Once again it looks like Liverpool’s transfer targets are proving difficult to land. This is no reflection on the players’ desires to join the European Champions, but it does seem to be related to overpricing in the eyes of the Liverpool manager and board.
One of the summer targets for Liverpool was Portugese winger Simao Sabrosa. Liverpool reportedly bid over £10million for the player in the summer, and had agreed everything with the Benfica player, only for his club to up the price substantially at the eleventh hour.
Reports were claiming that Liverpool had now had a bid of £8million agreed for the player, which seems unlikely considering the earlier price that hadn’t been accepted. When Benfica signed Laurent Robert on a free transfer many assumed he was a replacement for Sabrosa. Speculation in Portugal hit fever pitch that yesterday’s match between Benfica and Pacos would be the wingers last for the club he is captain of, but the player denied it.
Speaking after the 2-0 win, Simao said: “Is this my last game with Benfica? I don’t see why. I am professional and I have a contract until June 2010. Everyone is aware of the situation but it’s Benfica that has to decide. For the time being there is nothing.”
Talk that Manchester United are in for the player may be true, but it does seem more likely that this was a story put out in an attempt to increase the player’s price. Liverpool will not hang around much longer for the player, and have already made their final bid.
The other major target of this transfer window, Brondby’s Daniel Agger, now looks less likely to become a Liverpool player as soon as was thought. Liverpool were confident of landing the player for £5.5million after preliminary talks, but now the Brondby chief executive has raised the price to £7million. Liverpool will not meet that kind of valuation for a 21-year-old who’s still largely unproven. The player has only 18 months to go on his current contract, which reduces his value all the more.
Per Bjerregaard is the Brondby chief executive and he says stories are untrue about Agger agreeing personal terms with Liverpool. He said: “It is 100% rubbish and is not true that personal terms have been agreed. It is true that Liverpool are one of the clubs that are interested but there are also other Premier League clubs interested in him.” Again it sounds like an attempt at increasing the value of the player.
Bjerregaard continued: “People seem to think that this story is more developed than it is in real life. As a guy who loves football, I want to keep our best players, but I’m realistic that there comes a time when good players have to leave.”
Despite what is said publicly about both moves, the current situation is that Liverpool have put all their cards on the table, and it’s up to both selling clubs to decide whether they are prepared to miss out on offers their players desperately want them to take up.