Late on Tuesday it emerged that the largest obstacle to completing the transfer of Joe Allen to Liverpool may be that his contract, signed last summer after Swansea gained promotion, stipulates that any of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, or Liverpool may trigger his release for £15M. With Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins aware of both Brendan Rodgers' desire to reunite with the player and Allen's desire to reunite with his manager, the potential transfer has stalled as each club waits hoping the other will blink first.
For Swansea, there is a belief that with time Rodgers and Liverpool might give in and trigger Allen's release by paying the full £15M. For Liverpool, meanwhile, there is hope that Swansea will acquiesce to selling him for a fee closer to £10M to ensure they have time to line up a replacement before the start of the season. Further complicating matters is that Tottenham are also chasing the player, as was the case with the last Swans midfielder Liverpool seemed a lock for.
Neither club, though, appears willing to pay £15M, even if the mere presence of a second interested club will add to Swansea's belief they have the strongest position in any negotiation. With reports Liverpool is his preferred destination, however, it appears that unless Allen is swayed by London—or if Tottenham again offer much higher wages—his arrival at Liverpool is something of a growing formality, with the only questions left being how long it will take for either Liverpool to give in to Swansea's demands or Swansea to lower their valuation.