12 Mar 2015

'Great Player': Liverpool chase 'fantastic' €15m midfielder Benitez tried to sign in 2008

In 2013, the Agent of Napoli star Gokhan Inler confirmed that Liverpool tried to sign him during the Rafa Benitez era, and new reports this week suggest that the Reds are still tracking the Swiss Central midfielder.

Inler has been linked with Liverpool several times in the past:

* 2009: Rafa Benitez considered signing him as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, but according to reports at the time, the £18m fee for his services proved to be a deal-breaker.

* 2010: Roy Hodgson pursued the midfielder as a replacement for Javier Mascherano, a move that would've made sense considering the former Reds boss worked with Inler during his time managing the Switzerland national team.

* 2013: Dino Lamberti - Inler's Agent - confirmed that Liverpool tried to sign Inler. He told TMW: "Liverpool wanted to sign him [Inler] as part of the Napoli deal for Dossena...but the deal didn't go through because of the transfer fee"

* 2014: According to The Mirror, Liverpool were planning to swap Inler for Pepe Reina.

Benitez finally got his wish to manager Inler when he took the Napoli manager's job, but as it turns out, the Swiss is increasingly a bit-part player under the Spaniard. Indeed, he's been on the bench for ten of the last fifteen games, which suggests he's becoming a squad player, but after a rare start against Inter last weekend, Benitez raved:

"Inler is a great player and a fantastic professional. He's working well and it showed. Last season was his best for Napoli, while this year he lost his place because Walter Gargano and Diego Lopez have done well."

According to Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic, Inler lost his place due to 'muscular issues' sustained on international duty, and he's now convinced that the midfielder will win back a regular spot in the team. He told reporters this week:

“Napoli have so many good players, and it is only normal that there is a continuous rotation. In the last few matches, he has played sufficiently, as he is fit again and because he chose to stay and fight for the jersey.”

Earlier this season, sports Journalist claimed that Napoli are willing to see Inler, but only for the right price. He told Italian newspaper TuttoMercato:

"Napoli consider Inler to be unsellable unless a club comes in with a sensational offer of €15m or more"

€15m is far too much for a bit-part player who'll be 31 in three months, and I doubt any top club will pay that. However, Inler has superb experience in the game, and with Gerrard (and possibly Toure) leaving this summer, the Reds will be woefully short of experience in the squad.

Additionally, with Lucas increasingly injury prone (and therefore unreliable) it's clear that the Reds need another defensive midfielder this summer, and Inler - for the right price - seems to fit the bill.



  1. A few years back when Rafa first tried to sign him he was a top player but those days have long gone and he's been on a steady decline since. Lots of much better options out there

  2. Guys Icardi and Shaqiri look awful v Wolfsburg tonight

  3. Too much for someone the wrong side of 30. Not FSG/LFC policy. He's not got huge Champions League experience either. I think if we sign anyone 'past their best' it must be a seasoned champions league campaigner or else we won't gain enough for them.

  4. Past his sell by date

  5. if weve had scouts in napoli, i hope its because of Hiquain

  6. If we couldn't get him 6 years ago I'm guessing he is no longer in the same place so should be best avoided.

    We should be looking at younger players with more potential moving forward, not older players who are looking for a last pay off.

  7. Scored 3 so far tonight

  8. Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of Icardi.

  9. Meh! 15M Euros for a 31 year old average player?

  10. Inler is approaching the age you leave a league like the EPL to go to Italy to receive your pension.
    No way are they considering him he in no way fits their transfer policy.