Liverpool won’t be spending for the second straight summer. Are we starting to realise there will be no money, even for football transfer gossip?
There has seemingly been an insistence that the one thing immune to the ongoing global pandemic is football transfer speculation. This past fortnight alone has seen Manchester United linked with three players at £200m, Liverpool putting separate £175m and £70m moves into motion, Tottenham interested in a £35m left-back and Arsenal hosting a £44m Partey.
It’s all very strange and entirely detached from reality. Which makes David Maddock’s Daily Mirror story on Saturday a stark but welcome change.
He says Liverpool ‘now look virtually certain’ to spend nothing at all for the second consecutive summer. It sounds drastic but it really is obvious: no-one has any money.
The second-richest club in England are no different. The potential of playing games behind closed doors would secure TV money but that only somewhat offsets the loss of matchday revenue. And Liverpool are not alone in ‘realising they will have to adjust their budgets’.
Timo Werner and Houssem Aouar were their two main targets but will no longer be joining. The former has a £52m release clause that expires in mid-June and the latter, hailed as “incredible” by Pep Guardiola in November 2018, is valued at £40m by Lyon.
But no. Liverpool are ‘budgeting for the loss of income’ and so will keep roughly the same squad next season, save for offloading out-of-contract players and possibly selling ‘peripheral’ ones.
And then we go to the Manchester Evening News, who have a positive update on Manchester United’s striker search. Back to normal it is.
Moussa Dembele would apparently ‘find it hard’ to turn United down this summer and ‘is viewed as being the perfect age’ by the club. There have been no talks between the two or Lyon as of yet but the player is ‘understandably impressed by the prospect’ of playing at Old Trafford.
The MEN adds that ‘the decision ultimately lies with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’. Except it doesn’t. It lies with the owners, Ed Woodward and the current world situation.
SAINTS MARCHING IN
One random bit of speculation is that Southampton are ‘confident’ of beating Arsenal, Tottenham and a range of European clubs to the signing of Axel Disasi.
The centre-half has impressed for Reims in this aborted Ligue Un season and with just one year left on his contract, ‘is expected to leave’.
Arsenal were thought to be the frontrunners ahead of Tottenham, West Ham and Monaco, but while both north London clubs ‘will have limited budgets’ this summer, Southampton seemingly won’t. And that’s despite being the first Premier League club to reach a pay deferral agreement with players, who are said to be ‘relaxed’ about the prospect of new signings.
AND THE REST
Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera, 30, was one of West Ham’s main targets in the January transfer window and they could still try to sign him in the summer… New Watford signing Pape Gueye, 21, no longer wants to play for the Premier League side despite recently signing a five-year contract because of fears he could be sent out on loan… Tottenham have opened talks to sign Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla, 20, as a potential replacement for Jan Vertonghen.