A month ago, Loic Remy was about to sign for Liverpool. His release clause had been triggered, a deal had been agreed, and he had flown to the United States to undergo a medical and join what were to be his new teammates for the final days of their pre-season tour. Then he failed that medical and the deal collapsed.
"I do not understand myself," said the 27-year-old French striker, on duty with France this week, when reporters asked him why his all but completed transfer to Liverpool had suddenly fallen apart over the summer. "A problem during the medical examination? I do not know. They put it, so that must be it."
Suggesting Liverpool simply wanted out might be fun, but the club spent the following weeks desperately scrambling for a striker, revisiting Wilfried Bony and inquiring into Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao. In the end, when Milan nearly halved the price they wanted for Mario Balotelli, it worked out. But it was far from guaranteed that it would.
Remy, though, certainly seems to harbour some resentment. Or at the very least some doubts. The boring reality, though, is that when a player fails a medical—in this case with rumours pointing to problems related to earlier issues with his heart—he cannot be insured. And in the end, it seems to have worked out for everybody.
Liverpool, despite the mad dash to get a deal done, managed to bring in Balotelli at a deep discount. Chelsea got themselves a backup to improve on Fernando Torres, who has himself since moved on to Milan to replace Balotelli. And Remy got the top four move he has been pushing for almost since he first arrived in England.