Or woman. Or other sentient being. Or plant for that matter.
Today, if reports from reputable sources are to be believed, Liverpool CHOSE not to pursue a proven Champions League performer and marquee target Willian, the Brazilian who was prepared to forego Champions League football and possibly a large wage packet to escape the Russian footballing experience, one that by all reports is a pretty scarring experience for those not endowed with fair skin.
Yes, by all accounts Russia can be a nasty place to ply your trade if you're gay or not white skinned. So given all these factors why did Liverpool choose not to match Spurs' reported bid of £30m for the player, choosing instead to remain at £25m. Sure, there's a chance that the player may have insisted on coming to Liverpool, but why leave it to chance and not match the asking price? Why stop at £25m and not £30m?
Does it mean something? Is there a price ceiling for us in the market regardless of the player? Is it sensible money management perhaps with further rough diamonds to be found in the long grass rendering such expenditure unnecessary.
Or was it a wasted opportunity with possibly serious consequences? After all, how often do you get to attract Champions League proven quality to a club that has none? Does £30m give you a reasonable choice of such players on an annual basis?
I would contend that such players do NOT come about very often, not with proven CL quality and experience and willing to step out of CL football. Infact I'd say it was a freak occurrence.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But there is a further issue I have with FSG's decision not to commit to the £30m transfer fee, and that is how it impacts our further development after this season when Suarez is 99% sure to leave the club, assuming he doesn't leave before then. Do we expect Aspas to take his place in goal getting and Borini to finally step up? Or do we expect to unearth the next goal scoring phenomenon content to come to a non-CL club, a fate almost certain with Daniel Levy's current buying spree.
Further Daniel Sturridge, having only signed a 3.5 yr contract, is due for contract renegotiation and extension. A poor or injury hit season and we may not want to extend him. A storming season and he might alert CL suitors elsewhere. Only signing a 3.5 yr contract says lack of commitment to me. I'm keeping my options open once I've proven to the world that I can score goals.
So next summer we could be in the position of having to replace both of our goal scorers in one summer - as good scorers as we are likely to have at the club - and to do that in all likelihood without CL football. What are the chances of that going well?
And that is where the marquee signing, especially that of Willian to me is so important and the decision not to commit a further £5m to the transfer could be a critically flawed one, assuming that would have given us a fighting chance of recruiting the player.
His quality could have easily pushed our performances up another level exactly as Coutinho has, resulted in those extra goals Downing couldn't create and given us a fighting chance of top 4. His quality, along with Coutinho could have convinced a firing Danny Sturridge to stick around after next summer. It might have gone some way to attracting a Suarez replacement and you would think his quality would be pretty much an absolute necessity for actually achieving top 4 along with other key personnel.
Conversely a meek challenge for top 4 this season might see us lose both Danny and Luis and deter other targets next summer as we seek to replace and improve. We already have a challenge replacing Luis next year.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hence CHOOSING not to match the £30m fee for the player could prove to be a wasted opportunity in more ways than one. It may dictate that we continue to fail to attract the calibre of players that we seemed to be going for but not finalising this window, and become established in that vein.
It also puts a pretty clear ceiling on the price we are willing to pay for a player. Is it an absolute ceiling? Are players going to get cheaper perhaps, or will the next Mkhitohoashn be ours for a mere £21m.
The end result is that the team's league table improvement will require a great deal more patience from the fans to see us progress to Champions League football. A great deal more. At what point are FSG prepared to put over £25m on the table for a player. Perhaps never as it would seem strange to pass on this opportunity in my eyes.
In which case patience is the key for fans under this period of Liverpool's ownership. Not just for this season but possibly many seasons beyond.
Unless of course we find several more Li'l Phils and Danny Sturridges in that long grass. And not too many of our stars have left in the meantime.
I can't see the future, the grass is just too long here. And I don't like it when I can't see where we are going.