TRANSFER WEEK 7
7 weeks have gone by now and we’ve been doing some amazing deals in this transfer Window. The latest player to join the Liverpool squad looks highly likely to be Christian Benteke, who is due for a medical tomorrow – the formality that will wrap this transfer up, as Liverpool have now already met the £32.5M buy out clause of this player’s contract and agreed personal terms. We have our eye on others too, so here’s your latest potential new Reds.
According to reports, this player has become unhappy with Bayern Munich after disagreements with the club’s senior management team arose recently. He has apparently become “frustrated with a lack of opportunities” under the management who may not pick him as regularly as he wants (Bayern have a strong squad and he’s not the only star player to choose for the starting 11), leading to his desire to leave the club and find a new place to play his football on a more regular basis.
This player was the one and only person to score in the World Cup 2014 Final, a 1-0 victory for Germany over Argentina. Even Messi didn’t score in this game and Mario was the one who claimed the trophy for his country with his goal. His transfer market value hasn’t always been very high but since 2014, he’s been valued at around £50M. Though Bayern Munich may be willing to allow this player to transfer away from the club, they’d still set the price high enough to make sure that he’s not going to leave without the club seriously profiting from his departure. Unless a club is very serious about wanting this player, they likely will not have what it takes to make this £50M transfer happen.
Liverpool have not made a bid and with our squad increasing to include strikers like Danny Ings and Divock Origi now, we may feel like we have enough in this particular position already to not need to go spending £50M on a single player.
Yes, we’ve had genuine interest in Gotze (and who wouldn’t after the summer of 2014?), but I don’t believe it will go beyond that. Bids are unlikely to be made in this transfer window on Gotze. Maybe Mario’s club are having the “last laugh” at setting his transfer market value so high that other clubs are actually unlikely to do what the player has publically said he wants – make offers on him. Despite Mario being a World Cup star – no player is bigger than a club and Bayern might want Gotze to learn that, a lesson which Raheem Sterling learned recently when he started making demands for Liverpool to pay him over £100,000 per week, with two years left on his (£35,000 per week) contract.
We did not give into Sterling’s demands and eventually just showed him what happens when you treat our club in this disrespectful way… you either don’t get used for the first team (maybe left on the bench if you’re lucky) or you get sold. Now Manchester City are the ones who have to deal with his “money grabbing” (and he is going to take an awful LOT of their money) and immaturity. Liverpool are just glad to be rid of him now. The Reds fans know we need players who want to play for the football and the success of our club, not for the money. It’s been that way for a long time.
This Frenchman has mostly spent his career playing football in his home country, although he did leave France for a couple of years to play for AC Milan in Italy before returning back to play in La Ligue 1 once again. Mostly an attacking midfielder, he is quite versatile in offense and could also be used as a striker, if needed – something I think Liverpool would appreciate and take advantage of.
The interest in this player has been stepped up recently due to Gourcuff’s contract expiring with his last club Lyon, he is officially a “free agent” and no transfer fee will be required to obtain the services of this player. Several major clubs including Arsenal, Manchester City and of course Liverpool have been reported as interested in offering this player a contract to play for them, with only the player’s personal terms to agree upon (and a medical) to make the transfer complete. He should find himself a new club to play for soon and it’s highly likely he may make the move to England for the first time to do it, with multiple Premier League clubs showing interest.
This player has spent most of his career playing in his country of birth – Spain. A product of Athletic Bilbao’s youth system, he went on to make 333 senior appearances for them in La Liga and scored 118 times, eventually attracting the attention of another major European football club. Most recently he was signed by Juventus in the summer of 2013 and has spent the last two years impressing the Italian crowds and also much of Europe as he even played in the Champions League Final this year.
Clubs around Europe would gladly add him to their squad and Liverpool are amongst those interested. However, also recently appointed Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has a close eye on this player, as he always has done for Spanish players. If Liverpool are to attract the player to our club, we may have to face strong competition from our former manager who isn’t likely to let this signing slip through his fingers. If he wants him bad enough, he’ll likely get him with the backing of Real Madrid’s owners. No bids have been made by us for him and Liverpool couldn’t really afford to win a “bidding war” with Real Madrid over who could pay the most for a transfer fee and players wages to attract the player to their club. Though he may be of interest to us and with our long and successful history Liverpool may just be of interest to him, we’re unlikely to sign him ahead of the Spanish giants that may soon offer him a chance to return to his home country.
One Spanish player that Rafa Benitez reportedly does not hold in high regard is this midfielder – Rafa seems to consider him only as a “fringe player”, someone to perhaps come on as substitute to replace one of the regular superstars Real Madrid have in their squad. He was not signed by Benitez, he was simply part of Madrid’s squad already when Rafa arrived at the club. Liverpool have had interest in this player for a while but their new manager coming in adds a whole new advantage for Liverpool, who may more seriously consider the transfer once more.
This all gives weight to any bid that would come in from Liverpool for him, as the chance of acceptance by the new manager for the transfer is highly likely to happen. Liverpool are reportedly set to soon offer up to £14M for this player and you can be pretty sure that Rafa is not going to get in the way of this transfer, in fact he’ll probably welcome it as good business with his former club who he of course has good relations and happy memories with and may also see it as a chance to offload a player that is now considered to be “surplus to requirements” by the current Real Madrid manager.
Earlier this year, The Mirror ran a story about the fact that our manager (Brendan Rodgers) is rather interested in Arsenal star striker Theo Walcott. We have had our eye on him for quite a while (having noticed him making international appearances for England when he was younger) but recent contract negotiations for the player seem to have come to a halt and if he does not renew his contract at Arsenal due to the clubs rejection of his proposed offers, they could end up losing the player and he would be eligible to join a new club for no transfer fee as a free agent by the start of the 2016-2017 season. NOW (or possibly the January Transfer Window) is officially the right time for Arsenal to start seriously considering offers for this player if they want to receive a transfer fee at all. Liverpool’s owners have not been shy to spend their millions so far at the club and I am sure they would see the value in making a bid for this player, given his success for his current club.
Walcott scored in last season’s FA Cup Final victory which actually assisted Liverpool in giving them their Europa League group stage qualification spot due to the fact that Arsenal also finished 2nd in the league and already had qualified for European competition. You don’t need two qualification spots, so another team (that finished outside of the top 5 Premier League places) gets given it… that other team was Liverpool, who finished 6th. I hope that’s not too complicated or confusing for you… but there it is. Put simply, Arsenal and their players (including Walcott) helped Liverpool out last season. I’d personally like to see Walcott helping Liverpool in one of our own shirts in the future and although no official bids have been made for the player just yet, it’s not impossible to happen. Our manager has spoken publically about being keen on the player and our owners have the financial strength to go get him, no matter what the costs may be.
Well, that about wraps it up for this week. We’ll have more transfer news for you next week.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE, Anfield Family!
[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.