Don’t sell to your rivals if you can help it. That’s just good sense when it comes to transfers. It certainly doesn’t always work out, but if you’re a smaller club set to lose your best player, it’s better to ship him out of the league than sell to a club you aspire to compete with.
And that’s the idea behind a report today out of Belgium that says 26-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach winger Thorgan Hazard, aka the other Hazard, is pushing to join league rivals Dortmund but that his club want him to leave the league for Liverpool instead.
According to Belgium’s Nieuwsblad, Dortmund have submitted a €42M bid for Hazard and the player wants the move done. Liverpool, though, are said to maintain an interest in the player and, should they firm it up, Monchengladbach would much rather sell to them.
However, it’s perhaps worth noting there’s been nothing from the Liverpool end of things to suggest the occasional, tenuous links with Hazard in recent months have anything to them. It’s also perhaps worth noting he’d be a bit of a head-scratcher if he was a target.
That’s not to say that Hazard, who has 12 goals and 11 assists this season at a rate of a goal involvement every 110 minutes is a poor player or not worth €42M in the current market. Because that’s quite obviously a very, very good return and he is a very good winger.
It’s easy to see why clubs up the food chain, be it in Germany or elsewhere, might want him. It’s just that at his age and price he makes little sense for a Liverpool expecting to keep their front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mané together next season.
Most expect that Liverpool will sign another forward this summer, but along with that the expectation is that he will be younger—a fourth player for three positions and one who might, in a season or two, grow into a replacement for one of the current front three.
Alternately, a veteran at a relative bargain happier to take on a rotation role could be an option. A big money signing for a player in his prime, on the other hand, doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Which makes one wonder if Liverpool are being used here.
It’s not uncommon for a selling club to float the name of a supposedly interested club in the press to try to drive up the price or push a buyer to firm up interest—to say, essentially, you’d best pay what we want now or we’ll sell the guy you want to some other club.
There’s a decent chance, then, that’s all there is to this story, that Liverpool aren’t especially interested in Monchengladbach’s Hazard and that their name is being used to get a little more money for a player who appears determined to join Dortmund.