Oussama Assaidi always seemed an awkward fit for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool. Purchased for a mere £3.5M early on in the new manager's tenure and finding himself on the fringes from nearly the moment he arrived, it was hard not to wonder if the Moroccan winger had been more of a transfer committee buy and less of a Rodgers one.
Now 25 years old and coming off a solid season on loan at Stoke City where he staked his claim to regular football for Mark Hughes' side, a full time move to the Potters seemed only a matter of time. Rumours that Liverpool have told Stoke to hand over £7M in exchange for the player, though, could get in the way of a quick move.
While on the surface it's not an outrageous sum given Assaidi's performances at Stoke, and while fees this summer are expected to be inflated across the board in England thanks to the improved television deal, that details of Liverpool's demands appear to have been leaked from the Stoke end suggest it hasn't gone down well with them.
In large part that's because like everyone else, they're well aware of what he cost Liverpool two years ago—and of the fact he clearly isn't in the club's plans. Stoke also know they are Assaidi's most likely English destination, and that any Dutch club looking to bring him back to the Eredivisie won't be willing or able to pay such a hefty fee for him.
All parties appear intent on getting a deal done. And all stand to benefit from getting a deal done. If Liverpool are determined to stick with their valuation of Assaidi, though, it's not a move that's likely to get done any time soon.