3 Aug 2016

Deal Agreed: 'Amazing' €16m attacker who's talked with Klopp 'since January' close to signing for Napoli. Liverpool Loss?

Two weeks ago, Piotr Zielinski's agent confirmed that Liverpool 'have been tracking the player for months', but despite the feverish LFC speculation this summer, it looks like this particular transfer saga is finally drawing to a close.

There is ample evidence to prove that Liverpool want Zielinksi. For example:

* July 2016: Napoli Chief Aurelio De Laurentis confirmed that the Zielinski^ 'wants to join Liverpool', and further insisted: “Liverpool have made a bid and Zielinski wants to join them [Liverpool]”.

* July 2016: Udinese President Fabrizio Corsi told Radio Kiss Kiss: “Klopp has been talking to [Zielinski] since January".

Now, according to reports today:

* Napoli have reached a €16m agreement with Udinese to sign Zielinski.

* The allegedly 'amazing' Zielinski is scheduled to have a medical at Napoli tomorrow.

So, let's get this straight: Liverpool have been tracking Zielinski 'for months'; Klopp has been talking to Zielinksi - who wants a move to Anfield - since January, and the club put in an official offer. In transfer terms, this is the perfect storm, so why has the deal seemingly failed?

For me, the answer is obvious: Klopp - with his fabled ability to attract players - simply failed to persuade Zielinski to sign for Liverpool. Napoli - with the carrot of Champions League football - is a far more attractive option, and it's hard to blame the Pole for (seemingly) rejecting Anfield.

It could also be about money, but based on historical wage trends, and current wage bills, Premier League salaries dwarf those on offer in Serie A. For example, Liverpool's current wage bill (Last published accounts) is £152m, which is significantly higher than Napoli's comparatively meager £61m salary spend. As such, it's highly unlikely that Napoli are able to offer higher salaries than Liverpool.

That said, I'm not fussed either way. Zielinski is not (IMO) an upgrade on the club's current attacking players, and if Liverpool are to progress from 8th place mediocrity, then better (and more prolific) players are required.


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