20 Feb 2015

Anfield-bound? LFC pushing to sign £15m goalscoring 'warrior' BR wanted instead of Balotelli

Liverpool continue to be linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Ciro Immobile, and new reports suggest that the the Bundesliga are happy to let him leave in the summer.

Last week, German newspaper Bild claimed that Brendan Rodgers is 'lining up a deal' for Immobile, and according to The Mirror today:

"Liverpool will make a bid for [Immobile] in the summer. Brendan Rodgers was interested last summer but ended up signing Mario Balotelli instead"

Despite grabbing 11 goals/assists in 22 appearances this season, Immobile is under pressure in Germany, and he's becoming a scapegoat for Dortmund's stunning fall from grace. Indeed, last weekend, influential German newspaper Die Welt ran with the following damning headline:

'Immobile is a big part of the problem at Borussia Dortmund'

Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has also added fuel to the fire. In a recent interview, he hailed Immobile as a 'warrior', but then proceeded to publicly criticise his performances. He told reporters:

"What is really going wrong is that we make the wrong decisions at crucial moments, and Immobile is a prime example when it comes to making wrong decisions"

I doubt Immobile will enjoy reading these comments from Klopp, and public scapegoating of this nature is precisely the kind of thing that pushes players towards the exit door. That said, when asked in January whether he wants to leave, the striker told reporters:

“Borussia Dortmund spent a lot of money for me and I want to repay their trust. Could I return to Italy? No, last summer I made a clear decision. Besides, I wouldn't leave the team in this moment of hardship.”

Prior to his €19m Dortmund transfer, Immobile had a decent goals/assists record:

* 28 goals/6 assists (34) in 68 apps (Torino and Genoa).
* Goal/assist every 2 games.

He's continued that creative rate at Dortmund, but following in the footsteps of a player like Robert Lewandowski is a tall order, and Immobile is clearly expected to achieve similar goal/assist stats.

Immobile has four years left on his contract, but Dortmund are allegedly willing to let him go for £15m, which is comparatively low for a decent, international-class striker.

Having said that, £15m is close to the fee paid for fellow Italian Fabio Borini, and look how that's turned out. Plus, there's no guarantee that Immobile will perform in the Premier League, though, and given Liverpool's (historical) bad luck with Italian players, signing him is a big risk.

Immobile by name, immobile by nature? If LFC sign him, let's hope not!



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