6 Jan 2015

Price Crash: LFC fighting to sign 'extraordinary' £15m striker who smashed 47 goals in one year

In October, the Agent of Lazio starlet Keita Balde Diao - a former Barcelona youth player - confirmed that Brendan Rodgers actively tried to sign Balde over the summer, and new reports suggest that Liverpool have resurrected their interest in the striker, and will go head-to-head with Arsenal for his signature in January.

According to reports today:

* Arsenal and Liverpool are both pushing to sign Keita.
* Lazio unwilling to sell or loan him to a domestic rival.
* Lazio will for £15m, which is a 57% discount on his previous £26m price-tag.

In September, Balde's agent, Anglo Cascella, told reporters:

"Liverpool and Juventus made a €20m million offer for Keita last summer, but Lazio always rejected their offers".

According to reports in Italy and the UK today:

* Arsenal and Liverpool will allegedly battle to sign Balde.
* Lazio are willing to sell, but only if offers reach the €30m mark.

Liverpool have been linked with Balde several times over the last year:

SEP 2013: The Daily Mail reported that Liverpool's scouts watched the 18-year old in his debut in Lazio's 1-0 win over Legia Warsaw in the Europa League.

FEB 2014: Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato reported that the Reds were still monitoring the player.

MAR 2014: The Mirror claimed that Liverpool scouts continued to check on Balde, and his Agent insisted that the transfer fee 'cannot be less than €15m"

Some facts about Keita:

* Kicked out of Barca at 15 for playing a prank on a tour of Qatar.
* 2010-11: Scored 47 goals in one season for UE Cornellà's youth team.
* Rejected the chance to return to Barcelona.
* Currently contracted to Lazio until June 2017.
* Last season: 6 goals/9 assists in 34 apps for Lazio.
* This season: 2 goals/2 assists in 9 apps.
* 5 goals/assists in 8 Europa League games.

Lazio midfielder Gianmarco Falasca is a fan of Keita, and believes he's destined for great things. In December, he told LazioNews:

"Keita is an extraordinary talent. When he works, you can see he is quiet and he is really strong"

Former Lazio coach Edy Reja is also quietly confident that Keita can develop into a top class player. In a recent interview with Rai Sport, he enthused:

"I knew about Keita’s talent two years ago, he is a player who has continued to grow. If he can maintain the right level of humility and work hard, even defensively, he can do very well.”

It's unclear whether LFC made the offer before or after signing Divock Origi, but in my view, it doesn't make sense to bring in Balde with the similarly-aged Belgian striker already in the squad. Plus, both are similar players, in that they're big, strong, powerful attackers, though Balde can also play on the left-wing.

That said, £15m is on threshold of being a reasonable transfer fee, and with Liverpool's strike-force currently rounded-out by misfiring trio Lambert, Balotelli, and Borini, upgrades are clearly required.

Worth a bid?



  1. The two players most recently linked are Shaqiri and Berahino , i dont see shaqiri wanting to join but say for a reason he did


    Not bad
    obviously Borini,balotelli, would have to leave for us to finance this maybe 25m

  2. Another stated facts from JK about players coming or wanted by LFC and BR!!! 25 Days to go and we shall see!!

  3. Keep Dreaming!!!

  4. Messi Ronaldo Neuer and God oh and a dolphin otherwise forget it

  5. Pretty sure you have wrote the exact same article at least 3 times.

  6. Jaimie him and ochoa are they your favorites
    you linked them with us so many times

  7. it always tickles me reading what players/mangers etc say about players ...they are all extraordinary or sublime or amazing talents .....are any of them just decent players

  8. Not really important, but I thought he was forced out of Barca because he reacted badly to being pranked, rather than being the pranker...
    But that aside, It sounds from the above comments from coach and such that he might have a bit of an attitude...as in, he lacks the will to properly apply himself all the time... I think with Marko and Sterling here, we could prehaps let this one slide and not be too fussed... We need players who love to work hard for the team aswell as themselves, we need confident and not arrogant.... Paco Alcacer is still my number 1 choice... has been since the start of the season... I saw a passing reference to him and a bid from LFC a week or so ago, but that didn't last.... I just hope we don't have another January like last season.... But lets not panic buy or settle...

  9. I wonder if Valencia will take Balotelli in a swap plus cash for Paco Alcacer...

  10. Luis Enrique the Barcelona manager faces the sack soon
    one man previously related to Barcelona is Brendan Rodgers .

    Makes sense for Barca:
    1) Loves playing all out attack
    2) He might get best out of Suarez
    3) He knows Spanish so will settle in quality
    4)mans dedicated his whole life to Barcas methods

    Please Barcelona take him away
    Imagine getting paid to lose Brendan Rodgers : )

  11. Hahahaha! love it! After the weakened yeam against Real earlier on in the CL, the Spanish press were extremely critical of Brendan stating he has sorely dented his chances of ever managing in Spain.... But it remains to be seen....
    With all the turmoil at Barca right now, maybe we will get Suarez back on loan till the end of the season.

  12. Barcelona signed a defender the whole world knew was injury prone for 15m
    guess what he has not played a game

    i would not rule anything out with them : )

  13. No more Shitty Players @ Liverpool Please

  14. That would be quality but I doubt it...still, you don't ask, you don't get. Also, we have borini. Offer him in a swap for this lazio player, or the midfielder they have ognazi is it? Or Icardi at inter or Dybala at Palermo. Plus coin obviously. Got to try something!

  15. Mucho Dinero... But please god, atleast try!

  16. Can Mignolet? I think Rodgers wants to persist with his experimental 'false #1' idea.

  17. Balotelli and Zamparini would be a dream team.

  18. We need to offer Gerrard a better deal. £250 a week and a 2 year contract and possibly a couching position

  19. Also need to buy benzene, and another top striker that knows the net. If we can't buy Gerrard over then we can get others but for now he is holding the supports toghter and we depend on him. We can't regret when he is gone and look back at moments

  20. Gerrard has had so many opportunities to leave lfc and he's stayed with us. He hasn't been blessed with a top team around him, like the other legends of our club. He is definitely the best player for me. Dragged us through countless games and again showed the leadership and manipulated the game against wimbledon. Nobody else was going to step up!
    He obviously hasn't seen enough effort from the top guys at the club. He would've stayed and retired at lfc . That I have no doubt over. It says a lot that our best player is leaving for the MLS. Ok he's score goals from pens but he's still out top scorer, top performer and our captain- leader. His position is behind the striker as it was when we had Torres. He should never have been used deep in my opinion. Look at lampard. Still doing the business. Just because you're over 30, doesn't mean you're no less effective.
    The type of player we need to try to replace him and appease the fans are the likes of schweinsteiger, Vidal, pogba. We haven't got the balls to buy one of these players. Even schneiderlin and Moussa sissoko would be good signings but we won't do it. Why didn't we sign Alex song on loan? I mean talk about an obvious transfer for a position we needed! We will buy Fabian delph. Things have got to change in the recruitment process. Fed up of average players for over inflated fees. Delph is decent but a squad player again in my opinion.
    I've seen links to Shaqiri, but until I see it on sky sports news, I wont get too excited. We've missed out on a lot of players at the last moment recently. We must drag our heels in deals and that won't show a player that we are that bothered about signing them! He would be a good start, especially in a January window.
    Our midfield is one dimensional and on paper looks weak. We need better players here. Better players to protect the back 3. Better players to offer creativity and goals to the team. And a goalkeeper obviously.

  21. I agree. He has potential for sure, but £25M plus?' Id rather buy Lavezzi. Cheaper fee but higher wages. Would work out cheaper still and at least he's experiemced and he is the fast, hard working forward we need to impliment our high pressing tactic.

  22. Gerrard would be an ideal role model for the academy players. Hopefully he will be offered this type of role or any role in lfc when he retires. I think that we should've done more to sign him up during the summer! He's our best player by far. He's still dragging us through games! At 34, but apparently he's had it! He does have off days but he's only human! He is irreplaceable .

  23. I hope lfc try! Us fans are real pissed now Gerrard has decided to leave. Last season we were flying. The football was beautiful (in an attacking sense). The defending was heart attack stuff as it still is this season. Why we don't just sign a specialist defensive coach, I will never know. Maybe Brendan doesn't want it. That's bad management on his part because surely it frustrates him! The way we defend is shocking!
    We all knew this (about the defending) and we were hoping that defensive signings would be made but we definitely haven't utilised the money we had well. I don't think we spent enough. Our net spend was probably £40M after the Suarez sale and that's not enough to keep us going In The right direction.
    I didn't rate Lovren for that fee. Still don't. That's a lot of coin for a defender and he's uttelry atrocious so far. I hope he can come good. I don't like slating players but enough is enough down they years.
    We don't get value for money in our transfers. We sell low (Agger) and buy high. I mean, who sanctioned selling Agger for £3M and buying Lovren for £20M?! How is that good business? Better off putting that £17M toward a position we needed to fill like the Gk, DM or striker.
    We could've targerted realistic signings like Moussa Sissoko and schneiderlin. That would've transformed our midfield into a powerful fast defensively sound midfield, with the ability to attack. I'm having a rant but I'm so annoyed at how we approach transfers now. Every year is the same thing. I hope to see Shaqiri at lfc. That's quality. But I'm sure we will end up buying Nathan Redmond and delph. Hope I'm wrong .

  24. £250 a week is terrible wages ,even for a student , what are you on about ?

  25. I am so happy Stevie G is leaving - the timing is immaculate - we will remember him as nothing short of GENIUS - But the timing is 100 pper cent correct

  26. dead right, he will be back in some capacity in the future, and still a hero, people are moaning about him as we speak.

  27. Let's hear it for Stevan Jovetic everyone!

    Everyone! Yay!



    Where did everyone go?

  28. Ha. No, I'm serious, I think they guy's done well. Things could have been a lot worse, and not a lot better once Sturridge was injured.

    Things were always going to be volatile after last season. I thought we'd be competing in the top 2 or 3 if I'm honest, and I think we would have been if Sturridge had somehow stayed fit and in form.

    It wasn't to be. Teams go into crisis without their strikers, seen it many times before. The confidence ebbs away. The manager's done very well to find a system and way of working it that has been producing results and some good performances.

    I'd point to Coutinho's form as a major plus over the past couple of months that's to a considerable extent a result of the manager's tinkering. I think Lucas has been rehabilitated, and Sterling has continued his improvement. Can's emergence at centre back is very exciting. He's not pacy but he is classy and strong. Moreno and Markovic have not been overused and will be relatively fresh. These and many other factors suggest to me we're going to have a strong second half of the season -- if we can just bring in a couple of strikers.

    Even the problem at goalkeeper isn't as bad as it seems. Everything's magnified because we haven't got a proper striker. And that's because Dave Fallows and the recruitment team allowed us to go into the season without a proper strike force, and signed a busted, jaded and disillusioned striker who'd even quite recently left England with his tail between his legs, a really dismal bit of business.

  29. Wimbledon are not "the weakest opposition" though are they.

  30. I tell you what, though, I'd take Jovetic for us right now. But then it's becoming apparent to me that I must be completely mental.

  31. Suarez has a shed load of assists this season, going nowhere.

  32. Anyone thought of Yousuf Mulumbu as a DM- good value for money!

  33. Agreed. I wasn't attacking Logan. Just bummed that we've let Suso go. Or has my recent blow to the head made me miss something?

  34. This is again some young unproven attacker which brings nothing but uncertainty. He can be a prospect. But will he rescue Liverpool at this moment? Will he be able to score on a permanent basis? These are the questions we must answer. As we can see his scoring results over this and last season are not the greatest. He scored something but not enough. He did not impress. And if you compare the league in which he is now, he would be strugling in the Premier league since it is much harder to score. Considering this facts we can see that this player is not a solution for Liverpool. He can be a kind of player we can use for the future and develop him but nothing more.

    At this time we need proven striker who will contribute immediately and not in few months when the season is over.

  35. Offer a Borini swap type deal, if the numbers work out pull the trigger.
    Borini hasnt got a future at LFC and finding an italian team to pay a decent amount for him will be hard.
    So i think this is the best value move to more Borini on and bring in someone with a brighter future. i know his unproven but it just makes sense to me in terms of value

  36. Rant on my man!, you only mirror all our feelings... Funny thing is, trying to be prudent in the transfer market with the likes of Mingolet over Begovic and Balotelli over Bony and others is costing more money just to put it right.... Our spend to get the right player generally costs us 50% more than it would've if we'd just gone that extra mile in the first place.... Lesson doesn't appear to be learnt.... The only thing I can think of for such flagrant missuse of transfer funds, is (don't laugh) FSG are doing a tax scam and laundering money or something.....

  37. £250k per week BR

  38. Excellent young player but if our kitty is limited we should prioritise experienced, 'finished article' players.

  39. Lavezzi is a great shout.

  40. Even if this scenario comes to pass you should still not change your profile pic.

  41. I hope some truth in this story but so much nonsense talked and made up by jurnos to sell papers I take every story with complete pinch of salt

  42. Yes but decent players don't sell for 30m Euros, unless you're selling to Liverpool.