I'm always filled with the worst kind of angst-ridden foreboding at the end of the football season. As an obsessive, I fret endlessly about things I cannot control, like the transfer machinations of Liverpool Football Club and I treat the long weeks of summer as enemies barring my path to the dubious nirvana of the campaign to come. Scandalously, I always fail to embrace the break away from the infatuation that consumes me for ten and a half months of the year, despite a cornucopia of delights in which I could and should indulge.
In the absence of my chosen drug, I mainline other sports voraciously. Rugby, tennis, golf and athletics are fine, in their own quaint ways, but one is always left somehow unfulfilled. Away from the business of competitive interaction, there are so many books to read and movies to finally watch. At a stretch, one could even countenance spending some time with one's family -- although, in a fragile mental state brought on by Coutinho-withdrawl, such gatherings of kin have invariably ended in tears for your correspondent. Nothing, it seems can fill the void created by the absence of football.
There's nothing else for it then but to indulge feverishly in the mindless fatuity of transfer speculation -- for if it is a choice between complete absence of Liverpool FC-related news and wallowing in flagrantly unsubstantiated gossip in relation to the club; well, I'm having me some of that tittle-tattle.
One of the few footballing giants to have a more celebrated and spoken-about academy than that of Liverpool's is Barcelona and some fans will be inordinately excited by the news that a deal is apparently close between the two clubs for sixteen year old Sergio Canos. The La Masia product is highly regarded by his club but it would appear that Liverpool have cynically set about exploiting the arrangements the Spanish champions have in place with regards to contracts.
Some of the more easily impressed amongst us are inclined to be thrilled at the merest mention of a link with the Catalan club, indulgently basking in it's reflected glory. Such a mindset has always made me rather queasy. Although our recent history is hardly glittering, fans of the five-times European champions should never fetishise another club, for Liverpool Football Club will never stand in the shadow of any other.
At any rate, Canos and his family have, according to the newspaper Mundo Deportivo, met with club officials to arrange his transfer to Merseyside. The law in Spain prevents Barcelona from offering players professional contracts until they reach eighteen years of age. By contrast, in England the age limit is seventeen. The champions of Spain can offer Canos and his ilk a training wage which reportedly peaks at 18 thousand euros per annum. Needless to say, the money on offer at Liverpool would dwarf that amount.
Canos has netted 15 times in 13 league appearances this season for Barca's youth side and has represented his country successfully at U15 level. Whereas the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique have previously made the switch to England with some aplomb, others have struggled. Liverpool's own Dani Pacheco is an example of a much-lauded La Masia kid who has singularly failed to make an impression in the Premier League.
The move for Canos is just the first of an inevitable slew of done deals which will torment and amuse fans over the coming weeks and the sanity of those of us who care that little bit too much will be sorely strained as we try to deduce the truth via the equivocating fiend that is the internet. So, hold on to your hats. It's not much but it's better than finally reading Ayn Rand or picnics with the in-laws.