14 Jul 2015

Transfer Boost: 'Incredible' playmaker who's 'desperate' for Liverpool can leave for £14m

After a months of fevered speculation, it's all gone quiet on the Liverpool-Mateo Kovacic front recently, but new reports claim that the Croatian playmaker IS available this summer, and at a reduced price. Should the Reds reignite interest?

According to German newspaper Bild today:

* Bayer Leverkusen officials have met with Kovacic's agent to discuss a possible transfer.

* Kovacic is allegedly available for €20m [£14m], which is a significant discount on the £20m fee bandied about for much of the summer.

Leverkusen's alleged interest seems to add weight to recent reports that Liverpool are not interested in signing Kovacic. Recent Transfer timeline:

* Mar 2015: The Telegraph claimed: "Mateo Kovacic is desperate to join Liverpool, who are impressed enough to prepare a bid for the £23m-rated midfielder"

* May 2015: ESPN 'sources' claimed that Liverpool 'executives' held a secret transfer meeting with £20m-rated Kovacic.

* June 2015: Croatian newspaper Vecernji list then claimed that Liverpool have allegedly 'agreed personal terms' with Kovacic, who 'wants to join LFC'.

* June 2015: The Mirror's David Anderson claimed: "I am told by someone who knows that Liverpool are not interested in Inter Milan's Mateo Kovacic".

* June 2015: A day later, the Daily Mail reported: "Liverpool say Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic is not a [transfer] target".

When asked recently about Liverpool's interest, Kovacic - who has 'incredible potential' according to Croatia legend Zvonimir Boban - told reporters:

“Liverpool? I signed a contract to 2019, but you never know in football. At this moment I can say that I am 100 per cent staying at Inter".

My main gripe with the Kovacic link has always been the price tag.

Liverpool have wasted tens of millions on young players over the years, and spending another £20m+ on a 21-year old is arguably a gamble that's not worth taking. If, however, Liverpool can get Kovacic for £12m-£14m, then the deal is suddenly a lot more financially responsible.

Worth pursuing?

Author: Jaimie K


  1. Just not sure we should be allocating anymore budget to a midfielder.

    When is he going to play?

    Unless his name is Reus. Which in that case, he's automatically a starter.

  2. I think he is world class player. We need to get him and a Top striker

  3. Marco Reus should be the next major transfer target and if possible get him into the LFC squad and not some so called highly rated players who are just good for the bench

  4. get him+ illarmendi+lacazette ..sell ballotelli lucas and allen and we wont just scrape 4th we could win the league

  5. What about the option of just yes? I would still pay £20m if it means Allen leaves.

  6. Reus would join if we put all our money off the Stirling deal towards the transfer, then his wage would be at least 150 to 200k a week so that`s not going to happen, so Illarmendi would be a more likely target although he`s more of a DM which we need more so, so he`s a possible, then we have another big name in Lacazette who yet again would be a hard target for us to bring in, no champions league? plus i think he would have the choice of the biggest clubs to ply his trade at, so i think that`s another impossible transfer at this moment in time for us. The best we could hope for is Hernandez, Benteke or maybe Finnbogason and if not we still have Ballotelli, maybe he could come good if played with Ings as a second striker, who knows what Bodgers is up to only time will tell, but he had better get it right this time, or otherwise he will be heading back to the conference if he`s lucky, the clocks starting to tick already.

  7. My feeling is we should not sign ANYONE until we get that prolific striker through the door. No funds nor energy should be diverted elsewhere. The absolute priority this year, as it was last, is getting someone in to actually replace Suarez. I know we won't get anyone as good but we can get a lot closer to similar quality than we did last year but it won't come cheap either in terms of transfer fee or wages. Lets get the striker in and then worry about deeplying playmaker, left-back and winger positions if we need them. My only exception to this rule is if we could get a winger in who could score the goals you'd normally get from a centre-forward. Someone, in addition to Sturridge, needs to be scoring us 15-20 goals next season, otherwise this transfer window must be deemed a failure.

  8. Things might have been different for Balotelli last season had Sturridge stayed fit. The original intention, as shown in the line-up for Tottenham 0 Liverpool 3, was to play 2 up top as we had so successfully the previous season. My sense is that Balotelli will be sent packing now but Benteke and Sturridge cold work as a partnership.

  9. I agree with you that he'd be an upgrade on Allen but Rodgers presumably like s the fact that Allen doesn't complain about not playing so I think you're right to suggest that Allen won't be sold.

  10. I think excellent players can be brought in without Champions' League- you need to be able to sell them on a project, on their place in the project and offer them a big salary- teams like Manchester City started building up their squad in that way. Not everyone will go for this approach but some will. If I were approaching Lacazette for instance I would stress that his chances of sealing a starting position in the French team ahead of Euros 2016 would be best be served by playing in a more competitive league than the French one. I would highlight that we were challenging for the Premiership in 2014 and that if we failed to challenge again for that the following year it was because of a lack of a lethal striker and that with such a striker we would have qualified for Champions League again last season (which we certainly would have done). I'd stress to him that we would be looking to build the team around him and that we are hoping to construct a youthful team than can sustainably challenge consistently for the coming years. And then I'd bring out a wheelbarrow full of cash, offer a house and a car and say 'do you mind if I call you Alex?'

  11. Really like the look of Kovacic, a fantastic player, but with so many midfielders now, it seems highly unlikely we'll sign many more during this window and with that and our other new signings in mind, I would much rather see us go for Illaramendi.

  12. ...don't you think its a bit scary BR says firmino can fill sterlings boots...?
    ...smacks of him knowing we'd get 50 odd mill and getting the replacement boosting us up and spending onlky half in the process...
    ..all on here are discussing who BR is getting as a replacement for sterling, reus etc..but he's already bought him and as far as striker is concerned benteke is not coming per sherwood and if reports are true then likely he wants champs league anyway with man u...
    ..there is the possibility FSG are playin clever with the transfer window making it seem like we've done loads of business but we've only spent much less than we've made....is it possible Br doesn't have their faith and they waitin to see without too much spend if he pulls it out the bag ...Klopp wants 6 months out and maybe, just maybe with the reading between the lines we can really see whats going on......

  13. Maybe add a light sprinkling, of our history and the present day - greatest fans,
    ...'in the World'

  14. Show him some videos of our reception by fans in Melbourne two years ago and then a video of an average crowd in the French league.

  15. I'd have absolutely no problem with that signing!

  16. ...I just feel there are other agendas afoot here DN, if there was true faith in our manager by FSG then we would really be after people like reus and lacazette...the reason...exactly what you have said above , really its that easy to sell a club...the stack of cash the feeling of importance; you only have to look at villa and delph to understand that...he's staying ther to be capatain and earn good money while feeling important and hub of the team...

    ..while Br looks, today, like a man with a burden...thats not the same carefree fella from the last thre years and its not the lfc pressure thats doing it..we are in pre-season with a clean slate..no that looks like a dead man walking..he's been read the riot act by fsg and they pushed him to jettison pascoe and marsh...I reckon ther's more to that too, something personal...anyway..yes i reckon klopp not havin any connection with any club this summer speaks volumes......

  17. I would certainly have replaced Rodgers with Klopp this summer if Klopp had been willing. If Klopp is indeed to be the next name on our list should Rodgers fail then surely buying Reus would be a plus- he was the key man of his previous team so I'm not sure I'd go with your argument.
    I think the truth is probably that Liverpool have been struggling to accept the type of fee demanded for a player like Reus even though they will certainly have looked at him. John Henry tweeted last September about wanting to sign Reus. Presumably they then enquired how much it would cost and discovered that he didn't fit their budgetary model. Maybe with the sort of money they now have for Sterling they might reconsider.
    One thing I'm glad of this year is that we are showing a little more discretion with regard to our transfer targets and not revealing our hand too soon. Firmino's transfer came almost without warning and that is the way it should be.

  18. Kovacic is a talent! I am just glad to see the back of Sterling at the moment, he got to big for his boots and I guarantee he will never live up to his price tag. I am not complaining though £44m for some one who can't finish sounds good to me, yes he is young but a natural goalscorer he will never be. The abuse he has been recieveing by a very very small number of fans disgusts me but they do not need to get worked up as we are the ones who have stole one on Man City. £44m+ is laughable thats the kinds of money you pay for a regular goalscorer at the highest level and Sterling will never be that. Firmino will out score him and out assist him I would put my house on it, why? because he is far better! Anyone who doubts this come the end of the season the proof will be there for the world to see in numbers. As Carragher has said if we can buy players as well as we sell them then we will be fine, lets hope Rodgers does this time! Firmino is a great start but lets hope the money recieved from Sterling is spent well because we are a couple of quality players of the pace.

  19. ..while I would agree with most of your argumant and well measured, level-headed view, the point I was making was in life, especially in football now, ther seems to be a more and more machiavellian construct; you only have to look at blatter to understand what I'm alluding to.
    Again while I would love club business to be so simplistic i would hazard a guess and say it isn't...purely because people change and eveolve; there is the distinct possibility FSG don't feel the need to attract klopp with one of his 'preferred' signings..maybe they haven't even shown their hand to him...maybe they are doing the 'two guys in each position competition thing' and allowing BR to infer that they are keeping klopp on ice just to make BR perform without margin for error...we just don't know....but I know this; all is not as it seems at LFC...the sackings, the spin about players already in filling in for players already left, BR looking like he's caught in headlights....

    ..as per discretion, agreed its much better..but..don't you feel if we were going to buy a player we'd have done so by now..instead of all the conjecture...?

  20. I think Sherwood's comments are just about trying to get Liverpool to put up or shut up with regard to the release clause. He says in effect that Benteke won't go anywhere but then says if Liverpool pay the release clause then there is nothing he can do about it, so all of his comments about Benteke not going anywhere become redundant. It was Sherwood who made the release clause public earlier in the summer- that was clearly a way of saying 'if I can get 32.5 million for Benteke then I'd happily take it but if not I'd rather keep the player', It must currently be annoying for Sherwood because he has the uncertainty of knowing he can't build his team around Benteke and that if his transfer is settled too late in the window he won't be able to replace him. I'm sure he'd like the certainty one way or another and that sort of transfer fee would be good from his perspective.

  21. First thing to remember we're actually only two weeks in to the transfer window- it just seems to have been going on a long time because we signed so many players in advance of the window.
    I think we're looking to buy Benteke but want Villa to lower the asking price and have been playing a waiting game which is why we haven't signed a first choice striker yet. The difficulty is that now they know we have so much money for Sterling they very probably won't accept anything less than the release clause so if Benteke is the player we absolutely want we should just bite the bullet and pay the release clause. If we end up not signing a prolific striker this transfer window because of dilly-dallying then it'll cost us a lot more than the 5million-10million difference in our valuation of Benteke compared to that of Villa. Getting a prolific striker through the door is just too important for us to miss out on because of penny-pinching. With a prolific striker in our ranks last season we would certainly be in this year's Champions League rather than the Europa Cup. Lets not repeat the mistake.
    Other buys may have to wait until we generate more in player sales.

  22. I voted no. He's a great player, and prior to Milner and Firmino I'd be all for it, even at 20M. But now our midfield is too crowded as it is. Can is much better of a fit than Kovacic is (as a b2b anyway) and we have Coutinho and Firmino at AM. Hendo is el capitan and Milner seems to be guaranteed playing time to an extent. The only area we might need to upgrade/reinforce is DM, and Kovacic can't play that. He might be able to fill a role if Allen was sold, but even then, I don't think he would get the time needed to reach his potential or really be all that necessary.

  23. Very measured replies bro... As always...
    ..you won't find me arguing against your point of view, rather more along side it..
    .. You know how it is said one painting is viewed so differently by so many people; but the painting is still the painting, there are so many ways of liking at the same situation. Agreed on sheer wood and the absolute need for a striker; the want ov which dearly cost us last year,,problem is ice I've become rather cynical..just with the rhetoric coming from BR, who I like by the way, feels to me we not dipping back in the market; I hope I'm wrong...

  24. Bloody autocorrect...8-/

  25. I'd VERY surprised if we didn't bring in a striker and I think that striker will be Benteke. The Benteke rumours are different than a lot of rumours. The Mario Gomez for Mario Balotelli one might simply be journalists having fun playing with the idea of two players called Mario swapping clubs. The Fernando Llorente one is probably his agent trying to suggest people are interested in his player- likewise the Javier Hernandez one. But what causes me to put more store in the Benteke contact is that the suggestion Liverpool are interested has been coming consistently from his current manager. I'm not sure what Sherwood would gain from suggesting that Liverpool were after his player if it's not true.

    Benteke for me represents an upgrade on all of our other strikers with the exception of Sturridge. Obviously, like many, I'd prefer to see us going for Lacazette or Higuain but whilst I think we might have made initial inquiries for the former the link has never seemed very strong. It is absolutely vital, as we both agree, that we do get in a player capable of getting 15-20 goals per season in addition to Sturridge's goals. I have no doubt Benteke could do that for us.

    What seems less clear to me is whether we'd also look to bring in a player on the wing to replace Sterling- it is possible Firmino, Ibe, Coutinho, Markovic and Lallana will be considered sufficient cover for those attacking midfield and winger positions, especially since bringing in Benteke would probably mean playing two up top. I think we'll only get a Defensive Midfielder if Lucas (or less likely Allen) is sold. Whether we try to get cover for left back will depend a lot on Jon Flanagan's fitness as he, although a right-back by training, might be seen as the best cover for that position.

  26. You can edit your post once you've put it up you know, if auto-correct has done you a disservice.

  27. Theycallmemrburt3:55 am, July 15, 2015

    How on earth did we get £49 mill for lil ol' Raheem. I for one wont be booing him when he comes back I'll be thanking him. He has cost a million away from Torres! our golden boot winning, world cup winning, Euro championship winning number 9.

    The Sterling transfer Lock Stock Syleeeeeeeee

    Pelligrini the Greek: Dunno Ian. Seems expensive.

    Ian ayre: Seems? Well, this seems to be a waste of my time. That is 60mil in any club you're lucky enough to find one in. And you're complaining about 50mil? What school of finance did you study? "It's a deal, it's a steal, it's the sale of the fucking century!" In fact, fuck it pelli, I think I'll keep him!

    Pelligini the Greek: All right all right, keep your Alans on!

    [Peels off notes from his wad]

    pelligrini the Greek: Here's 35mill.

    Ian Ayre, Warner: Jesus Christ!

    Warner: You could choke a dozen donkeys on that! And you're haggling over 15mill? What d'you do when you're not buying players Pelli? Finance revolutions?

    Pelligrini the Greek: 35mil is still 35 mill.

    Ian Ayre: Not when the price is 50mill it's not! And certainly not when you've got Liberia's deficit in your skyrocket. Tighter than a duck's butt you are. Now, c'mon. Lemme feel the fibre of your fabric.

  28. Theycallmemrburt4:02 am, July 15, 2015

    I believe there are only three or four players that run as fast as this kid does with the ball in tight spaces. Hazard, Ronaldo, Messi and Bale

  29. who could ever replace the Welsh Xavi especially if he the managers love child......

  30. Yes... Creative and unbelievably strong on the ball

  31. It's not the amount but the payment terms that are the issue. They either need more from us up front at 14m or a bigger amount over a longer period to match our payment terms of less up front.

  32. Just as you say it's gone quiet on this transfer but it might be back on every other outlet (and their dog) carries an interview suggesting he is staying put

  33. A midfield group of Coutinho, Lallana, Allen, Milner, Henderson, Can (I believe Firmino will play up front) has a lot, but what it doesn't have is someone who looks like he was born to play on the left side of a midfield diamond in a 4-4-2. Allen and Milner would be the best fits there but we can do better.

    Same for our 4-3-3. We'd end up with either Coutinho or Ings in the left sided position and neither of them are really made for that role.

    Step forward Mateo Kovacic.

  34. ...its cool man, anyway i hate editing on a smartphone...

  35. ..can i ask you, haven't you been surprised by our buying committee i the last few years....?

    ..I certainly have - so following on, I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't buy a striker..sorry to disappoint.......

  36. B Rodgers needs to bring these two top class MOBILE DM and a world class CM this summer as we are over loaded with average centre midfielders ( Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner)

    Lars Bender Of Bayer Leverkusen should be brought for £16-£20M DM

    R Nainggollan Of Roma for £23-£30M WCM


  38. I do not get why we are so happy about selling sterling!
    We have lost a decent mach winner and mre thn that
    Lost all credbiliy in the market. We are offically a selling club.
    An now even when we do have the money, no decent player would want to come as
    It is very clear that we do not have any ambtion at all.

  39. You need a ''yes, regardless of the price'' for Stipe...

  40. He has some qualities, but a match winner? Really?
    And how about that Brazilian guy?