Who doesn't want to go to Barcelona these days?
Most recently, we've heard Alex Song linked to the Catalans, though some among us suspect that might be a contract ploy. Now, Daniel Agger of Liverpool has admitted that he, too, would love to join the Spanish powers.
From Ejder Akbal (via Sky Sports):
But in a latest twist, the £5.8million January 2006 signing from Brondby has now surprisingly admitted he would find it hard to say no to Barcelona.
Agger is quoted as saying by Ekstra Bladet: "Playing for Barcelona would be a huge accomplishment. They have the best team in the world so that is a given.
"But I am very happy here (Liverpool). I feel that I have a good place in the club and that I have a lot of influence on the pitch."
Agger, mired in a contract dispute with just a year left on his deal with Liverpool, has been subject to countless rumors of an exit from Anfield this summer. Manchester City has reportedly come knocking, but the £25-30 million price tag the Reds are apparently slapping on the table has been too costly.
That, and Agger himself has said he'd rather not play for another club in England.
So why Barcelona? Is this another contract ploy? Or does everyone, even if they won't see major playing time, just want to play for the Catalans?
It has to be a combination of the two. The fact that he couldn't imagine playing for another club in England makes me think he would like to remain with Liverpool and is hoping to leverage a higher contract extension than what the club is offering.
One way to do that is to spark Barca's interest. Maybe he would sign for even less with Barca after his current contract was up, just to play with the best. Maybe Barca will come with a big transfer offer and solid contract for the player, forcing Liverpool to sell.
Or maybe Liverpool will consider its best option will be to concede some points in the contract negotiations and keep the defender in Anfield. That's what Agger will likely be hoping crosses the Reds' mind after this public concession of his desire to play in Barcelona.
On the other hand, John Edwards of the Daily Mail has reported the club is "thought to be willing to accept a lower figure from Barcelona" in an Agger transfer.
I don't buy that. And I certainly don't buy that the club would allow that sort of information to leak, destroying any leverage it might have in transfer negotiations with Barca. I get preferring the player leave England if he leaves the club, but I don't understand allowing that information to go public.
It's the transfer window, so you can't believe just about anything you read. What we do know is that Agger has said he would play for Barcelona.
What we don't know is if he really wants a move to the Catalans, or if he's simply trying to limit his options to one club so Liverpool reconsiders signing him to an extension that meets Agger's self-valuation of his worth.
In other words, we barely know anything at all.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are gold like the Team USA women.