Liverpool could hijack Chelsea move or sign Lavia AND Doucoure as two £80m transfer plans emerge

Editor F365
Liverpool targets Cheick Doucoure and Moises Caicedo
Cheick Doucoure and Moises Caicedo could be targeted by Liverpool

There are two ways in which Liverpool could spend £80m on their midfield: hijack Chelsea’s Moises Caicedo move or get both Romeo Lavia and Cheick Doucoure.


Cheick this out
The Liverpool midfield scramble continues unabated, but as regrettable as the source is, The Sun have an incredibly exciting update from Anfield.

‘JURGEN KLOPP wants the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to be fast-tracked – so he can splurge £80million on replacing them,’ writes Ken Lawrence.

Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, 19, and 23-year-old Crystal Palace ace Cheick Doucoure are his top targets.

And he wants to get both for £40m each.

Mediawatch does not doubt that for one second. But Doucoure alone has ‘a minimum £70m valuation’ (Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail) and it has been widely reported that Lavia would cost at least £50m.

Klopp can ‘want’ Lavia and Doucoure for £40m each all he wants, but Southampton and Crystal Palace probably have something to say about that.


Holy Moises
There is an alternative solution offered in the Liverpool Echo. Instead of spending £80m on Lavia and Doucoure, why not throw it all at Brighton for Moises Caicedo?

Sure, there are a couple of stumbling blocks. Many outlets are stating that Caicedo has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, who are pretty far down the line in negotiations with Brighton.

READ MOREHave Chelsea noticed they barely have any midfielders? Brighton have. Just cough up for Caicedo…

An £80m transfer would also be a club record for Liverpool but Caicedo would not even be Chelsea’s most expensive midfielder. The Blues are operating at a healthy profit after making a load of sales this summer. And the Reds withdrew from the race to sign Jude Bellingham over his cost, with Real Madrid ending up signing him for an initial £88.5m.

Aside from that, there are no issues with Liverpool throwing £80m at Brighton to replace two outgoing regular starters with one.

But let’s allow Ian Doyle to state his case anyway.

A possible move for Aurelien Tchouameni is teased but ultimately Liverpool ‘can’t afford to wait around and see what happens’. You see, ‘every day that passes is another one gone in a race against time to determine which one – or two – of the many names being monitored are the right ones for this season and beyond.’

Going big on Caicedo is bold and could leave Liverpool open to mild embarrassment if it backfires, but even if it fails it would be a serious statement of intent.

So Liverpool ‘can’t afford to wait around and see what happens’ but it would not matter if they tried to spaff everything on Caicedo and failed? Brighton are incredibly tough negotiators and there is a suggestion they might want Declan Rice money. It would be more than ‘mildly embarrassing’ if Liverpool withdrew their interest in Bellingham because of finances, spun it as needing to spend such figures on two players instead of one, then moved for Caicedo and still fell short of that valuation, all the while wasting even more time before the start of the season.

Also not sure how ‘a serious statement of intent’ would fare when starting in Klopp’s remodelled midfield.

Until the Brighton man signs on the line that is dotted at Chelsea, anything is possible. And with Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge next month, it would add that little extra bit of spice to an always powderkeg fixture.

Liverpool are definitely the kind of club to spend £80m on one player to ‘add that little extra bit of spice to an always powderkeg fixture’. FSG are known for it, the extravagant sods.


The long Kon
Elsewhere on the Echo, a headline designed to capitalise on the current midfield panic:

Midfielder left in tears after Liverpool £18m transfer Steven Gerrard gave ‘blessing’ to collapsed

And that is a masterclass in how you get people to read about a failed move for Yevhen Konoplyanka in 2014.


The Hend of the world as we know it
Andy Dunn of the Daily Mirror deserves credit for trying to offer a contrarian take on the Henderson situation but this is weird:

So what will be his ‘defence’ if he moves?

There is not a convincing one but if he was to ask why, despite the obvious hypocrisy, he should be a main focal point for those who are (quite rightly) fiercely critical of this tidal wave of Saudi sports washing, he would have a point.

How about Liverpool Football Club? This means more? If fans are critical of Henderson for taking the Saudi money, how about the club?

Is it ok for the club to pocket blood-stained Saudi cash? Do they not care where the money, the £12million, comes from?

Mediawatch understands the point. But also should Liverpool just pat their captain on the back, rip up the last two years of his contract and bid him farewell for nothing? Poor Henderson is the one who agreed those personal terms so probably deserves more blame than the club that is just seeking recompense.

Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho
Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are wanted in Saudi Arabia


It’s not about the Mane, Mane, Mane
The Daily Mirror website promises to bring us ‘inside Sadio Mane’s secret chat with Cristiano Ronaldo that helped latest transfer decision’.

Mane is on the brink of joining Ronaldo at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, you see. And a ‘secret chat’ has clearly ‘helped’ this ‘latest transfer decision’. It’s right there.

Except the quotes used are from much earlier this year, with Mane saying “I met Cristiano Ronaldo in Mallorca before this season” when the Portuguese told him Bayern Munich was “a great club” and “a great step for you”.

Quite how just relaying those quotes brings us ‘inside’ the conversation is unknown, but we truly do feel like flies on the wall here.

And from that we can infer that the two have a relationship strong enough to be the driving force behind Mane moving to Saudi Arabia. Which is at best a huge leap based on completely random quotes. And at worst… well, you know.

But once the seal is broken, everyone else can crack on, which is how we get this from the Manchester Evening News:

Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo’s chat could seal Sadio Mane’s Al Nassr transfer

That poor ‘could’ is doing a whole lot of heavy lifting.


Andre the giant
‘Manchester United have used Sir Alex Ferguson’s goalkeeper plan with Andre Onana’ is a weird headline in the Manchester Evening News to a piece detailing the age profile of the club’s most recent starting goalkeepers.

‘Andre Onana is the same age Peter Schmeichel was when he joined Manchester United in 1991,’ Samuel Luckhurst begins. And so we know that Manchester United have used Sir Alex Ferguson’s goalkeeper plan with Andre Onana. Simple.

As it turns out, Mark Bosnich was 27 when Manchester United signed him in 1999. And Fabien Barthez was 28. This is beyond a coincidence; this is a Sir Alex Ferguson goalkeeper plan put into action by Erik ten Hag.

Luckhurst does say that ‘De Gea was a departure from the norm with Ferguson’s succession planning in goal’ as the Spaniard was 20 when he arrived. Plus Edwin van der Sar was 34. Mediawatch is starting to think there isn’t a ‘plan’ at all and some of the keepers just happened to be a certain age. But surely not. Because Fergie.

READ MOREMan Utd agree to sell midfielder as Ten Hag is sure to include buy-back clause in deal


Headline of the day
‘Fans say ‘I’ve woken up to worse’ after realising who is presenting ITV’s Women’s World Cup 2023 coverage’ – The Sun website.

Because ‘one person on Twitter is a bit horny’ apparently constitutes news in this, the year of our Lord 2023.