Well, that didn’t take long. Hours after ESPN reported, based on sources with ties to the player, that Liverpool could be targeting Bournemouth’s promising 21-year-old midfielder Lewis Cook to replace Emre Can this summer, the club have come out to throw cold water on the rumour.
By way of The Liverpool Echo, Liverpool have signalled they do not have Cook on their lists as a potential summer target—and in truth, this always seemed the likeliest outcome, and the source of ESPN’s report rather than granting it legitimacy always signalled its unlikeliness.
When transfer rumours leak, it’s always helpful to look at where they might be coming from and what broader purpose they might serve. In this case, it was a rumour linking a player clearly not ready to contribute at Liverpool in a major role despite that he does have clear promise.
Add in that it was explicitly stated the rumour came from the player’s people and it was clear—Cook, who has 17 starts so far this season and a pair of assists playing largely as a holding midfielder, was trying to secure himself a bigger role at Bournemouth or an improved contract.
It seemed an almost laughably transparent rumour from the get-go, and Liverpool have now sought to confirm as much by briefing the local paper of record on the matter. And for the fans, it’s a solid lesson in reading the transfer tea leaves for when summer draws near.