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Rumor Mongering: Subotic Looking for First Team Football

Neven Subotic, the 27 year old center back on Dortmund's books, is tired of coming off the bench for Thomas Tuchel, per his agent, and given Klopp managed the entering-his-prime Serbian at Mainz and subsequently brought him to Dortmund, some outlets are floating the idea Liverpool may bring him in.

This author would still take a punt on Berba. Don't lie, you would too.
This author would still take a punt on Berba. Don't lie, you would too.
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Caveat: classify this one in "your transfer rumor may? be shit."

Reports from a source not to be named via the Daily Star,* implicitly posit Liverpool as the most likely destination for the unhappy center back. The only reasons said page-filler / clickbait receives this author's attention is: (a) Subotic's agent, rather than whisper through back channels, told Der Westen, "[c]urrently it does not look like he will get more game time in the upcoming season. But he absolutely wants to play, and [he] does not want to earn his money on the bench. We are currently scouting the market."

Strong but understandable words after Subotic featured only 11 times - three of those off the bench - for Tuchel's side this season (though he was out from April 1, 2016 until season's end). The still young-for-a-center-back is under contract until the end of the 2018 season, having signed his second and last contract extension at the close of the 2015 season.

Klopp coached the player at Mainz, then promptly brought him into Dortmund after taking over that job in the summer of 2008: in fact, Subotic was signed on June 4th of that summer. Subotic was a mainstay the next five seasons, before tearing his ACL in November 2013. However, he returned May 2014 (6 months!) and ripped off 40 appearances the following campaign, which proved to be Klopp's last. Notwithstanding Klopp's departure, the classy club offered Subotic another contract in May 2015, which he signed, only to find himself outside Tuchel's circle of trust.

What makes this rumor slightly more interesting than most is the direct statements of the agent and the fact Liverpool are still awaiting confirmation from UEFA on Sakho's final hearing date. While all signs and rational interpretation thereof point to Sakho being cleared, UEFA and the rest of football's governing bodies are not known for their impartiality and deductive reasoning, let alone demonstrable evidence that they are animated by any impulse but the bottom line.

Klopp's history with the player and Subotic's discontent could make this a fallback in the event another, less impressive CB cannot be secured. He was a key cog in Dortmund's back-to-back title winning sides, and also a part of the second place side that made the Champions League final. Whether Tuchel knows something we do not is not something to be worried about given Klopp's knowledge of the player. Whether Tuchel will want to bring him back in the fold given the departure of Hummels is belied by the agent's comments.

This is some pure silly season at its best, rather than most absurd. An agent actively soliciting suitors. A player on the fringe of the first team yet entering his prime years. What say you, Reds? Even the reports admit no inquiries have been made and make no effort to float a value for the player. Some outlets rate him at £11mm. Given he has one year left on his contract, Dick Advocaat iced him out of the national squad (which, what were you thinking hiring Advocaat, Serbia?), and the current manager, Slavoljub Muslin, has not deigned to recall Subotic, perhaps there is a discount on his ostensible value to be had.

We eagerly await James Pearce's affirmative refutation of this rumor. If he does not in the next week or so, there could be some plotting of backup plans, which would be a nice change from punts on Balotelli as the window closes.

*Said rags shall not be dignified with italics.