Liverpool today find themselves caught up in two very public transfer sagas. One involves a Brazilian rated as a €50M player by his current club. That saga, and the club’s attempts to sign Shakhtar Donetsk’s star 26-year-old attacker Alex Teixeira, certainly qualify as a major transfer story and worthy of all the excitement that surrounds it.
The other, involving Liverpool’s attempts to get £3M out of Watford for the sale of a 19-year-old prospect who has made a total of four first team appearances for the club, does not. Despite that, there’s been almost as much Jerome Sinclair news to wade through over the past few days as their has been Teixeira news. And this morning there’s a little bit more still.
"Sinclair is the kind of player I’d like for Watford," said Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores today when asked about reports of interest in Sinclair, displaying a willingness to talk about a transfer target that one doesn’t often see—and that will either be refreshing or annoying depending on who one asks. "He has the qualities we need. He has the skill to come here."
Liverpool asked for £3M for Sinclair when Flores came calling early in the transfer window only for Watford to baulk at the asking price for a young player who will be out of contract in the summer. The Reds, though, are convinced that £3M represents the fee they could expect to receive in arbitration as training compensation if Sinclair signs elsewhere.
Watford’s response was to leak stories suggesting that either Granada or Udinese—two clubs owned by the same family that own Watford—could sign Sinclair and then loan him to Watford. The FA’s mechanism for compensating clubs who lose young talent wouldn’t apply in that case, meaning Liverpool would receive next to nothing if that happened.
Yesterday, things got even more complicated with reports Sinclair had asked the club to let him go this month and that Watford would return to the negotiating table. All of which seems an awfully big mess of a saga for what at the end of the day is the proposed transfer of a 19-year-old prospect who has made a total of four first team appearances for Liverpool.
And that was before Flores decided to make Watford’s interest in Sinclair public.