on a fee. The question has been why the club don’t just pay the few extra million Roma want to ensure they get their man. That would be all well and good except for the fact the Italians need to raise 30m euros by the end of the month to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, so Liverpool have their valuation and won’t bend to Roma’s demands. Seems fair enough, doesn’t it?
We tried something new last week as we took a look back at the week’s news in the first of our new ‘Wrap Up’ videos — get on it:
The other issue is that Liverpool appear to have missed out on two of their main targets already. The embarrassing public climbdown over Virgil van Dijk has left a sour taste enough to almost forget that The Reds also withdrew their interest in Ryan Sessegnon with Spurs looking the most likely, though it looks as though no deal has been done there.
In fact, last year’s second-placed side haven’t secured any signings as it stands and neither have title winners Chelsea. Last season’s two tops teams have been linked with fresh faces, but nothing has officially come to fruition. Liverpool have been slaughtered over and over for “monitoring” targets and failing to get deals over the line, yet two of the country’s best teams are still doing the same, if not less as far as we’re aware.
We’ve seen it all before though, haven’t we? Liverpool’s interest in a player is reported by media outlets, the club appear to stall over the fee and then another club comes in who are more willing to pay the money and get their man — Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey with Spurs as well as Willian and Salah himself with Chelsea. That’s probably why there’s such clamour for the club to get their deals over the line as quick as possible, though that sort of thing can be avoided by contingency planning at early stages to avoid panic buying or last-minute flapping.
In the last 10 years the club have only signed five players prior to today’s date — Lucas Leiva and Krisztian Nemeth in 2007, Jonjo Shelvey in 2010, Jordan Henderson in 2011 and Rickie Lambert in 2014 — and just a further seven signings in the month of June — Mikel San Jose in 2007, Glen Johnson in 2009, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet in 2013, Joe Gomez in 2015 and Sadio Mane in 2016.
There can be many reasons why that is the case — lengthy negotiations, the player playing internationals etc — but it shows that very little business is done by the club before the window actually opens. Maybe that’s the issue, the club have form for not getting in quick enough. Except some of the club’s best summer signings have come after the window has opened; Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun, Raul Meireles, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Gini Wijnaldum to name a few.
With the Premier League releasing next season’s fixtures last week, there seems to be an increasing sense that the football never really stops. Once the season finishes it’s onto transfer rumours until there are some pre-season games to enjoy and then the season is back underway, there doesn’t seem to be much of a break between one season and another anymore — particularly with post-season friendlies becoming more frequent.
Jürgen Klopp may have shot himself in the foot to some extent by describing the club’s work around transfers as “pretty much done” in the aftermath of the season’s curtain call. That could suggest that Liverpool were ready to wrap up all their deals once they were given the chance but what is more likely, given the context of the van Dijk tapping up situation, is that the club had already identified or even spoken to most of their targets ready to make moves over the summer. Anything beyond that has its own variables; damaging leaks to the press, the other negotiating club looking to make an example and so on.
What may stick in the craw for some is how Everton have gone about their business so far. Liverpool supporters have had years of joy watching their Blue neighbours have to settle for mediocrity in the transfer market but it seems they are starting to get their act together. That shouldn’t even come into the consideration of Liverpool fans, though. On top of the fact Everton have completely different ambitions to Liverpool, these aren’t players The Reds were in for and have no bearing on how the club will operate in this window. Also it’s impossible to know what is going on behind the scenes at either club; Everton may know they’re about to get a financial boost from the sale of Romelu Lukaku, which would turn the fume right on its head.
Fenway Sports Group have promised to back Klopp in the transfer market this summer and the manager has talked about spending big and, as it stands, there’s no reason to believe that won’t be the case.
It’s the middle of June, not even four weeks after The Reds secured Champions League football with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough. There’s a while to go and, no matter what other clubs get up to, Liverpool already have their targets in mind and will have contingency plans in place in case they miss out on those.
The club have got the manager they want in charge and their ‘dream team’ in the boardroom. It’s time to start trusting their actions and maybe being a little bit patient.
To hear discussion around Liverpool’s targets and more subscribe to The Anfield Wrap and listen to the latest episode of ‘The Gutter’ – our regular round-up of all the transfer talk. Look out too for special podcasts on new signings when they happen.
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I don’t understand that for the 2nd year running weve felt the need to announce to the world who our main targets are that summer.
Why do that?
What’s the major purpose behind that?
Surely your also alerting other clubs to both your intentions and the possible availability of those particular players to other clubs including the club that owns that player?
I don’t see any major benefit to announcing who your targets are.
Couple that with the fact that we’ve been briefing the press that we’re gonna spend massive this summer and I’m a bit confused about the strategy.
Here lads we intend to come after your star player plus we have loads of money to spend too.
Thanks for letting us know that in advance, price has just went up!
if you listen to Melissa Reddy she explains that most of the time none of this has come from the club – the media piece together agents, other media sources and decide what looks to be roughly correct.
It was Melissa Reddy, Paul Joyce etc who broke the news of the transfer list in the first place.
So seemingly we’ve agreed a deal with Roma for £39mil inclusive of add ons.
It’s took an awful long time to come to agreement that wasn’t really all that much different from what Roma wanted several weeks ago.
it took a long time if everything is only carried out at the speed with which the internet (or Rob Gutmann) thinks things should happen. Which it isn’t. Salah was national duty recently for example. He’s only just back after a break.
Why does it matter where in the world Salah is?
Personal terms had been agreed weeks ago.
What was holding up any deal was agreeing a price with Roma. They wanted £40mil but after weeks of intense negotiations we came away with a deal of……£39mil inclusive of add ons.
We showed them with our hard nosed negotiations eh?
What if another club came in while we were dallying and took him, pretty much like what happened a coupla years ago with the exact same player?
If we hadn’t have employed the exact same tactics several years ago we could have had him for a third of the price.
And could possibly have had a title in the bag.
It’s bizarre that we haggle so long over what is in context not a great deal of money and put the entire transfer at risk.
mate – you have no idea how its structured. 39m max incl of addons could be millions shy of 40m up front. Are we paying installments over 4 years which a lot of clubs like? Are we paying 20m up front and the rest in installments? Do you know how its structured? And as for Salah – he needs a medical, he needs to sign the fucking thing. If he’s away then what’s the rush?
Widely reported as £35mil up front with 4mil in add ons including by the likes of Reddy and Joyce.
I suppose they all could be wrong.
and yes, maybe Melissa and Paul did break the list. But there is nothing to suggest it came direct from the club as Melissa explained.
I don’t think we have seen a reliable report of what the final offer was, how it is structured and how achievable any bonuses might be. I don’t think we have seen anything more that guess work on what Roma were asking for.
Taking time on this negotiation may well have paid particular benefit, since Roma were reportedly on a deadline to make a sale to meet FFP requirements.
If the negotiation saved 2 million versus “just paying up”, that would be a significant saving, and would have done nothing to hamper the teams preparations for the new season. It takes a lot of effort to raise a couple of million in extra revenue, it takes very little to spend it, and you can only spend it once.
Apart from Melissa Reddy and Paul Joyce of course, 2 of the most reliable Liverpool journalists.
A perfectly balanced and reasonable article, which I would wholeheartedly support but for one key element; FSG have shown that they are unable to get deals over the line.
Had FSG had the history of the likes of City, Chelsea and utd of delivering big name players and key targets then the outcry wouldn’t have been anywhere near the level that it has been. They don’t. They have a history of being linked to all manner of great players, only to allow them to join our competitors.
Lastly, I also believe that our potential is greater than it has been at any point over the last decade. With Klopp in charge, we can see the progress being made, and a genuinely competitive team for the next 4-5 seasons is in our grasp. If FSG allow that to slip with penny-pinching are messing our targets about, it will be unforgivable.
we miss out on what? 1 in 10 targets? so far this summer United have missed out on Griezmann for example. It happens.
“Watford are in talks with Derby County over an £8m deal for England under-21 midfield man Will Hughes.”
Imagine if FSG hadn’t baulked at 20m for this lad 2 seasons ago….sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…
get Salah in and a proper left back that alone will propel the team and then a good midfielder we are close to big things again. The team showed how good they can be but the squad lacked depth of quality. Shame about Those weeks in January and February we could have challenged for honours
God all mighty, you know, we all know that this club, like most well supported clubs, has legions of keyboard divvies desperate for any sign of a ‘red rag’ to fire up their ‘bull’. You, josh and some others write articles aluding to their desire for a fume, most of the time almost sneering at them. – And they should be sneered at, they are everywhere! But can’t we just ignore the t*ssers, half of them are probably under 12 anyway, and get on with it? When we are halway through the COMING window and have landed F**k all, then write about FSG’s track record. Also, assessing FSG’s past record, you have to bear in mind that they twice made the mistake of appointing a ‘lost soul’ to lead us. Any player coming here, isn’t coming to play for FSG, it’s the main man who get’s their signature and THIS main man is THE real deal now. Let’s let the divvies fume but stop writing about them, I stopped reading them long ago.
With all the incompetence and arsing about, the joy has been sucked out of it – the euphoria of finally cracking the top four, the momentum that we felt a month ago has been lost.
At this point VvD, Keita and Salah feel bleakly utilitarian.
“That would be all well and good except for the fact the Italians need to raise 30m euros by the end of the month to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, so Liverpool have their valuation and won’t bend to Roma’s demands. Seems fair enough, doesn’t it?”
As there’s zero actual evidence for it, no.
Completely agree with yer ma’s box, not a sentence I thought I would ever have to type lol!
great article, relieved most of my pre/post stress (whatever!), until Meireles.
Monchi vs Edwards on the negotiation table… man against boy literally.
Fucking hell – reading this today…..we sign someone and the moaning and negativity is out already. Unbelievable.
Some good points made from both arguments. I think patience is the keyword here although after 1 solitary trophy in 10 years Liverpool fans (like myself) can be forgiven for this.
I said it months ago, this is a massive Summer for FSG and will provide a pointer as to how ambitious they are regarding Liverpool F.C
I stand by that. We’ll know the answer in a few weeks.
Salah tempting fate by taking on the same number as Benteke, Carroll and Aspas?
Let’s hope he’s more of a Heighway or Houghton. I love watching a fast man playing the footie, so I’m nothing but thrilled this week.
Over the odds for a player, according to some it’s value for Money and going rate.
Rinsed yet again by a selling club. Heels dragged, for a player nobody else was in for.