24 Oct 2014

Mega-Deal: LFC close to signing 'lethal' striker after FSG approve huge €40m offer

Earlier this month, reports in Italy claimed that Liverpool put in a €28m summer bid for Napoli star Gonzalo Higuain. The Serie A club rejected the offer, but with the Reds struggling to replace Luis Suarez's goals, Brendan Rodgers is seemingly determined to sign the Argentina striker.

According to several reports today:

* Liverpool have put in a new €40m (£31.2m) bid for Higuain.

* The Reds are 'close' to sealing the deal.

* Rodgers is confident he Higuain will sign for LFC ahead of Arsenal.

Reports in Italy suggest that Higuain - described by Andrea Pirlo as a 'lethal' striker - is unsettled at the club, and Rafa Benitez dropped him from the starting line-up for Thursday's Europa League clash with Young Boys.

When asked about Benitez decision, Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon denied that ongoing transfer talk had anything to do with the decision. He told Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

"There's no tension with Higuain - he is a great professional. The decision today is simply a matter of squad rotation."

Club President Aurelio De Laurentis recently confirmed that Higuain has €100m buyout clause in his contract, but no club is ever going to meet that, and €40m should be enough to persuade the Serie A club to sell...unless, of course, Liverpool get outbid.

It's unclear whether Liverpool put in the initial summer offer before or after the signing of Mario Balotelli, but given how late in the window the deal happened, the probability is that it came before the Reds splashed £16m on the controversial striker.

I doubt there are many Reds fans who'd take Balotelli over Higuain. With his always-in-motion mobility, work ethic, and ability to get in behind defences, the Argentine is far more suited to Liverpool's style of play thanBalotelli, though it's still early days for the Italian, and over time, he may prove to be a great signing.

Higuain's stats for Napoli so far are pretty formidable:

* 26 goals/13 assists in 53 appearances.
* Goal/assist every 1.3 games.

The Argentine's stats at Real Madrid were also excellent:

* 122 goals/56 assists in 264 apps.
* Goal/assist every 1.4 games.

Anfield legends John Aldridge and John Barnes are massively in favour of signing Higuain. Last season, Barnes told TalkSport:

"Liverpool need someone like Gonzalo Higuain. If you get the ball in the box he can score, he can play outside the box and he’s the kind of player that Liverpool should be going for".

In a recent column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldo noted:

"I like the look of Gonzalo Higuain. He would be brilliant for us, but would he come? And how much would be cost?"

I don't currently see the incentive for Higuain to join Liverpool. The club is struggling this season, and may be out of the Champions League by January. Plus, if Arsenal enter the fray, the lure of London may be prove to be too much of an attraction.

Additionally, after Rodgers basically wasted £120m over the summer, I can't see FSG giving him another €40m in January. That said, the group has to protect its investment, and failure to qualify for the Champions League will be a massive blow, especially with the development of Anfield to pay for.

As such, FSG may gamble, and hope that signing a top class striker will propel Liverpool into the Champions League. If, however, Rodgers signs Higuain, and still fails to qualify, then his job will surely be on the line...



  1. Please no, especially for 40 million. Higuain is a terrible finisher and wastes so many opportunities.

  2. As for 'wasting 120 million' what evidence is there of that? Just because we've had a far from perfect start we can safely call the investment into new players a waste? What is this, Football Manager where instant cash yields instant results?

  3. The evidence is LFC's atrocious start to the season. At this point, it's a waste in the sense that the club has received no discernible benefit for that outlay. That may change over the course of the season, but right now, it's a waste. And give it a rest with the tedious 'football manager' references, and just stick to the point.

  4. yess an get rid of borini an mario uf we can an bring murial aswell an nkoulo

  5. but not for for 40 millni agree

  6. priblm is br brougtht players in that eer unessersry and dont fit into our fast pace football . why buy merkivic? we have ibe,tino,sterlin lallana so 20 mil waisted.mario panik buy dose not fit into way we play lambert yp dlow for our quik football ther wer good players out ther in summer mayb not top names but quality players that fit into how we play ie bakali,depay, mureial .,valdes, carhavilo, firmino,jackson martinez why didnt we try sign de marie that blind ftom holand oww no riky lambert Mario a player the coach sed he not intrested in not good enuf an now we are seing a backward step agen this is down to singnings sterlin shudnt be the main man he is jus learning his trade brenfon shud of done better in the transfer market .

  7. Jensen Huddleston3:23 am, October 24, 2014

    We need another striker that is versatile and hard working. Price tag is fsr less than missing out on CL next season. Sturridge is fantastic but will only play 50% of the season if that. We do not have time to wait for balotelli to settle. I was so happy basel lost. All is not lost, a CL spot is well within reach in the league and getting out of the group stage is still a real possibility. Real impressed with coutinho last 2 games, hope he stays in team and keeps it up.

    Avid reader of the site and enjoy the perspective you bring to all things LFC.

  8. For all that Rodgers needs to have final say on transfers these decisions are still made as a club. The owners, the GM, the transfer committee and probably a few other people are all involved and when a player doesn't work out it doesn't really help anyone to lay blame solely on Rodgers. For the owners to change their strategy and start to doubt their manager would be nonsensical, they might as well just fire him. Either that or take the transfer decisions out of his hands. Simply pulling back funds and saying that we can't bring in more players is the dumbest response possible, it wouldn't really achieve anything. FSG are progressive, pro-active, they don't tend to just be reactionary when things go wrong, so I can't see them limiting spending in January if it's really needed. They know the value of investing in the team and they'll understood that Balotelli was a risk and there needs to be some kind of back-up plan.

  9. To be fair we are still in all competitions we entered, how long that will last, only time will tell.
    Its simple, without Suarez and Studge, we are 60% of what we were last season, I personally dont see a Higuian as the answer, it would take much more than that to resolve our problems all over the pitch.

  10. Dont want Higuain, I think our best chance is banking on Sturridge and Origi next season.
    As for right now we may aswell put Borini or Lambert in the team ahead of Mario or with him, atleast Borini offers us a bit more pace and movement and Lambert can just play point and we go all out with Lallana and Sterling.
    For me Mario left the focal point of our attack too empty and at this point is looking a little bit desperate for a goal and isnt looking for passes.

  11. Give it a rest with the tedious 'football manager' references? I've only made one, and it was to highlight my point. So you mean to say a less than stellar start represents a waste of money? How long does it take players on average to prove not to be a waste? Naturally te club hasn't received a discernible benefit from the outlay, unless you count 5th in the league, which is admittedly not much to crow about. Just because they haven't hit the ground running, personally I don't consider that a waste, as frustrating as it is, it's understandable, but if you think so, then you're entitled to.

  12. btw is there any truth on Valdes joining van gaal

  13. We should think of using Sterling as a striker, look what Bale done when he was offered that role. We got youngsters who can run wild on teams but we don't want to give them a chance.

  14. JK, its been a very very disappointing season so far. I agree that it will be tough job this year to make it in top four but I think we will finish because other teams are struggling as well. Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool will fight for 3-4. If United manages to buy quality defenders in Jan then they can finish in top 4 but otherwise I think we have the edge. I wasn't so positive about it at first but United have major problems at the back and I see them getting mauled from Chelsea this weekend.

  15. BR has lost his head.he is playing wiz his job anyway liverpool need a world class manager.
    Average manager will always buy average player,get them ready zen real n barca will come n buy

  16. If we buy Hinguin, we will have Borini, Lambert, Balo, Studge, Origi and Hinguin in our squad. That's 6 strikers. It will create a situation similar to this summer when we had so many central defenders which led us to sell Agger for peanuts. I hope we don't do that with strikers. Lambert will stay one more year and Borini will be sold so we will have Balo, Studge, Origi and Hinguain. I want to see Balo playing with another striker before I completely write him off.
    I would also like to point out that why are we blaming Balotelli? He has certain style of play and our scouts and BR should have known his style of play before buying him. Suddenly, if you ask Balo to play differently and train him to adapt in new style of play, more flexible and more involving then it will take time for him to learn. BR shouldn't have bought him at first place, its a stupid transfer for both parties tbh. You are buying a raw player as an emergency need?

  17. Compare our transfers to that of Chelsea. You will get your answer. By the time our so called potentials prove their worth, Chelsea would have already won the title. And there is no guarantee that our transfers will come good.

  18. Excellent answer regarding Ballotelli. The way he has played so far, you really don't need any hindsight whatsoever! The transfer activities have been really poor, borderline awful. I agree, Ballotelli is a smokescreen for BR's mistakes.

  19. This problem is entirely of Brendans OWN making.
    Remember at the beginning of the season the premise was that providing we STOP the opposition scoring goals we wouldn't need to score as many with the loss of Suarez.
    What happened he bought Lovern WHO MANY ON HERE raved about.
    Meanwhile you Many of YOU GAVE SAKHO a kicking as while Brendan sold Agger.

    The problem is NOT the attack the problem is the DEFENCE and has been the DEFENCE since last season.
    You don't sell AGGER and keep TOURE.
    The only positive is Moreno and Maquillo but the central DEFENCE is a mess.
    The other issue is the GOAL KEEPER.
    Mingolet cannot catch a cross nor does he command the area.
    He doesn't distribute the ball well and clearly no opposition player fears him for crosses.

    If FSG and the transfer committee have any sense, THEY WILL NOT SANCTION ANY MORE MONEY FOR BRENDAN ROGERS.

    He has done what all Liverpool Managers have done in the last 10 years,
    in that he is favouring HIS purchases to justify them.
    Yes Suso & Ibe have been marginalised to the point of losing them.

    Rafa did the same thing when he bought players as did Kenny when managed.
    They feel that rather than pick players who are good they pick players who they feel they have to justify because they bought them.
    It's the first sign of a Manager who is not long for the Club.
    I'm starting to think that Rogers may be on his way sooner rather than later.
    Balotelli has to sink a lot lower before he realises that he's not Johnny Big Time.
    He will leave Liverpool either in January or the end of the season and disappear from the elite clubs.
    He'll go to a club where he can be 'indulged' for a while and do the same thing again, by which time he'll be late 20's and a washed up name.
    He'll realise by the time he's approaching 30 that he needs to work hard.
    By which time no one will care.
    Balotelli has been indulged for too long by too many Clubs and we are just another club.

    I say don't buy Higuain, lets have a look at what we already have.
    Borini is prepared to press and run , Lambert can't do that and Ballotelli wont do it.
    Sinclair is in the squad and has been with us for 2 years I'd like to see him given a chance as well.
    Plus we have Sturridge to come back and Sterling can play the so called false No 9 role.
    Stick Ballotelli in the reserves and tell he'll be sold or loaned in January.
    Brendans Managing & Coaching skills are in question from me at the moment

  20. Our scouts are nuts. Antoine Griemann went for 23.7mn pounds and we paid 20mn for Markovic. What a joke!!

  21. I have to agree with this.. But, what is the point in Moreno and Manquillo being positives if Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique always get chances. Take back to Basel- a crucial game in this group and he plays Enrique when their only strength was their pacy wingers. That is unacceptable. When BR first came here, I was impressed by the fact that he was fearless. He dropped Carroll, Downing, Enrique and numerous other senior players and gave players like Sterling,Wisdom and Suso a chance. But, he has changed. Ibe and Suso are better than all the options we have on the bench. We should give Sinclair a chance. He bears the most resemblence to Sturridge but it is never going to happen.

  22. We could`ve had Rakitic for less...

  23. Last season we lost the title because of our defence. This season issues with defence still remains but we don't have that same offense to rescue us. Now we have problem in all areas tbh.

  24. He wouldn't have joined us. Griezmann was a realistic target.

  25. Griezmann, Shaqiri and so many other promising wingers and we choose to spend on Markovic. We all saw his stats and immediately thought Stewart Downing and it has come to that . Nothing more than a Stewart Downing with pace. In fact, even Downing is doing better right. We could have even got Valbuena for 6 mil which is a steal.

  26. Many good points. BR is certainly having problems this season in terms of team selection. He should improve from experience but he has been completely stupid this season.

  27. we really badly need Higuain to play alongside Balotelli.
    Super Mario will not be able to deliver as a lone striker, he needs support upfront.
    Sturridge is a 10/15 games player in a season.
    By the time he starts playing, we will already be out of Champions league and will also be unable to catch the team which will be in fourth position in the league.

  28. Sid, I think in Brendan's mind he was rotating the squad.
    Hence Enrique and Johnson playing.
    That having been said we are being distracted again from the main problem which is Central Defence and the Goal keeper.

    I agree that when Rogers first came he was fearless but now he's doing the same thing Kenny and Rafa did.
    Buying players who clearly are not better than the ones already here such as Markovic and then keep playing them.

    Lets be clear here Rogers replaced Ibe with Markovic.
    He wont give Suso a chance and instead of playing Sinclair he pick Ballotelli.
    The best thing to do in my view is humiliate Ballotelli he really needs it.

  29. Valbuena is a risk IMO (age and never played in EPL). Shaqiri wanted to come but Bayern denied the transfer. Griezmann was so good last season, its unbelievable that we were not even linked with the player. Konoplyanka for 9mn would have been better than this guy Markovic. The only time Markovic looked good was against Man City when he was playing more centrally like Downing at West Ham. So you are right there.

  30. I also don't understand why BR is wasting time playing lone striker upfront. Balo looked decent vs. Spurs when he played with Studge. Why is BR so naive? Or just stubborn? Last season we played with two strikers almost every time.

  31. BR stated that no player would join LFC without his approval or agreement. Its stupid to blindly follow BR. Of course, BR has to be blamed. He was adamant on not having Louis Van Gal as DoF because he wanted to have full control on transfers.

  32. Have you heard about the police investigating Balotelli for threatiening somebody? He is trouble and even Brendan cannot save him from the look of things. I have defended him but am losing my patience. I think the major problem with our defence is Skrtel. He does not listen to anybody and does not want to listen to Lovren or Mignolet. I think Brendan made a mistake by giving up on Sakho and Lovren. It was starting to look solid. We kept a clean sheet and conceded only 1 or 2 goals not these kinds.

  33. But what's the practical implication of that? BR no longer gets final say on players? A director of football is installed? Rodgers is sacked? It's all well and good to say it's his fault but that doesn't really achieve anything, does it?

  34. You are taking a leaf out of the Logan book my friend. Looks like his message his spreading across. How long till Rodgers opens his eyes?

  35. Valbuena is a really underrated player. He is a regular for France and displays a lot of qualities. I have wanted him to come to Liverpool for some years now. Age is not much of an issue. Even for a few years, Valbuena can provide us something Markovic might never be able to provide. I am pretty sure Bayern did not have a tight grip on Shaqir. How does he expect to beat Robben, RIbery and even Muller on the wings? He voiced his opinions so many times and he is still not being given a chance.

  36. I make you right Sid Lovern Sakho could work.
    Mingolet is suspect we need a better keeper but we don't have one
    Brendan is a young manager and learning the game.
    It looked obvious to me that in the press conference with Gerrard and Brendan for the champions league that Gerrard had more experience in the champions league than Brendan.
    I think Brendan may be out of his depth at this level and FSG may have to think about that or let Brendan make mistakes and learn.

  37. I do not think that is a problem. We all knew when he was appointed that he is untested at the European level but we were not even there at that point. We should give him a chance to learn because without him, we might not have even been in this position. I think Stevie should be used sporadically. He should be used in cup and CL games and games after the International break. It saves his energy and hunger.

  38. Markovic is 20 and has made 4 appearances in a Liverpool shirt. Bit premature to be comparing him to the great Stewart Downing, don't you think?

  39. Ignoring his faults would be even worse. Blaming will at least make him more pragmatic in future. I don't know why people support him too much when it comes to transfers. If you consider his overall transfer dealings since he came to Liverpool...its even worse then KD.

  40. Just saying that when we first looked at him, we all saw his stats which resembled those of Downings and then the price too was similar. It is turning out that way. I know he needs time but we should not have spent 20 mil on a player as raw and unproven as Markovic. He could become a world beater or could indeed turn out like Downing. We were not in a position to take a risk like that and we took it. We have to hope it pays dividends in the future.

  41. “Liverpool made a bid for me before the World Cup but Bayern put their foot down and told me, ‘We’re not going to sell you,'” Shaqiri is quoted byESPN as saying.

    “My contract runs until 2016 and I could possibly extend it. I will consider my decision during the winter break.”

  42. This at least tells us that a move could still be on the cards. We should try for him in January but we most probably would not be able to..

  43. i don't personally rate him that great a finisher however i would say that he probably works a damn sight harder that mario. an expensive dirk kuyt.

  44. I am talking abut the lady in question not you but when there is a band wagon passing by some people just can't help but hop on :-)

  45. The spend is not looking good just now but agree it is too early to say it's wasted money.

  46. I am pretty sure this holdup is fabricated nonsense and the lady is desperately crying for attention but a player like Balo is always going to make the tabloids for negative reasons as his reputation is like that. Can we stand seeing our club in theses rubbish tabloids for all the wrong reasons.. He has already been caught up twice now..

  47. Agree he will always court controversy. He needs to do a Suarez get his head down and start scoring regularly and the nonsense will diminish

  48. okok we've not played great, but 5th in the league is atrocious?? come on jamie have a little faith!

  49. Rodgers pathetic transfer record in general is enough to suggest its been a waste, he's wasted almost every penny he has got so to suggest that would change this summer was always unlikely

  50. The fact of the matter is were into our 3rd season and after close to a quarter of a BILLION spend only studge had been a consistent success, its an absolutely disgraceful waste of money, people can shout to give the players time but Rodgers transfer record shows its unlikely to change with time as his whole time in charge has generally consisted of wasting money

  51. Totally agree mate, hes young and has been injured, way too early to be throwing around rash comparisons and judgements.

  52. That's the point. why buy young and unproven player when there are players like Griezmann available? Please stop defending BR

  53. Can we STOP with this AGGER nonsense. He himself said his body could not cope with playing premier league football anymore, hence why he said it was either go back to Bromby where the standard and demands are lower or retire.

    i wish people would stop peddling this nonsense that we should have kept him when it was never an option.

  54. Yes he is training with Man Utd now and will probably replace lingard as thier back keeper if he proves his fitness.

  55. Chelsea bought a small amount of proven players for large sums, LFC's squad was so thin we couldnt do the same and needed to bulk it out for the extra games. Now we have numbers, now we can start targetting one or two players a window to improve on that. This window was all about increasing squad size with potential tbh.

  56. Ok, so it was about increasing the squad size with 'potentials' after we lost the best player in EPL last season? Very naive transfer strategy IMO, Lets for a moment agree that it was a right transfer strategy. Now, how exactly have we succeeded in it? Certainly, Lambert isn't a potential and yes he has increased the size of a squad but has it benefited us? He doesn't even get to play enough. Can and Markovic, ditto. What's the point of increasing the squad really? Regarding your reference to Chelsea buying players for large sums. Lallana was bought for 25mn, Fabregas was bought for 26mn, so your point really doesnt make sense. Diego Costa was bought for 32mn, we bought Balo+Origi+Lambert for 30mn. Now, who would you actually have in your squad? Isn't it blatantly obvious that we should have built upon the quality rather than size? We sold quality and bough quantity. I don't understand why people defend BR. Its so clear that he has made a mess of all the Suarez money.

  57. BR also kept playing Allen instead of Hendo in his first season until it became blatantly obvious to everyone that Hendo was miles better. BR almost sold him to Fulham.

  58. Obviously I agree with you JK that once again our entire transfer budget was wasted but why would FSG fund even more transfers made by people who obviously don't know what they are doing. My guess is, as with Kenny, they will tell Rodgers to make it work with what he has and if he does, he gets more money next summer. If he doesn't, he'll get the money owed to him for ending his contract prematurely and he can start looking for another job.

  59. I see borini offer us a attitude whom want fight for himself

  60. You cant just look at a players transfer fee but his wages etc as well, Fabregas will cost Chelsea a huge amount more than lallana will Liverpool. Also the injuries havent helped at all, we haven't even seen Liverpool at full Strength yet. Sturridge loss is massive, you take Costa out of Chelsea and they wouldn't be the same either. Your problem is you expect instant results, lets give it more than 8 league games before we make judgement on new players for heavens sake.