According to reports in the Telegraph and others, 19-year-old Liverpool striker Jerome Sinclair has informed the club he is determined to leave and asked for a deal to be done before the end of the January transfer window closes. This comes alongside rumours that Watford will again enter into formal negotiations for the player this week.
Yesterday, there were suggestions that Watford’s owners might have one of their continental clubs—either Granada or Udinese—sign Sinclair on a free this summer before loaning him back to England. Doing so would avoid paying out FA mandated compensation and seemed a clear threat to Liverpool to cut a deal now or lose Sinclair for next to nothing.
For their part, Liverpool are believed to have told Watford that they would only sell Sinclair for £3M when they inquired about him earlier in the month. It’s a fee close to what Liverpool believe they would be awarded by arbitration should Sinclair see out his current deal and move to another English club over the summer. Watford felt it was too high.
Their response appears to have been to leak stories about Granada or Udinese buying Sinclair. On paper it might seem an easy loophole for owners of more than one club to exploit, but one can’t imagine the FA, UEFA, or any of the other leagues involved looking kindly on such activity, and it’s far from clear if Watford would actually have gone through with it.
Perhaps it's not surprising, then, they now appear to be returning to the negotiating table—while Sinclair does his part by agitating for a move. Liverpool want £3M. Watford want to pay less than that. Sinclair wants out. They have a little less than a week left to agree a compromise.