On Saturday it appeared as though Liverpool would soon be set to confirm a transfer for young Sevilla forward Luis Alberto, who had spent last season on loan with Barcelona's B squad in the Spanish Second Division and attracted interest throughout the continent with a promising campaign. Today, though, we learn that reports over the weekend were a bit premature, and while Liverpool remain in pole position to secure Alberto's signature, it's going to take a bit more from the club financially to complete the deal.
Comments from Sevilla sporting director Monchi shed light on negotiations, which are ongoing but still not quite wrapped up:
"If there has been interest from Liverpool, we are not going to deny that. The numbers suggest that (Alberto) is leaving. The player has received an important offer, but at the moment he is a Sevilla player. The first offer the club has is very good, but we are not satisfied yet."
So it's essentially a matter of money at this point, whether it's up front or through bonuses and incentives, and it will be interesting to see how the club handle the deal from this point on. They have shown themselves to be increasingly bullish over the past few transfer windows; days of Damien Comolli kicking the door in with briefcases full of cash are long gone, and while there will be a few that Liverpool we either have to pay or go--Henrikh Mkhitaryan being the prime example this summer--the club aren't going to spend frivolously or be taken advantage of.
For a side that's looking to reassert themselves as a league and European power that's a difficult balance to strike, and the hope is that those in charge find a way to negotiate deals that don't leave the club without large sums of money and/or the type of talent that's going to push them forward. Luis Alberto seems a good enough example of this difficulty--promising but not yet proven, with an asking price that's going to be slightly higher than they would prefer.