TRANSFER WEEK 3

It’s now been three weeks since the start of the transfer window and Liverpool currently have at least four confirmed signings already (Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan and Joe Gomez) and yet more potential new squad members that have been linked with moves to the club… so let’s run through some more transfer news.

Carlos Bacca

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This player is one of the most talented Colombians to appear since Carlos Valderrama. Having started his career at Colombian side Atletico Junior, where he managed to score 75 goals in 103 appearances for his first club, he then went on to play and score for another Colombian side (Barranquilla) and a Venezuelan side (Minerven) on loan before attracting the attention of major Belgian side Club Brugge who wanted to offer him a permanent contract. He would play just over 50 games and score 31 goals in the Belgian league before being asked to play for major Spanish side Sevilla. In early July of 2013, Sevilla would pay 7M Euros for this player who would have a buy-out clause in his contract. Liverpool are reported (by reliable sources) to be interested and most likely would activate this contract clause, we could bring him to the club for around £12M.  Having made quite an impact in the 2014 World Cup, Bacca made an appearance in the Quarter Finals where he won a penalty against hosts Brazil.

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He’s played for his country alongside the likes of Radamel Falcao, who has been playing for Manchester United since 2014. Sources say now Bacca may also be interested in making the switch to the Premier League as Falcao did and would likely quickly agree personal terms with an English club like Liverpool, should they activate the buyout clause in his contract. At least there won’t be any drawn out negotiations over transfer fees, we already know what we have to pay (£12M) and just need to get our wallet out and give the cash to Sevilla if we want this transfer to happen. We’ll just have to wait and see if the owners of Liverpool (FSG) are going to be willing to pay that much, although we’ve only put forward £3.5M for the signing of Joe Gomez so far and this would be the most costly transfer to date if we end up securing the player for the club.

Steven N’Zonzi

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A few sources say that Liverpool have their eyes on Frenchman Stephen N’Zonzi. He currently only has a single year left on his current contract, so it may be smarter to sit and wait for 12 months before attempting to acquire this player on a free transfer, but he has generated interest from other clubs and a reported bid from Sevilla for £3M was already turned down. If it turns out we may need to fight for his signature this summer, then we’d definitely be looking to pay £4M or more to secure this player as a new member of the Liverpool squad.

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No stranger to Premier League football, Liverpool fans may remember an occasion when N’Zonzi was part of the Stoke side which played Liverpool and he got physical with Coutinho, attempting to muscle him off the ball (committing a foul) but it didn’t really work out as he hoped. The Brazilian bravely squared up to N’Zonzi, showing no fear at all, despite the fact that Coutinho is quite noticeably smaller than him.
I still say both players performed passionately as they faced off against each other and it would be nice to see N’Zonzi display such passion for the game at our club. Fans enjoy seeing players being passionate about their clubs and he could become a fan favourite quite easily, after putting in some good performances and scoring a few goals. I’m sure Reds would be singing his name around Liverpool in no time if he was to contribute well. No official bids for this player have been made, but with Gerrard leaving for America, we will need a strong player to put right into our midfield from the coming season onwards. Could N’Zonzi be the surprise replacement? We’ll see by the end of the transfer window if the club thinks he could or not.

Karim Benzema

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Most recently noticed by Liverpool and our fans because he had been a part of our Champions League campaign, or rather – one of our (group stage) opponents Champions League campaign. He played against us in the two Champions League fixtures Real Madrid would have against us in the 2014-2015 season.

Benzema had been a part of French side Lyon’s squad from 1996 to 2009, on several different levels (youth sides, B team and eventually senior appearances for the first team). If you hadn’t heard about him playing in the French League for Lyon or about his international career, then you probably would have started to hear about him after he joined Spanish giants Real Madrid in a transfer worth over 41M Euros. The large price tag alone would grab people’s attention and as well as showing the Spanish fans what he could do in La Liga, he would continue playing for his country even as they entered the World Cup.

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In 2014, he would score an “uncredited” World Cup hat trick – he did put the ball in the net three times for France, though the third shot he had taken was deflected off the goalkeeper and ruled by the match officials to be an own goal. I watched the match live and say to this day that it was still his shot that powered towards the goalkeeper (without his shot, there could have been no goal) and that he should have been credited with the third goal. It was an impressive display for Benzema and I would personally like to see this “World Cup hat trick hero” playing for Liverpool. We have had our eyes on him since 2009, pretty much. It’s never really been the right time to make a bid (Real Madrid certainly wanted to get their money’s worth and hopefully keep him until the end of his contract or we would have had to make a bid of 40M Euros at least to sign him). As he draws nearer and nearer to the end of his contract with Real Madrid, the chance to sign him on a free transfer sounds better and better.

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An expensive signing for any club that was thinking of paying for buying him, only if he was about to leave Madrid after the contract expiry would a transfer be seriously considered by Liverpool most likely. However, in early August of 2014 Real Madrid announced that Benzema has signed a new five-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2019. It seems that the waiting period for anyone who did want him on a free transfer will have to be put forward for a few years. That doesn’t mean Liverpool definitely wouldn’t consider paying a transfer fee (if it was fairly priced), but Real Madrid may simply put too large a price tag on his head. If they take it down a little so that we won’t have to pay as much as 40M Euros, the transfer could still happen. Our club owners have put more than £110M into transfer fees for Liverpool so far and could possibly consider making another significant financial contribution if they realize the quality of this player and what he could do for the club.

Alexandre Lacazette

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Yes, another Frenchman. We do have a few of those on our transfer list. It’d make Gerrard Houllier proud to see his countrymen so highly valued with Liverpool still. This particular 24 year old Frenchman has scored 27 goals in 33 games last season to become Ligue 1’s top scorer.

Another prodigy of Lyon (as Benzema was), Lacazette has thrilled the French fans with plenty of goals and certainly showed the rest of the world what he can do and increased the interest in signing him, without a doubt. Perhaps now would be a good time for him to show England what he can do in the Premier League.  Highly sought after now, Liverpool’s successful history and also our involvement in the Europa League may be enough to bring him to the club as he’d relish a chance to potentially face some French clubs he’s played and scored against in European competition before. No official price tags for the player have been confirmed as of yet (he just won’t be cheap), but a bid for this player may yet happen. If the owners of Liverpool are not scared of bringing out their wallet for the signing of this player, it could benefit us greatly.

Guillermo Ochoa

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A World Cup 2014 star, this goalkeeper has been interesting Liverpool since last summer and the possibility of bringing him to our club is still there despite the fact that we very recently signed a new goalkeeper (Adam Bogdan) after the release of Brad Jones from the club.

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Simon Mignolet had a very “up and down” season in 2014-2015, where he was at one point performing so badly that Jones was chosen to replace him as the first team regular then later on in the season (after Jones had picked up an injury), Mignolet held the Premier League record for the most “clean sheets” (zero goals conceded in a game), performing better than any other goalkeeper in the league at keeping goals out. One might say that’s “inconsistent”, so if we are to find a truly consistent goalkeeper, Ochoa could well be the right man for the job.

Ochoa did not let the Brazilians score for the entire game.

Ochoa did not let the Brazilians score for the entire game in their 2014 World Cup match.

Proving himself at an international level for Mexico and at a club level in France, Mexico and Spain he’s been highly valued as one of the best goalkeepers available, ever since impressing fans who watched Mexico progress further and further in the 2014 World Cup, with Ochoa keeping goals out against strong sides such as Brazil. Should Liverpool still be considering bringing another goalkeeper to the club, he’d be a fine choice and maybe strong enough to put directly into the first team, ahead of Mignolet. Malaga would likely expect a transfer fee of around £4M to make this signing happen. Certainly low enough cost for a globally recognised international star.

Well, that’ll do for now. We’ll have more transfer news for you in about a week.

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE, Anfield Family.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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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.

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