Months ago, Liverpool fans were promised that this summer would see a lot of activity in the transfer window. Two days before the window slams shut, fans are still waiting to see this promised output. New players Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke, and Andrew Robertson have been welcome additions to the squad, as well as the promise of Naby Keïta next season, the same holes remain in the team which need filling if Liverpool hope to perform well in four competitions this season.
Well, it seems we’re in for a rollercoaster of a next 36 hours, as the club fights to get some key deals over the line. It’s said that the owners hope to spend as much as £150m by Thursday, which should come to no surprise to anyone following breathlessly along as new news continues to break.
Negotiations are ongoing to bring Thomas Lemar, currently in France with the national team, to Anfield for a fee reaching somewhere in the area of £75m, with some saying they would also include Divock Origi in the deal. The international break naturally makes things even trickier as they try to come to an agreement before France plays Holland on Thursday.
From the other side of the pitch in that match, though he isn’t in the squad taking on Les Bleus on Thursday, is the Holland international Virgil van Dijk. Van Dijk has been the story of Liverpool’s summer, and their love affair with the talented defender still continues deep into August. Southampton claim they’re refusing to sell, but Liverpool are hoping that a record-shattering bid of £75m+ will be enough to soften their stance.
Liverpool desperately need to strengthen in defense, and the club seems set on van Dijk being the only option to do so in this window. The will they/won’t they narrative seems to change by the hour, so we can only hold our breath and wait how the wind blows.
Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had his head properly turned by the prospect of playing at Anfield — the team’s performance on the weekend must have helped — and refused to agree to the contract that Arsenal and Chelsea negotiated, which was set to be for around £40m. Liverpool’s focus is on Lemar, but Oxlade-Chamberlain may be a back-up option.
Heck, why not just get ‘em all? It’s a party at Anfield, and everyone’s invited.
While the club seems intent to spend the money regardless of outgoing business, it does seem that there will be some done in the next two days. The biggest money is likely to come from the sale of Mamadou Sakho. The club seems sure they’ll manage to get £30m when he moves on, and he has plenty of suitors from the lower-half of the league.
Additionally, the club will likely also finally say good bye to Lazar Markovic, with Watford a likely destination. Out-of-favour striker Divock Origi might be loaned out or even moved on to make room in the squad, and there may yet be some loan moves for the Academy players as well.
Finally, rumours continue to swirl around the future of star Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who has been courted by Barcelona for the last six weeks. The manager and club execs remain firm that they have not budged on their refusal to sell, including some statements made on Twitter, but this is a rumour that will not die until September 1st.
In conclusion, good luck sleeping between now and midnight Thursday. It’s exciting times for Liverpool Football Club, and if they can manage to do the business they’re gunning for, we’re all going to have really good weekends.