With the advent of instantly available information through social media, the football ITK—or in-the-know—personality was always one that would proliferate. Having privileged insight has always been considered valuable, and there many who are excited by the chance to massively grow their social audience and to maybe find a way to monetize it.
In this environment, even just pretending to have privileged information can become a business model, and the internet is overflowing with shysters claiming to possess special insight into the goings-on within the walls of the world’s largest organisations—football clubs among them—hoping that their wild claims that go nowhere are quickly forgotten while the odd guess that comes to fruition is what’s remembered.
Developing a sense for which outlets are and aren’t reliable is an important skill to develop for fans who wish to not go utterly insane during the transfer window,then. Club-connected journalists are generally a safe bet but will rarely reveal anything to the public unless it has been approved by the organisation for fear of losing their access. So for the very steamiest rumours, supporters must venture outside the comforts of the Echo.
Mootaz Chehade is hailed as a reliable journalist. And the VAVEL employee told Twitter on Wednesday that Nabil Fekir’s highly publicised prospective move to Merseyside is a “done deal,” having three weeks previous reported on discussions taking place between the clubs.
Nabil Fekir to Liverpool is a done deal. Announcement expected in the upcoming days.— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) May 30, 2018
That’s all very promising, then. It’s also not exactly a fiery hot take, as many outlets—and even more ITKs—have produced similar statements in recent days, and with so many suggesting a Fekir deal is all but done the general consensus seems to be the Frenchman will be plying his trade at Anfield next season.
So, can Chehade be trusted? Does he possess inside knowledge of this deal and should he be added to the list of reliable outlets for the future, or has he simply played the odds and positioned himself on what looks to be the right side of this particular story ahead of official confirmation? Was he right about Emre Can, or did he employ a similar strategy there?
Time will tell. For now, it one more morsel—a temptingly, possibly reliable one—to add to the ever growing chorus of voices indicating Fekir’s Anfield move isn’t just likely now, it’s imminent. And if it isn’t, we’ll all have to try to remember a few more ITK-types to never trust again.