January’s transfer window seen overall expenditure reach £127.5 million, with some big names in amongst that figure. Included were the likes of Juan Mata (Chelsea to Manchester United £37.1M), Nemanja Matic (Benfica to Chelsea £22M) and Mohammed Salah (FC Basel to Chelsea £11m).
It was Liverpool though, who were left red-faced after once again failing to capture yet another transfer target. In the past they have been beaten to targets such as Clint Dempsey (Tottenham) and more recently Willian, who favoured a move to Stamford Bridge.
However it is the 2014 transfer window that has probably been the most frustrating for LFC fans. After tracking long-time target Mohammed Salah and with negotiations well under way it was presumed the deal would be tied up and sorted by early January, this was not to be the case. Reports suggested Liverpool were unwilling to meet the price FC Basel sought and were adamant that the player was valued closer to their estimations. So when Chelsea came knocking with the higher fee, hopes at Anfield were dashed and a deal was concluded with Chelsea in a mere 5 days.
Following this disappointing saga and with only days left in the transfer window, Liverpool turned their attention to FC Dnipro’s Yevhen Konoplyanka, a young, pacey and intelligent winger who operates on the left-side cutting in onto his favoured right foot.
-Konoplyanka was the stand out player in the Ukraine’s qualifier against England at Wembley, scoring a superb goal to draw 1-1-
Liverpool fans were hopeful of the deal and had quickly turned their attention away from the Salah saga. This was confirmed when Konoplyanka’s agent gained over 3800 Twitter followers in a matter of days! The signs were encouraging; Liverpool representatives had travelled to Ukraine, numerous quotes from the player suggested he was ‘excited’ by the possibility of a move to Liverpool and they were willing to cough up the sum.
As we approached the final hours of deadline day, a deal looked imminent. According to reports, a medical was completed, personal terms had been agreed and the money was available to transfer.
Unfortunately the deal failed to materialise, with a number of reason’s being reported. The main reason floating about the web was that Billionaire owner of FC Dnipro refused to sign off the deal. Though, FC Dnipro officials refute this claim and have stated simply that Liverpool officials arrived a little too late.
Whatever the reason, Liverpool fans are rightly disappointed. The transfer policy at Liverpool has been put into question and people are asking how this has happened yet again and who is to blame?
Strengthening the squad could have been the difference between a top 4 spot and only hindsight will prove whether this is the case.
One thing is for sure; in the current market when you are competing with top clubs such as Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United with such immense financial power, Liverpool can ill afford to play games when dealing with transfers.
Hopefully the lesson has been learnt. (& Hopefully Konoplyanka moves to Anfield in the summer).