Fan grumbles about Liverpool’s lack of a so-called marquee signing this summer have mostly faded thanks to the impressive performances of Sadio Mané in the early stages of the 2016-17 season, but for the people still clamouring for the club to spend big on a big name, rumour mongers in Spain are doing what they can for you.
Today, Mundo Deportivo has decided to link Liverpool with a move for Real Madrid’s 25-year-old superstar of a flop, James Rodriguez, who has been judged to have failed to live up to his €80M transfer fee in two seasons at the Bernabeu. For most, 25 goals and 28 assists in 80 games would be a phenomenal return for any player.
Real Madrid, though, is different. For Real Madrid, that he hasn’t matched the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo means it’s time to find themselves the next bright and shiny attacking bauble and toss the last one on the trash heap somewhere; send him to some club in England or Italy or Germany. Cost, though, could be a problem.
Mundo Deportivo claim Liverpool have been in contact with Madrid and expressed their interest, but that Madrid’s transfer demands would be difficult for Liverpool to match—though with roughly £75M in the budget to spend should they want, it might well be that willingness more than ability would be the issue here.
If Madrid wanted to recoup their outlay on Rodriguez, Liverpool could afford to do that. But Rodriguez plays at what is likely the only position at the club that nobody thinks they need another player in at, and €80M—or roughly £68M—would be a steep price to pay for a player you don’t need, no matter how talented he might be.
So, in the end, what do we have? A big name. A really, really big name. A marquee signing by any measure. And also a deal that it’s difficult to imagine will ever get further than Liverpool ringing up Madrid to ask how much he’d cost this summer and do they just want to sell or have they reached the stage where they have to.
As it appears that Madrid are only at the want stage, and as it’s not at a position of need for Liverpool, it seems safe to consign this rumour to the waste bin of rumours that are never going to happen. It’s next to the one Madrid send their flop superstars to each summer as they rotate to the next bright shiny young thing.