24 Apr 2016

Yes Please: Klopp keen to swap £45m Liverpool attacker for 'special' Argentina playmaker

Liverpool are reportedly considering an enticing summer swap deal involving Mario Balotelli, and long-time transfer target Lucas Biglia.

On Saturday, Sky Sports reported:

"Mario Balotelli could be used as a part of deal by Liverpool to sign Lucas Biglia from Lazio. Jurgen Klopp doesn't want him [Balotelli] and wants to insert Balotelli in the negotiation [for] Biglia".

Balotelli^ definitely wants out, and he confirmed this last week, when he told reporters:

"I want to stay at Milan. I do not want to return to Liverpool. I was never happy at Liverpool".

As for Biglia: Liverpool's reported interest goes back to the days of Rafa Benitez, but most recently:

* Nov 2015: La Gazetta Dello Sport claimed that Liverpool made an 'enticing offer' for Biglia.

* Mar 2016: UK reports claimed that Jurgen Klopp is planning a £25m move at the end of the season.

Some info about Biglia.

* 30-year old defensive midfielder, whose current contract expires in 2018.

* Anderlecht: 66 goals/assists in 287 games (One every 378 mins).

* Lazio: 23 goals/assists in 96 apps for Lazio (One every 331 mins)

* Jul 2013: Klopp reportedly tried to sign Biglia for Dortmund.

* Sep 2015: Lazio boss Stefano Pioli's assessment: "Biglia is a special player in terms of tactics, technique, and presence. He gives us something extra".

* 10 injuries in the last two seasons, including three separate injuries this season (14 games missed).

Over the last two seasons, Biglia has made practically the same number appearances as Lucas Leiva, which suggests that in fitness terms, he's not a significant upgrade on the Brazilian. On the attacking front, however, the Argentine is a clear upgrade on Lucas, and as Lazio's captain, he is a bona-fide leader, something that Liverpool desperately need.

It's doubtful that FSG will sanction anywhere close to £25m for a player with a suspect injury history who just turned 30, but as part of a swap deal (Balotelli + £12m, for example), the deal suddenly looks a lot more attractive.

Of course, this presupposes that Lazio actually want to sign Balotelli, and value him in the £10m-£12m range (unlikely given his career decline over the last year).

^ Worth £45m according to his Agent.

Author: Jaimie K


Post a Comment