The Adam Lallana deal
It’s been two months now, since Liverpool fans first heard about the Reds being linked with who is currently Southampton and England star Adam Lallana.
Even from the point where the news started as a rumor, it was a surprisingly good news which most reds fans enjoyed hearing. He’s been a rising star since his days in Southampton’s Youth team when he was clearly identified as someone who could achieve anything he wanted with the club.
Eventually, as predicted, Lallana rose to the rank of Captain at the club by 2012, earning the respect of not just Southampton fans but also many other English Premier League club fans who had seen him in action against their favorite club. If he had been a product of a team like Arsenal, Chelsea, or Manchester United’s Youth teams the high price tag he now has on him would not be as surprising as it seems for someone who’s only ever been at Southampton for their whole career. What price? You ask, well, it’s hard to put a single number on him due to several bids being made (for now just consider him to be worth £25M at least), but I’ll run you through all the transfer action related to this guy.
We had already been hearing of our interest in what was likely one of the most valued transfer targets on Liverpool’s list, by the time the first bid got officially offered to Southampton. It seemed very simple at the time. How about £20M, Southampton? Would you like twenty million pounds? They could have said yes right away, believe me. What is now a complicated deal that has taken months to negotiate could have been done within a week. All Southampton had to do was say “£20M sounds about right, we’ll take that and you can have your player”. But it was far from over just yet.
Then, (after the fans had been made to wait about a week just to hear that another £20M offer was rejected) – Liverpool announced that only did they like Adam Lallana of Southampton, they had their eye on other Southampton players too! Up to now, five Southampton players have been announced as confirmed to being on Liverpool’s “potential transfer” list, including Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne.
However the second player to be announced as of interest to Liverpool was Dejan Lovren and Liverpool were confirmed to be offering a combined transfer fee of £40M to Southampton. This seemed like an offer Southampton just simply could not refuse. However, to the Reds fans’ increasing frustration, after waiting some more (I think maybe another week), Southampton had replied to Liverpool officially saying “no thank you”.
Southampton at this point were making themselves clear as to how they would not be making it easy for Liverpool to swoop in and take their best players. They also were not afraid of taking their time with transfers. About 4 weeks had passed by the time negotiations on the £40M bid had been sorted out.
Next, we start hearing of the club being linked with some of the other players I mentioned earlier, Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw: all pretty much within a week. All Reds fans really wanted to hear by this point was “Lallana signs for Liverpool”. But the media were mostly talking about other players and the reds fans all had to sit and wait in silence (better than moaning “we haven’t bloody signed Lallana yet, still!”) until the newspapers had all stopped talking about the players we didn’t want as much as the England star (Lallana).
Next, we had waited some more and the newspapers mentioned things about Southampton that started worrying me (and many other reds fans, I’m sure).
Firstly – Southampton were reportedly in a major debt, which is believed to be around the region of£40M. I had heard it was linked to transfer fees, so they probably bought £40M worth of players and their owner apparently had given them the money “on credit”, with an I O U (I Owe You) note. Anyway, the news of their debt started to make more sense of the ongoings of the transfers Southampton had been involved in so far.
It was clear that they were playing hardball in order to maximise their profits so that their debts could all be paid off (by Liverpool, essentially) if they simply got the “right” amount of money for the players they have to offer. Clearly, they didn’t want £40M for two players though (despite the fact that they could have instantly wiped the £40M debt they had, by selling Liverpool the two players we bid for). If we were to buy their best players, they were gonna get MORE than (an average of) £20M per player. Also, there was more news to follow regarding Lallana, specifically. Yes, it could and actually did get more complicated!!!
According to reliable sources, Bournemouth FC -Lallana’s first club as a youth player (before he signed youth contracts with Southampton)– were said to be able to receive 25 % of the fee in any transfer Lallana was a part of.
Southampton reportedly did value their player at around £20M but basically made it clear to Liverpool that due to having to pay the 25 % of the transfer fee to Bournemouth, they still wanted to get their £20M after giving Bournemouth their money. This would increase the value of Lallana from £20M to £25M (meaning Bournemouth would get £5M indirectly from Liverpool) if they wished to offer £25M for Lallana.
After much anticipation for the next real bid and talk of how not only did Southampton seem to be using Liverpool to make all their problems go away at once (the debt and the 25% fee to Bournemouth), there was now many fans asking themselves “is Lallana really worth £25m?”, “should we spend all that money on someone else?”
Next, Southampton’s manager left the club! He was offered the manager’s job at Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) and unsurprisingly he accepted. It’s well known that Spurs still have the money they made from the transfer fee of almost £90M for Gareth Bale, who left for Real Madrid (and is now a Champions League winner with his new club in Spain). It was also well known that Lallana had appreciated all the support the Southampton manager had given him over the years of their careers as they worked together. They had created a bond.
The worrying thing for Reds fans about that bond is that with all the money Spurs had, their new manager could potentially convince Lallana to come play for his new club. The transfer fee certainly would be no issue at all, obviously. The one thing that Liverpool could offer that Spurs could not though is Champions League football! Tottenham finished 6th in the league just ahead of Manchester United (who came 7th) and just behind Everton (who could only manage to make 5th place). That qualified Spurs for “Europa League” but not the Champions League.
Liverpool fans had to make do with the fact that if Lallana wanted Champions league football, he would not be choosing Spurs, even if he did have a bond with his ex-manager. Next, Liverpool decided they would make a “take it or leave it” offer of £25M. This offer is reportedly the final offer Liverpool will make (and although there have been rumours that Southampton will keep holding out for £30M) -the reds make it clear that if this bid is rejected, there will be no more offers and Liverpool will not be increasing the value of this player any more.
You would think this was “the end” and that a simple acceptance or rejection from Southampton would be given right away. But no, there’s more! Southampton have neither accepted nor rejected the latest offer of £25M for Lallana -they are reported to be very interested and likely to accept. However, it’s reported that it’s going to be after the World Cup has finished when Southampton will be ready to tell Liverpool if their final offer is good enough to bring Lallana to the Reds who have been waiting for months on end to hear “we signed Lallana” – or not.
[written by] Stuart Drewery
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s. I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.