Reports from journalists with ties to Aston Villa have suggested that, having failed in their attempts to bring Rickie Lambert in on loan, the struggling West Midlands club had escalated their efforts and were trying to land him on a permanent deal. Initial reports suggested the Villans were willing to pay up to £5M to convince Liverpool to sell.
Now, from the Liverpool end, comes word that while they were unwilling to consider a loan, Brendan Rodgers side would at least entertain a permanent departure for Lambert for the right price. According to the Times’ Tony Barret, that right price just so happens to be right around £5M, putting it square in line with the offer Aston Villa were rumoured to be preparing to make.
Liverpool would be looking for a bid of around £5m from Aston Villa in order to consider selling Rickie Lambert.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) February 2, 2015
Payment schedules, base fees and escalators, and any number of other issues could put a lot of space between the £5M Liverpool want and the £5M Villa are reportedly willing to offer, but as things stand it would not be surprising were Lambert to end the day an Aston Villa player. Whether Liverpool would look to—or be able to—bring in a replacement for him is not yet known.
For the player, such a departure would mark the end of what would have to go down as a short and less than satisfying return to his boyhood club, but with the return of Daniel Sturridge and Lambert’s struggles to impress in his absence, his minutes are likely to be limited the rest of the way this season.