11 Dec 2014

On the Brink: After transfer talks, LFC close to signing 'world-class' £20m star. BR confident of sealing the deal

In August 2013, Anfield legend Jan Molby bemoaned Liverpool's failure to sign Belgian star Jan Vertonghen, describing the former Ajax defender - now at Tottenham - as a 'no-brainer' transfer. Vertonghen's move to Spurs seemingly hasn't worked out the way he'd hoped, and reports this week suggest that the Reds may be back in for the classy defender. Second time lucky...?

Liverpool were linked with a move for Vertonghen over the summer, and according to the multiple reports today:

* Liverpool have held talks with Vertonghen's representatives about a [January] move transfer.
* The Reds are close to sealing the deal, and are confident of signing the player.

At the time of LFC's initial interest (in 2012), Vertonghen confirmed Liverpool's interest, when he told reporters:

"I can’t say anything about whether there has been contact about a transfer but It’s flattering to be linked. The rumours give me confidence, but I just try to do my best every game".

Spurs ended up paying a reported €10m for Vertonghen, which is (comparatively) chicken-feed for a top class defender, and was definitely within Liverpool's budget. The Belgian is now valued in the £20m bracket, with Barcelona reportedly willing to spend that much during the last transfer window.

Why didn't Liverpool pursue Vertonghen more vigorously? In my view, it was a lack of effective forward planning. In February 2013, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted that he had to persuade Jamie Carragher to play on for another year, which means that he knew that Carra would almost certainly retire in the summer of 2013. Rodgers told reporters:

"Jamie thought about this [retiring] last summer [2012] when I first came in. He and I had some good conversations, and I persuaded him to stay on."

That - plus the ongoing ineffectiveness of Sebastian Coates - should've been enough for Rodgers to prioritise the signing of a central defender in the summer of 2012. Alas, it didn't happen, and the Reds lost out on yet another quality player.

Vertonghen - described by Spurs star Michael Dawson as 'world class' - is clearly unhappy at White Hart Lane, and in November, he moaned:

"I want to play every game but Pochettino has a different approach. Hopefully one day I can play 60 games a season again, but at the moment, that is not the case. My season has been ups and downs - I came into the team in the second or third game and then I got dropped again".

Vertonghen is also not above playing typical footballer game of using the media to make subtle threats to leave, and - by extension - alert interested clubs that he might be available. When asked over the summer about his Tottenham future, he told the Evening Standard:

"What I want is to be playing in the Champions League with Tottenham, so I hope we get in this year. Do I have a decision to make if we don't? I can't say anything about that. Let's see"

That's one of the worst examples of naked self-interest this side of Luis Suarez's 'I'm a Superstar, Get Me out of Here!' schtick from last year. Clearly, Vertonghen has zero loyalty to Spurs, and he'll go wherever there's Champions League football.

Do Liverpool really need yet another player with that sort of attitude? What happens if he signed for LFC, and the club fails to qualify for the CL this season - will he then start to make the same kind of statements in the press?

Mercenary tendencies aside, it would, admittedly, be incredibly satisfying to turn the tables on Spurs and steal a player from White Hart Lane for a change. That said, if Liverpool sign Vertonghen, it will be another example of Rodgers paying through the nose for a player the club could've signed on the cheap in the past.

Lovren is a prime example of this; despite LFC's heavy interest, Southampton signed him for £8m, and then Liverpool splurged £20m a year later. That's £12m down the pan as a result of the club's fatal procrastination in the transfer market, and it's an unsustainable negative trend that needs to stop.

Author:



61 comments:

  1. Logan...it was you that said something about FSG not wanting to waste money. Not me. Of course they don;t want to waste it. That's why we have this whole committee thing. FSG do not want to trust so much money to just one man.....whoever that man might be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yet another sub standard player. We have already signed 6 such players and don't need another.

    ReplyDelete
  3. He has been poor recently. Would rather him at left back than Enrique.

    ReplyDelete
  4. He is no better than Lovren, a "proven PL player".

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ahhh, that tells me everything I need to know Gene.
    I suspect you were a Rafa fan. Who still thinks the sun shines out his backside despite the fact he's responsible for ruining our club
    Example....LFC were never in fear of administration until Rafa started dishing out over priced wages for average players.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No thanks. Overrated player with a bad attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  7. to lower the price ...its called bluffing

    ReplyDelete
  8. BR is not in charge of transfers. It's done by committee. So BR can not be blamed for any transfer.
    lease read comments underneath.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That makes at least 15 players we are 'close' to signing- can we be 'close' to signing Messi next please

    ReplyDelete
  10. I understand that a committee agrees transfers, however, to say BR does not have any authority on who he signs is not a valid point. He has a 'say' no doubt. Therefore blame can be apportioned to him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree but there could be something more to this. Phil notes that the committee picks the players and BR chooses for that lot. So his prefered choices might not even make the cut but he tecnically "has a choice". And he could say no to the transfer, but then he's left without a striker in Balo, or he's light in the midfield and has to play Gerrard more than he needs to so he might be in a catch 22 in that case. And if this is true, then the overpaying for the players has nothing to do with BR as well. This is all conjecture of course, but one thing's for sure, there needs to be more "football brainpower" in that room for success.
    You have business men, scouts, analysts, recruiters and the manager. This equates to one person in a committee of 6 or so who will be working with these guys day to day. So if the numbers say one thing and the manager another then the whole committee can vote to disregard the managers' first choice. This then translates to the manager not trying his best to integrate them into the team which leave 96mil on the bench in a key CL clash - again, all conjecture but a very real possibility of what's going on

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes but not solely to blame as so many people seem to do.
    People are constantly complaining about "Rodger's" signings, but there not "his" signings. So lets not blame "him"

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you grasping at straws. It's not a bluff if BR has only ever been interested in certain profile of player. Then changes that profile for just one time for just one player
    The obvious answer is.....He's not BR signing. He's the committee's signing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was anticipating a word problem:
    If Joe Allen is worth 15 million and Shelvey is only worth 6 million and if Dempsey was worth a straight swap for Henderson among many other stupid wastes of money, when will Train A pass Train B?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Balotelli is a money-ball signing made by FSG. They saw a 24 year old player, regarded (wrongly) as a top player, and a "cheap" price for a "top" player. So they figured there was money to be made. Buy him "cheap" now, sell him in 2 years for twice the price.
    Balotelli is NOT a Rodgers pick! He does not fit the profile of player BR is looking for. Why would he sell an immobile Andy Carroll to replace him with an Immobile Mario Balotelli.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yep. Thanks for that Jamie. If i get loads of rubbish in my email now i'll know who to blame.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The real question is where Train LFC is when Train A passes Train B.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Trick question. It's derailed. They are currently working to get it back on the tracks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is a fact....There is a committee.

    ReplyDelete
  20. daily express reports Lallana has been playing with two broken ribs?...if thats true well fair play to him, it's hard enough to force a fart out with a broken rib let alone play footbal with two broken ribs....by the looks of things we have a lot of players trying to play with broken ribs....but dont we love them all anyway ...YNWA.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd rather Moreno over both, but he can't get a game aswell.

    ReplyDelete
  22. With all these dead certs, who's leaving...

    ReplyDelete
  23. when I heard we were interested in him the first time I checked him out on vids etc...he looked decent, then when he came to the prem he did ok and I thought he just needed to bed in to the league and I was a bit disapointed we didnt get him, but then he just sort of faded away into the back ground? (like a lot of our players), would he be any improvement ? now I'm not so sure.

    ReplyDelete
  24. We might have to sell the club and Anfield to sign Messi :-O


    Rodgers will then try and figure out how he is going to play one up top :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. we need to tie up sterling before we do anything....reports are that he has turned down 70g and i dont blame him when there are players on a lot more at liverpool who are crap ....if i was his agent i would want parity with sturridge or id advise him to go ,and i wouldnt blame him

    ReplyDelete
  26. agreed.....and Johnson on double what they are offering Sterling.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I agree with Jaimie in terms of the fact that BR does have a say on transfers. BR chased Borini and Allen since he worked with them in the past at Chelsea and Swansea. He probably went for Couts since he thought "I'd like a Brazilian in my team. He went for Moreno and Manquillo because everyone knows he loves the Spanish way of playing football. He went for Sahin since the player was at RM at the time. I think he went for Balo due to the player having a big profile and to test his ego and either way it's a win win for him. If Balo fails it's the player's attitude and if the player is a success it's down to BR.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm going with Train C, personally. Got a nice dining car, and I hear the views are tremendous.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Raheem was part of the team that failed so miserably in getting us through to the KO stages of CL . He missed goal scoring chances . He is a bright young talent with great potential but has to understand that reward comes with success . If this is true at his age and at this stage of his career this is a good offer . Tell him that if we make top 4 there will be more to come ....... then he would have earned it ! Also give him a percentage of the increase in his shirt sales which will surely come ......
    Let him show he is worth it with a good performance this weekend .
    Jordan Ibe is waiting in the wings !

    ReplyDelete
  30. Engineer sleeping at the wheel? I heard he won some award last year, but everything's been going wrong for him...

    ReplyDelete
  31. I could not care less because it is not money coming out of my pocket.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Jan Vertonghen for £20m? No thanks! Liverpool needs to stop spending big on centre backs every transfer window.Get the defenders we have top quality protection and a goalkeeper that gives them confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello! I'm also against sacking and I believe BR is not in charge of transfers. Balotelli is a prime example.

    ReplyDelete
  34. He is good at left-back, yes. Wasn't he the PL Player of the Month recently?

    ReplyDelete
  35. More proof of the incompetence of brenda and his complete lack of ability at managing a club of LFC's size and stature.

    ReplyDelete
  36. For £25m they could almost get Thiago Silva, do a utd and offer silly wages, but everyone would give out about that too.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I agree we need good goal keeper and striker well known , like Ben zema, Kavani , Martin Jackson, and proper n 10 like Arda turan you see Liverpool back to speed Mr Rogers ,

    ReplyDelete
  38. I really love Brendan's possession and attack philosophy, I really love his gung ho attitude to playing with free abandon as we all saw and loved watching last year.
    I haven't been that entertained in so long watching LFC that I wondered if I wasn't hallucinating.
    Losing that type of playing philosophy would be hard for me to take.
    So can't Brendan just say 'I need this type of player for this type of position and i want him to be able to adapt to this or to that', and then let a learned intelligent, cool-headed man with influence a good name and reputation and eye for talent look for and buy said request?
    Please don't ask me who; there are people who frequent this site way more qualified to put suggestions forward and I for one would love to see those suggestions.
    Am I talking about a director of football?
    I don't know.
    What's a label anyway, as long as someone flippin well gets on with the job and does it right.....

    ReplyDelete
  39. Brendan Rogers answer to your problem of train A, train B and train C is the same as his answer to the conundrums on the field of play........


    Train A will cross train B when we float a marshmallow on sponge twigs of fine bone china......!?!


    only joking....he's just panicking....his brain will unscramble when his neurones evolve and grow enough to form new pathways........ie. I'm hoping he has a 'eureka' moment...

    ReplyDelete
  40. We already have Sakho at the club, but BR is spiting him since the Everton incident and lying that he had a thigh injury. Expect him to sell him at a big loss in the summer, but before that he will make sure his spite job is complete by not playing him for the rest of the season. Get back with your wife BR, it would make you sane once more.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Nonsense. H&G's debt financed take over of LFC were the root of the near brush with administration. Rafa alerted the world to their heinous ways. Anyway you cut it, the man's a hero...and a True Red who is one of us. Fact!

    ReplyDelete
  42. A lot of things had part to do with why we didn't pass CL qualifications. Sterling, I believe, is one of the many, many, minor issues that went wrong with out CL campaign this season. Who i WOULD blame though, is Rodgers.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I agree. Back him or sack him. They could try and take away his power over signings but I suspect that would lead to contract wrangle and Rodgers will likely quit rather than accept it.


    The club needs to strengthen. The lack of a quality striker is a huge issue. Not giving Rodgers money to spend will achieve nothing. It doesn't matter that he's spent poorly in the past, the club needs another player to create and score goals. That's just unavoidable. And a cheap option won't do the job. Sturridge was a rare example, I think it's beyond question that the kind of player we need will cost closer to 30 million.


    The club has a transfer committee and although Rodgers must have a big say in that there is nothing stopping the owners saying "yes, you can spend money, but you have to convince us it's a low risk deal and that the player will produce the goods". Obviously they spent a lot of cash on players who were obvious risks, particularly young guys like Moreno and Markovic, so maybe all that needs to happen is that any signing in January is the real deal. Easy to say and hard to do but if the club spends the money it will be a long term investment. Get the right player and it won't matter that it was a Rodgers signing or even if Rodgers gets the sack in the summer. That player will be good for the club in the long run no matter what.


    I suspect Liverpool will go hard after some real quality players but if they are not available or don't want to come then we'll sign no one. No more risks - it's known quality players or nothing.


    Oh, and sell Borini to Sunderland.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Balotelli is so obviously not a Rodgers signing. I think you should read my other comments.
    BR likes a certain type of player profile.
    Could you please explain to me why BR has totally turned his back on the profile and type of player he likes to sign. just for this one transfer this one time.

    Why would he sell an immobile Andy Carroll 2 years ago, only to replace him with an Immobile Mario Balotelli now.

    Balotelli is not the type of player BR likes. Could you please explain why BR picked him them?

    ReplyDelete
  45. OMG thats the problem with you Blind Rafa fans. Did H&G give all those average players top wages then? Or was it Rafa!!!
    Also, boring football, not enjoyable to watch.
    He's nothing but a Fat spanish waiter. He he should stick to serving dinner.
    He has not been successful in any of the roles he has filled except for Valencia.
    And one CL victory for us when the man himself said he had no idea how we won it. Does NOT make him a hero. It was his fault we were 3-0 to milan in the first place. Then Gerrard inspired the turn around after Rafa fixed his mistake at half time. A year later and Gerrard again wins the FA cup us after west ham out played us for 70 mins. He had 5 goes at the league and finished outside top 4 twice.
    How on earth can you call this guy a hero?

    ReplyDelete
  46. If Rodgers is still the manager in January, he will be given very little money other than maybe to sign a striker due to the injury problems of Sturridge. With all the criticism and pressure now on Rodgers, he probably only has a handful of games to persuade FSG last season wasn't just a fluke. If the current trend continues he will be gone the first week in January, this will at least give a new manager a chance to bring in one or two of his own players.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Neither was your comment to be fair. What is the reason that this isn't worth reading? A good cb, who was a target for us before he went to spurs, he's hardly playing there and rumours say we are keen again. What's not worth reading? If you are after confirmed signings, you're probably reading too early...

    ReplyDelete
  48. Could they though? I may be wrong but I feel like Barca bid something in the region of 40m and had it turned down. But I could be imagining it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. How is it obvious? On the American tour BR was singing Mario's praises, then 4 weeks later we sign him. 'IF' BR does not have authority on transfers then as a manger he should resign or get his title changed to head coach. In recent memory the only manager I believe had little influence on transfers was AVB at Tottenham.

    ReplyDelete
  50. We definitely need a keeper and a striker, but we have 10s. Coutinho, sterling, Marko, lallana and gerrard. And I believe you mean Jackson Martinez, no?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Proof. Proof of everything you are alleging. Spiting, lying,selling, not playing, becoming sane again, all ridiculous speculation workout a shred of proof

    ReplyDelete
  52. We've got enough defenders. Shopping for more isn't going to fix our defensive issues.

    ReplyDelete
  53. one thinfg is beinf a mercenary, another one is refusing to carry an awful team over his shoulderss for another year. Get Luis out of the sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Striker and a goalkeeper, then please play a settled side.

    ReplyDelete
  55. So you can't answer the question either then?


    I've asked several people, several times on this post the exact same question. And so far no one can tell me why BR has abandoned his player profile for just one time for just one player.


    That's why i feel it's obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  56. This statement perfectly illustrates my other comments on this post.


    "The club's much-maligned summer transfer dealings were authored by a shadowy behind-the-scenes collective, with the poor manager left to publicly carry the can..."



    Anyone who claims that BR is solely responsible for LFC transfers is deluding themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  57. You mean you don't know? I never mentioned Rafas name dont bring me into your delusions

    ReplyDelete
  58. Lets say what you are saying is correct. BR as a manager still has the authority to pick players, so why after not being the right type of player is MB a first choice player? I'm assuming the answer maybe depth in striker dept due to injury. If that's the case we still had Lambert and Borini, the latter close to fitting the player profile you suggest.

    ReplyDelete