Liverpool want Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis at Anfield. Jamal Lewis in turn is said to feel similarly about joining the Premier League champions. However, while the Reds are willing to part with £10m, the recently-relegated Canaries are holding out for double, with Liverpool reportedly calling “every day” but yet to table a formal offer.
Wading into the debate is newly-named Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough, who has urged his countryman to seize the opportunity to play for Jürgen Klopp. It is a welcome roll out of that time-tested strategy in which an international coach, possessing about the same amount of influence on negotiations as a club kit man, chips in on the transfer pressure campaign.
“As a player, I’d be saying ‘Where’s the contract, I want to sign it’,” Baraclough said speaking of the 22-year-old to the The Irish News.
“Why wouldn’t you want to go to the European champions, the Premier League champions and the World Club champions?”
“Some people might say you won’t get as much game time, but if you’re training day in, day out, with Jürgen Klopp and the caliber of players he’d be working with, you’re going to improve as a player and it would take him to the next level.
“It would be up to him to knuckle down, if that move happens, and make sure he’s at the forefront of the manager’s thoughts.
“The amount of games they play, and the way they rotate players now, he’d certainly get game time and I certainly think it would bring him on as a player.”
While Baraclough’s does not formally manage his first game for Northern Ireland until September, he has had a close look at Lewis in their time together in the country’s under-21 set-up.
“He’s got all the attributes, he’s a level-headed kid and he’s one that wants to improve,” said Baraclough.
“You’ll find him in the gym before training and after training and he’s probably one of those kids, having worked with him for a little bit of time, you have to keep the reins on a bit so he doesn’t do too much.
It would seem that Michael Edwards and his posse of elite data analysts identifying targets are starting to become victims of their own success. Highway robberies known as the fees paid for diamonds in the rough such as Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané will have made clubs warier whenever the Reds inquired about one of their young talents.
With the Reds once again beginning to assert their dominance over Europe on both the trophy and the commercial fronts, supporters will probably need to grow accustomed to a new normal of drawn out transfer sagas.
Gotta pay the cost to be the boss.