Liverpool’s attempts to sign Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Liverpool’s Tom Ince both appear to have encountered problems. It had been reported on Wednesday that deals for the duo were expected to be confirmed in the opening days of January’s transfer window for a combined feel of £18 million.
According to the Daily Mail, Sturridge’s proposed £12 million move has stalled over agents’ fees. Earlier this month it was revealed that Liverpool had paid £8.6 million to agents between October 2011 and the end of September of this year. With only Manchester City paying more, it appears as though Liverpool’s owners are keen to avoid such large sums being paid out to agents.
The Mail reports that it was hoped that Sturridge would undergo at medical with Liverpool on Wednesday in order that he could finalize his move on January 1. Although that medical never took place, it is still expected that further discussions will lead to a resolution of the dispute.
For his part, Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez has claimed to be in the dark about any negotiations.
“We will see. You never know in the market," the former Liverpool manager said, according to Sky Sports.
“I don't know what they said, because I didn't read the press.”
If the impasse in discussions proves permanent then Liverpool are reported to have alternatives in mind. Prominent on that list is Paris Saint-Germain forward Kevin Gameiro, according to the Mail.
The 25-year-old France international has found his opportunities limited with the Ligue 1 leaders this season following the big-money summer arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It is reported that Liverpool are interested in bringing Gameiro in on loan.
Liverpool have also been repeatedly linked in the past with an ambitious move for Barcelona forward David Villa. Speculation over Spain’s record goal scorer is currently rife after he has struggled to earn a regular starting role at the Camp Nou following his return from a broken leg this season.
Recent reports even suggested that Swansea were close to a deal to take the 31-year-old on loan until the end of the season. Spanish soccer expert Guillem Balague has dismissed that idea, while also saying that Villa is keen to stay put until the end of the season.
Next summer, though, he could well be interested in a move. Liverpool, along with a host of Premier League clubs could well be interested, with Villa set to be available for £15 million, according to Balague.
Liverpool may also be seeking alternatives to Tom Ince, after Blackpool manager Michael Appleton claimed that the clubs are still some way apart in their valuation of the England Under-21 winger. Reportedly Liverpool had bid £6 million for Ince, which would effectively be reduced to around £4 million due to a sell on clause inserted in the deal that took the 20-year-old from Liverpool to Blackpool just 18 months ago.
"As far as I'm aware I think there's been a conversation between [Blackpool chairman] Karl [Oyston] and Liverpool regarding an offer but, as far as I'm aware, it's way below the type of money we'd expect for someone of Tom's talent," Appleton said, according to Sky Sports.
"Obviously the chairman keeps me informed but I think it was just an initial conversation between himself and Liverpool and there was a figure used but obviously it's way below, like I say."
"I wouldn't say I'm resigned to losing him just yet though,” he added. “There's still a lot of work to be done before anything like that happens."