By Sam Patterson (@sam0007ster)
It’s news. Disappointing news. Certainly, not the news anyone (from a Liverpool point of view) wanted to hear. Timo Werner – the German international striker – is to sign for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea not Jurgen Klopp’s table-topping Reds.
After months of Werner taking every opportunity to publically align himself with Klopp and Liverpool, he’s chosen Chelsea. That’s not to say the latter outbid, or indeed ‘outdid’, the former – far from it. The former – for ‘financial reasons’ – chose not to pursue a deal. A piece by The Athletic – posted on Friday morning – bears this out.
And it’s sparked outrage. Twitter ‘keyboard warriors’, the ‘FSG OUT’ brigade, the ‘net-spend boys’ – whatever you want to call them – can’t believe it. In their opinion, the idea that the Reds are refusing to splurge a relatively insubstantial £50million (that, I must add, is ‘insubstantial’ in elite football market sense of the term) for a 22-year-old about to enter his prime is inconceivable.
But, to their dismay, it is conceivable. Entirely conceivable. Indeed, Liverpool’s priority this summer – as per the Independent’s Melissa Reddy – is to tie down the likes of Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk to long-term deals. The emphasis is thus on steadying the ship amidst a global pandemic.
Splashing the cash in a climate of great uncertainty is far too great a risk, especially when the Reds are in such a strong position – on the field and off it. It would be irrational, then, to risk destabilising the wage structure for a player who would, assumedly, start out as a substitute. Werner – whose reported to have agreed to a 170,000-a-week deal at Chelsea – would have become one of Liverpool’s highest earners.
The Reds have also placed great trust in Japanese international Takumi Minamino who signed from RB Salzburg in January. Speaking hypothetically, what would the arrival of Werner have done to his confidence? How, conversely, would Minamino have conceivably got a look in? Moreover, getting one up on the Firmino is already a tall order.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe, just maybe, if Liverpool felt assured they could have acquired reasonable sums of money for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi at their market value, then perhaps a deal may have been sanctioned. But the market today is too unstable. Nothing is guaranteed – long or short term.
Before the onset of Covid-19, it was entirely reasonable, for example, to believe a Wolves or a West Ham may have taken a punt, a near £30million punt, on someone like Origi. To believe that now is, of course, totally absurd.
Klopp, Micheal Edwards and the recruitment team are holding their cards close to their collective chest. And, from such a position of strength, it’s more than justified.
- Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson respective loan moves are to be extended. The club have already agreed for the latter, whose lending a helping hand to Bournemouth in their fight for survival, to remain on the South Coast until July (@_pauljoyce).
- Lyon’s Houssem Aouar is on the transfer wishlist; that’s if you believe RMCsport. The French club are seeking a fee in the region of forty to fifty million.
- Italian Journalist @DiMazrio reports that Liverpool have made contact with Barcelona regarding the availability of star Ousmane Dembélé. The Reds hope to agree an initial loan deal with an option to buy at the end of next season.
- Jordan Sancho still on the radar? The Independent’s Miguel Delaney asserts that Liverpool are monitoring his situation. But “finances are an issue” (e.g. Werner). United and Madrid are the frontrunners, but are by no means guaranteed to get a deal done anytime soon.