With €45m being the going rate for transfer rumours these days, it seems nearly unthinkable a player would be linked to a club without the source slapping some sort of price tag on it. A number draws eyes and gives a frivolous rumour a sense of weight, giving punters something to grab onto and discuss. Yet here we are, as Fiorentina's Josip Ilicic is linked with a move to the Premier League, supposedly chased by Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham for some vague sum of Euros.
At first glance, Ilicic can look like kind of a good fit. He just came off a very productive season for the Viola, scoring or assisting every 101 minutes in the Serie A, probably won't cost a fortune, is left-footed, and at 6'3", fits the profile of big players Klopp seems to want to bring in. As we take a quick glance beyond the numbers, though, a few issues appear. First, his goal return this season seems to mainly be caused by his assuming penalty duty for Fiorentina, as 7 of his 13 league goals were penalties. Take away penalty goals, and his average over the past 3 years is a non-penalty goal or assist every 182 minutes, which is middle of the road stuff. Furthermore, at 28, the Slovenian is unlikely to see massive improvements in his game, so what you see is what you get. And what we're seeing is a player that - despite no major injury troubles - has only managed to start an average of 18 league matches a year over the past three seasons for a side that has finished 4th, 4th and 5th in a league that traditionally doesn't translate well to the English game.
The attacking midfielder having previously been connected to the tenuous player exchange/loan deal rumour of Mario Balotelli a few weeks ago is another red flag, as anything player exchange related is probably always nonsense. So. This one is probably not happening, but have a gander anyway, I guess.