Reports fresh off the press have Liverpool breaking their vow of transfer poverty for the month and launching a bid to buy a new, young striker in Burnley front man Danny Ings... then loan him back to Burnley for the rest of the year.
According to the Express, Liverpool want to make sure that they get Ings before anyone else has a chance to get their hands on the soon-to-be out of contract forward. The dilemma, though, is that Burnley absolutely don't want to lose him for the rest of the season, apparently even if that means losing him on a free transfer in the summer. To get around this problem, Liverpool are willing to purchase Ings now and loan him back to Burnley for the rest of the season to help them secure their place in the Premier League for next year.
While the report doesn't indicate what sort of fee Liverpool would pay for Ings, they would presumably be parting with something similar to the £3 million that Burnley would receive if he signs with an English club on a free contract as a "development fee." Of course, if Ings signs a pre-contract deal with a club outside of England, that fee would be much, much lower, so Burnley might find this arrangement preferable with Spanish side Real Sociedad reportedly very interested in Ings as well.
This move is extremely bizarre for Liverpool, not just for the sign-and-loan aspect of it. With Daniel Sturridge in the squad and Divock Origi coming back from loan in the summer, it's hard to see a concrete, regular role for Ings in Liverpool's side next season. That's even before considering that each of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, and Fabio Borini are all still under contract for next season, though all currently seem to be on their way out - even if finding a suitor for Balotelli who can pay his wages will be difficult.
While moving to a club fighting for Champions League places would certainly be attractive to Ings, who has been linked with a Liverpool move off-and-on for a year now, you'd have to think that he'd prefer to be something more than the third striker, at best, in a side that typically plays with just one up top. The entire deal is just weird from start to finish, especially considering that he'd be far more useful to Liverpool for the next four months than he'd be next season, but won't actually be in the side until the summer.
Apparently no one has told Ian Ayre that he's got the phrase "I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a striker today" backwards.