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Stoke Met Fee for Oussama Assaidi

Stoke City's chairman Peter Coates has some interesting revelations for those wondering why Liverpool's Moroccan winger didn't join Mark Hughes' troops.

Mark Thompson

Oussama Assaidi is a player who many Liverpool fans assumed would be on his way sometime in the transfer window and when Stoke City finally bid for the player, it was believed that negotiations would eventually come to a successful conclusion. "Ozzie" as Mark Hughes likes to call him would continue to play at a club where he was getting regular football and adulation from the crowd, Stoke City would get a technical and tricky wide player who produced good performances last season, and Liverpool would make a decent profit from a sale of a player who was cheaply acquired in Brendan Rodgers' first transfer window.

Unfortunately, this has not come to pass. Assaidi hasn't made an appearance for Liverpool in preseason and is clearly not in the manager's plans. A deal for the winger has broken down and it is unknown where the next bid will come from. Earlier in the month, Mark Hughes confirmed the deal had "gone cold" after much debate between the two clubs on an appropriate fee for the player. Now Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has spoken on a couple of failed transfer negotiations in the wake of Victor Moses, last season's Liverpool loan "star", turning up at the Potteries with a backpack and visitor's pass until next summer.

We also met Liverpool's asking price on Assaidi. That deal fell down on personal terms. Moses has then come along and so now we have got a different sort of deal. I'm satisfied with what we have done this summer. I believe we have had a good close season. We are simply doing things the way things are being increasingly done these days with players going out of contract.

Assaidi and his team may have their own story to tell on this. Indeed, there may be valid reasons for failing to agree a transfer to Stoke but  Assaidi turned 26 five days ago. He found form and a place in a middling club in the English Premier League that should not be in any danger of relegation. If he continued to show the form he did last season, an improvement in terms could be offered in a year or perhaps 18 months' time. Maybe a club like Southampton, Newcastle, or Everton could take him on in the future.

Now he's left at Liverpool with no place in the squad and seemingly no takers in the market. There may be movement in the time left in the transfer window and even if Liverpool get a similar fee to the one Stoke offered for Assaidi, it appears that this may be an opportunity missed for a player who is quite likeable in terms of his character and approach to the game.

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