Despite having resigned themselves to losing 19-year-old striker Jerome Sinclair when his contract ends this summer, Liverpool are determined to take the striker’s case to a tribunal in order to receive the fee they believe they are deserved for developing the player for the past five seasons.
According to The Liverpool Echo, the club believe that Sinclair will fetch them training compensation of at least £2M, and they plan on holding out for that. Given that various reports had Watford offering between £1.5-1.75M in January for Sinclair, though, it hardly seems an unbridgeable gap.
A slight compromise might even be preferable—if Liverpool could get the fee Watford previously offered along with a small sell-on fee clause, perhaps one in the 10-15% range, it is likely to raise the eventual, potential payoff above the £2M they are seeking without adding to the risk on Watford’s side.
However, despite what seems a quite small distance between the sides, there has been no sign of subsequent negotiations. This despite the fact that Sinclair is believed to have agreed a deal in principle that will see him move to Watford over the summer, where he will hope to get minutes as their third striker.
Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney, with 16 and 10 goals this season respectively, will make it difficult for Sinclair to aspire to more than that in the short term if Watford’s other striking options remain unchanged heading into next season. Sinclair joined Liverpool from West Brom as a 14-year-old in 2012.
He then went on to become the youngest player to make his senior debut for the Reds, coming off the bench in the 81st minute against his former club, West Brom, in the League Cup, only six days after his16th birthday. Since then, though, Sinclair has only made four further first team appearances.
Despite being spoken of for a time as one of the club’s brightest prospects, and despite the early debut, minutes have been hard to come by for Sinclair despite the club’s struggles at striker in recent seasons. As a result, the player took on Aidy Ward as his agent last summer and began agitating for a move.