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Duncan Oldham: Liverpool cool interest in 2 transfer targets

Khephren Thuram

Dominik Szoboszlai deal sees Reds step back

Speculation has suggested for the last 24 hours or so that Liverpool may have ended their interest in Khephren Thuram. While there were some credible people suggesting this, I personally prefer to wait for confirmation from my own sources (I prefer to call them friends), some of whom I would trust with my life.

That confirmation has now come.

As soon as it was clear that Szoboszlai was in the bag, many of you asked my opinion about Thuram: Did I think we’d still sign him?

I stressed that upon signing any player, such transactions can often have an immediate knock-on effect on other potential deals. I thought we’d maintain an interest, but I expressed caution. People are quick to point out that other targets may be a different type of player, but this often doesn’t really matter. You could sign a striker and then end interest in a defender because it’s all about the money involved in these deals.

It appears that this is the case with Thuram.

I wouldn’t rule Thuram out completely just yet, but I do think that suggestions we have stepped back are currently accurate. If we were to move out Thiago or even Henderson, then I think this could see us possibly return to the table, but the vibes I am feeling is that neither player is looking for a move this summer. Henderson is one of Klopp’s trusted trusted lieutenants and while Thiago’s future is uncertain, it sounds like he wants to capitalise on his contract expiring next year. Liverpool’s willingness to allow player’s to run down their contracts is absolutely bizarre to me, but it looks like this could be the case again. However, knowing FSG and the way they operate, I am sure that they will be hoping that Thiago may consider a switch to Saudi Arabia this summer rather than next, but there are no suggestions that the owners or senior management are currently applying pressure on this front.

Towards the end of last week or over the weekend just gone, I predicted that this week would see us presented with intense speculation surrounding other options. I felt that the hacks would be desperate to generate a few clicks after the signing of Szoboszlai. They needed something else to talk about. I’m no Twitter ITK as you know and I’d be offended if you suggested such 😉 this was nothing more than intuition and experience and I was right. DKB! The hacks went crazy with multiple reports claiming that Romeo Lavia was now our new number one target.

I spoke about our initial approach to Southampton some time ago, but since then I continually stated that Liverpool had not followed up. I didn’t think we’d ended our interest, I just thought (assumed!) that we had obtained the information we needed to make a deal happen and went away to work on other business with a view to possibly returning. I believe our interest remains, but from chatter I’m hearing from valuable contributors to the KopTalk VIP Members’ website, it sounds like the Lavia fee is too high for us. We can afford it, but we don’t want to pay it. I hope we eventually do as I rate him and the boy wants us.

The obvious thing to do here is to criticise the owners, but let’s not forget that the owners absolutely, one billion percent backed the manager with the signing of Szoboszlai. Klopp was desperate for that signing, more so than Mac Allister. They made sure the funds were available to make that deal happen. Usually, I don’t think they would agree to the way that deal had to be structured, but they listened, they stepped up. However, I cannot help think that the growing unreast in the fan base which was becoming much more heated than usual, may have pressurised them somewhat to deliver. Some people may think that’s nonsense, but anyone who runs a business will tell you that sometimes you have to give a little more to keep your customers calm and happy and how can anyone not be happy with the signing of Szoboszlai?

I don’t want to get into a debate about the owners today. We have enough of those, but I’ll offer credit when credit is due and criticism when it is justified.

The current vibe we are seeing being played out by the clique of Liverpool FC journos, the ones who write only about the Reds, could be just a negotiating tactic that they are playing out publicly on behalf of LFC, to put pressure on other clubs, maybe Southampton in this instance, to lower their demands. Only time will tell.

One thing is ‘for sure’ (as Rafa would say!), we remain active in the transfer market.

YNWA

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Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

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