With Liverpool's hopes of finishing in a European place done and eyes already beginning to turn towards next season and a hoped-for return to the top four and Champions League action, it can be easy at times to forget there are still six matches remaining in the season.
Throw in the already incessant drumming of specious rumours and hopeful speculations and it gets even more difficult. And the latest developments on that front have Ajax's flashy 21-year-old attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen revealing the asking price his current club has placed on him.
"I read that my price would be €20m," Eriksen told Dutch paper Het Parool yesterday. "That is a lot, yes, but I will leave it to the clubs [involved]."
If true, and if earlier reports out of Ajax that Liverpool are tracking the player were similarly honest, it should give Liverpool pause. With only a year remaining on his contract, €20M—or roughly £17M—is a very steep fee for a player who has yet to impress outside of the Eredivise and remains more potential than proven.
Eriksen may be a highly promising prospect, but after the club signed Philippe Coutinho for half that amount in January it would seem a step in the wrong direction to commit what would likely account to the bulk of the summer's budget on an unproven flair player at a position of relative depth.
If there are no bidders at €20M, of course, Ajax will be forced to drop their asking price or risk losing the attacking midfielder for nothing next year. At that stage, Eriksen might again become an appealing target from a Liverpool point of view.
At the asking price, though, Liverpool will clearly have other priorities to worry about first—particularly in defence. One might even say that to throw so much at Eriksen would amount to buying a rather fancy, ornamental lamp without then having the funds to purchase a table to set it on.