Former Liverpool target Jamal Lewis cut short a holiday to seal a ‘dream move’ to Liverpool, claim reports. But by the time he’d arrived back in the UK, Liverpool had closed in on a deal to sign Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos.
Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards (above) has built up a reputation as being a ruthless transfer negotiator and that was certainly the case in this instance. Lewis is said to have been left devastated that he was denied a dream move to Anfield but that, of course, was not Liverpool’s doing. Norwich rejected Liverpool’s offers and Edwards instead opted to return with a slightly better offer for Tsimikas, who was our first choice, which was subsequently accepted.
The Eastern Daily Press, a regional newspaper with close ties to Norwich City, write that Lewis ‘was at the centre of a feeding frenzy before, during and after Liverpool’s very public pursuit played out through favoured media.
‘Such as it was. One emailed offer last Wednesday night around 9:30pm, to Stuart Webber’s inbox before an immediate rejection was returned.
‘A brief message containing proposed figures that would have represented a fifth of what Manchester City paid to a fellow relegated club, Bournemouth, for Nathan Ake. Allied to very ambitious clauses inserted for future earnings, such as Lewis’ leading role in another Champions League victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
‘That, after a day when the club had been bombarded by media requests informing them of an incoming offer from Merseyside.
‘City were left waiting for acknowledgement to their reply, let alone a response or a second, improved offer to the opening curt exchange. From City’s side there would have been pragmatism and a realism a deal could have been struck to the benefit of all parties.
‘That Liverpool did not return with an improved bid and within days had unveiled Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos left more questions than answers. Certainly for Norwich.
‘Tsimikas himself has since suggested his move was already well underway by the time his former club were exiting the Europa League at Wolves.
‘That came barely 24 hours after contact had been made with the Canaries.
‘Whether Lewis was a bargaining chip or whether the Reds were prepared to see which of the two chases paid off first is open to debate.’