After launching a widely reported €20M bid for Sevilla's Alberto Moreno, Liverpool believed they had secured the 21-year-old Spanish left back Brendan Rodgers had identified as the club's top defensive target. Then, Sevilla tried to start a bidding war, briefing local press on the deal being nearly done in the hopes it would bring out another bidder.
It didn't, and so Sevilla asked for more money. And then Sevilla asked for Liverpool to restructure the deal to give them a greater portion of the fee up front. A month on, Moreno remains a target and Liverpool remain resistant to Sevilla's attempts to use their desire to get a deal done quickly to extort more money from them. But a deal remains possible.
"It's true that there is interest from a number of clubs, above all Liverpool, in him," said Sevilla president Jose Castro this week. "Signing any player from this club has a price and we will decide that price. If Alberto Moreno has to stay at the club he will stay but if a club pays the amount we think is big enough for him to leave, he will leave. But there is no pressure."
With Liverpool's first pre-season match less than a month away one imagines there's at the very least pressure on Liverpool's end to either get the deal done or to move on to a target they can sign before then. As such, the time for a deal to take Moreno to Liverpool is surely running out no matter what Castro says.
"We haven't reached an agreement," added the Sevilla president, "but talks haven't broken down. We'll wait and see what happens. If Liverpool are interested in the player and pay the right amount, he will be sold."
Liverpool clearly feel that right amount is €20M, and they've spent a month now refusing to go past it. The real question now is whether Sevilla decide they can live with it before Liverpool move on.