18 Sept 2013

Game Over: €20m 'phenomenon' LFC want as Suarez replacement signs new deal.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez returns from his ten-game suspension next week, and for now, it's all quiet on the transfer front. That will inevitably change in January, though, and it seems likely that big clubs will be back in for the Uruguayan during the next transfer window. If Suarez leaves, one player who won't be coming to Anfield, however, is Colombian striker Luis Muriel, who this week pledged his future to Udinese.

Last night, the Serie A club announced on its official website that Muriel has signed a new five-year deal until June 2018.

Liverpool monitored Muriel over the summer, with multiple reports claiming that Reds planned to replace Luis Suarez with the South American striker.

Indeed, according to Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

"Scouts from Liverpool and Barcelona were in attendance last night [8th August 2013] to watch Muriel against Siroki Brijegin [in the Europa League]".

When quizzed about LFC's interest after Colombia's 1-0 victory against Serbia last month, Muriel appeared open to a move away at some point. He told Eldeportivo:

"The Pozzo family supported me and wants me to have another year in Udine. This is what they told me. The idea is to grow, and in the future to go to a bigger club" .

Manchester United are also £18m-rated Muriel, but Pozzo insists that the striker is worth much more than that. He told reporters recently:

"He [Muriel] has a price. I don’t put clauses in contracts but €20m euro for a striker of great worth is nothing. For [Edinson] Cavani the price is 60m euro"

Muriel's strike partner, Antonio Di Natale is certainly a big fan of the Colombian, and when asked about Muriel's qualities in June, he told FIFA.com:

“Make a note of the name Luis Muriel. He’s got all the qualities needed to become a phenomenon, and in a few years Luis will be a great champion.”

The new contract doesn't necessarily mean he will stay at Udinese for the whole five years. As Muriel said in June, he wants a move to a 'bigger club' in the future, and signing the new deal gives his club an element of protection when it comes to future transfer bids.

As for Suarez: when he returns, it will be like having a brand new marquee signing, but it is absolutely inevitable that speculation over his future will begin again during the January transfer window, and in the interests of effective forward-planning, I sincerely hope Liverpool already have a short-list of viable candidates to replace him.

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  1. Hey Jamie is there any update on Coutinho's injury?
    I think we should play Alberto instead of Coutinho if he is not fit, he scored a hattrick yesterday and the lad deserves a chance. I also think we are being overrun in the second half for 4 continuous matches now and this calls for the inclusion of Allen in place of either Gerrard or Lucas for the second half.
    My team for saturday would be:
    Kelly Toure Sakho Enrique
    Hendo Gerrard
    Alberto Allen
    Sturridge Moses

  2. coutinho out till oct end

  3. For the time being Suarez is a Liverpool player, if the table position holds (or stays near the top) chances are that Suarez will still be a Liverpool player after January.
    If the trend continues, there's a good chance of additions in January, and if by the end of the season Liverpool are qualified for CL, then there is a strong chances of players of the ilk of Muriel, etc. joining, again in addition to Luis Suarez and co.
    Good news is, there's only one game left without him - which is very winnable, even without Coutinho. For his return at Old Trafford, there is also a better chance than usual to win - MU coming off a CL game and Manchester Derby, might not have full fitness for the cup match. All of October's matches are winnable without Coutinho - he'll return for November - December which have a number of complicated matches.
    Quite a few positives, so far Liverpool have scraped by positive results, the team without coutinho but with suarez is better than with coutinho alone, when coutinho returns it's even better.
    There should be some serious momentum building up towards the end of the year, this team is leaps and bounds better than last year's even if you exclude Suarez. However, Suarez will give the team the X factor it needs to win the more complicated games - as I say, if the Trend continues he'll stay, the only thing that would see Suarez leave is an offer of much higher wages.

  4. On another note - fitness coaches need to start implementing an upper body/shoulder workout. Allen, Borini, Gerrard, now Coutinho, all out with should injuries - odd.

  5. There is nothing explicit that conclusively proves that the club preferred Alberto over Eriksen or that they think Alberto is a better prospect. The club still tried to sign Henrikh Mkhtaryan after we signed Alberto for e.g. and this suggests that the club were still after a attacking midfielder despite signing Alberto. Alberto cost less than Eriksen and is probably on less wages, which is a possible reason as to why went for Alberto instead of Eriksen. We've already seen Rodgers use the financial excuse for one of the reasons for offloading Reina on loan. There is nothing conclusively explicit to prove 'The board feel he is a better prospect'. As you said 'remains to be seen what made our interest in him to die'. We don't know what happened behind closed doors.

  6. U can't be serious ????? Sakho ahead of agger u must be mad and toure ahead of skrtel did u watch our last 2 games skrtel was our best player on the field in both. Allen is a waste of time not goin to make it. We left shelvey go to keep him....

  7. Allen was one of the star players of pre-season. I'm surprised he hasn't got more game time yet. I think he will be a positive surprise this season.

  8. Coutinho fell on his shoulder and same with borini. Not a fitness issue for me.

  9. Sakho is very good in the air defensively, which I think is what we need in the team and Toure has been immense whenever he has played. I agree that Skrtel played well but he is not one of my favorite players and does not fill me with confidence, but that's just me. I like Agger but I think Sakho is more suited and is one for the future. Think Agger will be sold soon , so want to see Sakho bed in. Allen is a good player, you will see that this season. Shelvey is a different player, too inconsistent for me.

  10. There are only two possibilities(other than what I said), either Eriksen did not want to come to LFC, but I dont buy that because if he goes to Tottenham then why wouldn't he come to us? The other being that Liverpool felt he was not affordable but the Mkhitaryan , Willian and Costa chase proves that Liverpool had the funds. So only one possibility remains, Liverpool did not want him or to put it mildly did not think he was worth the fee or wages because its a fact that we looked at him. And then we went ahead and bought Alberto who is IMO a similar profile, so yes we can say that we bought Alberto instead of Eriksen.

  11. Maybe he genuinely felt Spurs offered better long term prospects on the pitch and that is a subjective thing.

    Alberto and Eriksen aren't of similar profile. Eriksen is further ahead in his development and is financially fat more expensive. Even if you disagree on the development bit, there is very little denying that Eriksen would have demanded a bigger fee and wages. So no, we can't say for sure that the board picked Alberto over him due to the former being a better prospect. Football has too many variables to use simple logic, especially when we fans don't know what went behind closed doors.

    My view is that the club wanted to spend big, in terms of wages and/or fee but on a different type of attacking player. Eriksen isn't as versatile as Willian or Henrikh. So got in a cheap option in Alberto to boost squad numbers and set aside a good chunk of money for Henrikh/Willian. If they bought Eriksen, instead of Alberto, that would have impacted their financial package for Henrikh or Willian. Theory of course, just like yours.

  12. Drop Sakho instead of Agger?

  13. yes I agree with you there, we can only speculate. But the interesting thing here is that Eriksen went to Spurs almost unchallenged by any club(at least that's what appeared in the media), he was available for a long time but none of the big clubs went in for him and then he was picked up on the cheap near the end of the window. AC Milan seemed to be interested, but they tried for Ljajic and then in spite of losing KPB they did not go for Eriksen again. I see a pattern here, lots of clubs scouted him heavily but their interest in him suddenly died and that is why the fee came down to a meagre 11 million from a previously touted 20 million odd. All this seems a bit strange to me because he has impressed me every time I have seen him. Right now Eriksen seems light years ahead of Alberto in progression and if we did not buy him for financial reasons then I think it's a mistake on Liverpool's part.

  14. Sakho and Agger are both top class CBs and none of them can remain on the bench. The question for me is, can they play together? If yes then I'll gladly have them as a pair but I think its difficult so I prefer Sakho and Toure for now just because I am tired of seeing LFC get bullied by big strikers!! To be honest Sakho + Toure is a frightening prospect for any attacker , isn't it?

  15. Kelly, Toure/Skrtel , Agger/Skrtel , Enrique - Just not Sakho.

    Southhempton are far from being a threat in the air, and even if.

    Hendo, Gerrard
    Sterling Moses ( a rotation can work well of all sorts)


    Wouldn't mind Allen at some point. Wonder when Cissokho is good again. Please not Wisdom Rodgers.

  16. I like them styles a lot. I was always a huge fan of the Toure family. Wouldn't mind Toure. But man, Sakho was so poor against Swansea, he cost us both goals in my view, iv'e watched them plays a million time. He is not there yet. I prefer Agger or Skrtel both instead. Aggger isn't in top form but was he does he puts Sakho in bed. I hoped it would be the opposite to be honest but what i've seen hasb't broke in big hopes in my eyes.

  17. Why not Sakho?? He is a beast in the air and good with the ball at his feet, exactly what we need. I agree he went in too early a couple of times against Swansea but timing will come once he settles in. We can have Skrtel-Agger back for Manchester United game in COC.

  18. It was Sakho's first game in a while , he is bound to be a bit rusty. He is very good on the ball and also in the air. He is going to be great!! I like Agger but I think he has regressed defensively. He was a much better defender 2 seasons ago, don't know what happened to him.

  19. The intensity of PL is happening right now. I would have said yes if it wasn't Southampton we were playing. They are a strong and a very creative side who are eager to win and that has the ability to come forward with great intensity. We need the experienced and settled bunch there sorry. Sakho will take time, relying he has it in him at all.
    For Sunderland i can see it. He has to earn his place, as Rodgers have putted it out, and of course he did for a reason. He hadn't managed to so, not even close.
    Skrtel Agger, Toure, Skrtel, Toure , Agger all day long for me at the moment. Iv'e seen the last game and not more. I thought the same as you before Swansea but he lacks so much intensity it's ridiculous to play him against South. . .

  20. Ican see your point. I hoped Sakho would replace Agger so Agger could get his form back same way Skrtel did when Toure rose. Still, Agger can put a better show at the moment.

  21. I am really happy that we have so many options in there. But I definitely want Toure in there in place of Skrtel and Skrtel or Toure cannot play LCB so it has to be one of Agger or Sakho. I don't mind either of them.

  22. Marquee in my opinion depends on the club as well, Pablo Osvaldo is a marquee signing for Southampton but Borini isn't!!
    Regarding Lamela and Eriksen, Lamela scored 15 goals in the Serie A, so he is definitely a star for Tottenham.

  23. That's my point - it all seems pretty wishy-washy, vague and inconsistent. Much like the definitions of wonder-kids and world class players beforehand.

    Sakho was a key player for one of the top clubs in Ligue 1, for a number of years, as well as playing for his national team. Erikssen likewise was a key player for the Dutch champions for a number of years, as well as being a key player for his national team.

    Yet somehow I was seeing a lot of comments about neither qualifying as a marquee signing for us this summer.

    Meanwhile, Lamela has had a single prolific season in Serie A and no international pedigree yet is a definite marquee signing?

    An even better example would be Man U, where Fellaini is not considered a marquee signing, but a mid-table counterpart like Ander Herrara would have been?!

  24. Yes it is confusing now that you have given these examples. Lamela is going to be a superstar so I think he is a Marquee signing and the problem for him not having international pedigree is that he is competing with a certain Lionel messi it seems!!
    Eriksen played for Ajax and was a key player for them and Denmark(not as good as Argentina) and there was a lot of hype around him last summer. He would have definitely been a 'marquee' signing if signed last year, but the buzz around him died down this year for absolutely no fault of his. May be because similar players in his position like Thiago, Mkhitaryan and Gotze are considered much better than him. Consider Lamele, he was probably the best inside forward availbale on the market and he went to Spurs, so he is a 'marquee'.
    But then again it depends a lot on perception and there are no hard and fast rules for that.
    The Fellaini and Herrera case is a strange one, Herrera was a marquee just because of his price tag and i doubt if he would have had a better impact than Fellaini(I wish he fails miserably but he won't), so you are spot on with.
    Regarding i certainly think he is a marquee signing for us. 23, one of the best left sided centre backs out there, can't get any better than this.