Liverpool needed a new goalkeeper and of all the names potentially available for transfer this summer, one stood out clearly above all the rest: Alisson. The imposing, lightning-quick 25-year-old Roma and Brazil number one.
It would cost them a world record fee to get him, but Liverpool, boosted by their Premier League wealth, were willing to pay that to fill the biggest hole in a squad that made it to the Champions League final last season.
On the other side of the deal, though, are Roma and the Italian club’s fans. And no matter the size of the fee coming in, for them today there is hurt and concern as they watch their club sell off yet another key player.
“The negotiations are advanced and he’s over in Liverpool now,” Roma sporting director Monchi confirmed. “When a very substantial offer comes in, you have to consider it. We weighed up the pros and cons.
“Selling Alisson would not show a lack of ambition. For me, ambition is doing the right thing after thinking everything through [and] I came here to build a strong team, not just for one year but for many years to come.”
The message to Roma fans is clear—at the price Liverpool were willing to pay, Roma simply couldn’t justify holding on to Alisson—and the expectation now will be for them to re-invest that fee in multiple players.
Whoever comes in to replace Alisson may not be quite up to his level, but the Alisson fee will cover more than just his replacement and the net result will be a better team. Or at least that will be Monchi’s goal.
Liverpool fans, for their part, experienced similar when Barcelona paid a fee that was simply too high to turn down to acquire Philippe Coutinho—and the result of that sale was, in the end, a win for everyone.
The Reds can afford a record fee to bring in the best goalkeeper available in the market this summer. Roma can’t afford not to accept a record fee to sell him and will hope the result of it all is a net positive.
Everybody, in the end, wins. Or at least that’s the spin Monchi is trying to put on it for Roma’s fans, though in the moment it always hurts to lose a star—no matter how much is coming back for him.