Liverpool’s transfer position is clear but the ‘desperate’ situation of 20 million euros may change it

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All signs suggest that Liverpool will not spend big this summer.But behind-the-scenes work in the club’s world-renowned recruitment department will be more intensive than ever.

This is the opinion of one of the journalists who knows the club best, David Maddock.

The Daily Mirror’s northern football correspondent has been covering the Reds for almost 30 years.

And he believes Michael Edwards and Co will be drilling down on potential signatures as they wait to see if and when market conditions improve.

Liverpool have been heavily tipped to make a move for RB Leipzig’s 52 million euro valued striker Timo Werner after finishing the Premier League title.

But all plans to follow up on their interest were put aside after the financial problems caused by the coronavirus crisis became clear – paving the way for Chelsea, flushing with money after selling Eden Hazard and agreeing to sell Alvaro Morata, signing the German international.

Maddock goes into some details about these financial problems in a special Blood Red podcast with the Liverpool ECHO.

But if he believes the Reds are unable to pay the money required for Werner and all the associated costs that come with such a deal, there is no doubt that they will have plans in place for when the time comes to spend again.

And he confirmed that one of the names envisaged by the world and European champions is the Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.

The France under-21 international is reportedly ranked in the 50 million euro bracket by Lyon, furious at the French government’s decision to suspend professional sport until September.

Listen to the special Blood Red podcast with David Maddock by clicking HERE

This assessment would apparently prohibit Liverpool from making a gesture for a player they have long coveted, according to Maddock.

But he also believes the Reds might have a question to answer if, out of financial necessity, Lyon lowers the price of Aouar before football in France is allowed to return.

“Recruitment doesn’t really stop and in many ways the analysis and follow-up that Liverpool does with the players will develop now because it’s even more important to do your homework,” Maddock said.

“It will be a matter of looking for and finding players in the right age group, which you can bring an extra quality to the team without necessarily having to go out and pay the premium they did, for example, for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.



Olympique Lyonnais’ Houssem Aouar controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 between Juventus at the Olympic Park

“You have to find players who are below that bonus, like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who actually cost a lot of money at the time, but ended up being incredible bargains.

“When Liverpool are looking even more now, and they will intensify it even more, because they don’t know what the future is. It’s so vital not to spend massive amounts of money on signatures – and Aouar is a very good example.

“They followed him, there is absolutely no doubt, since before he made his debut in the Lyon first team. He has been involved in youth-level tournaments where Liverpool have become aware of him. And I think Liverpool will continue to follow him.

“Now I say it is unlikely that he will leave this summer. I think Lyon would have sold it this summer under normal circumstances but the market has fallen for everyone. Lyon can no longer afford to buy players unless they sell, but they cannot sell because their players are not worth as much in this current market as they were a few months ago.

“They would realistically like to get the best 50-60m euro game for him, which they’re not going to. What are they doing?

“I noticed that their owner was crazy and threatened to sue the French league for closing when they didn’t necessarily have to, as Germany, England, Spain and Italy proved, and he threatens to sue because of the loss of income. That’s how desperate things are in French football. What’s he doing?

“Maybe the only income he can get is by selling players. But then again, the market has fallen. Maybe next summer the market is back, fans are back, there is a vaccine against coronavirus, and everything is back to normal, and you can suddenly ask for pre-coronavirus prices again. But it’s a real dilemma.

“Now, if he says, ‘I have no choice but to sell, even that means selling Aouar for 20 million euros’, then I think clubs like Liverpool will go, ‘even 20 million euros is a risk when we don’t know what the future is, but it’s not a big risk, because it’s quite young, it’s still only 21 , we could sell it and make a profit’

“I would be reluctant to say Liverpool won’t make any signings in this current market because you never know, and it could be that some players become available at knockdown prices because their clubs are in such a financial problem, and Lyon might well be, but for now I think they will try to get as much as possible.”

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The same goes for kai Havertz, the rising star of Bayer Leverkusen, who is another player that the Reds said was interesting.

Maddock said: “They are talking about 120 million euros, 110 million euros, 100 million euros 90 million euros for Havertz – and I just think it’s totally unrealistic for any club in the current market. So is Leverkusen holding on? I think it’s more likely that they don’t cling to it for a year because German football is back to playing and at least there’s some income.

“Liverpool have certainly followed him, too, for many years, and would be interested in him, but certainly not at 90m euros in this market.

“Maybe Liverpool will hold the fire and see where they are next summer and see if they can try to sign someone like him and Aouar.”

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