By now, you've probably all heard this report by Jack de Menzes at The Independent. If you haven't, let me sum up:
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks to have been well and truly frightened by the latest Luiz Suarez antics and has reportedly bid in excess of £21 million for Atletico Madrid striker and Brazil international Diego Costa.
I say frightened because there must be some explanation for his abandoning logic this way.
Even without Suarez, Liverpool have Daniel Sturridge, Iago Aspas and Fabio Borini up front, and every one of them can play on the wing of the Rodgers' 4-3-3. Throw in the attacking midfielders—Philippe Coutinho, Luis Alberto, Raheem Sterling and Stewart Downing—and it is clear that while Liverpool are no powerhouse, there is no emergency.
Remember, last season Liverpool managed an absolute thrashing of Newcastle, scoring six and conceding none, without Suarez. They also beat Fulham and West Ham away without Suarez, scoring three goals in each match.
Is £21m Too High a Price For Costa?
So I repeat: There is no shortage of attacking options at Anfield, even without Suarez.
Then there is the issue of Costa himself, and his release clause. At £21 million, meeting it would be too high a price for such a player.
Costa's total goal tally—68 in 224 appearances—is only slightly higher than Sturridge, who has scored 61 goals in 185 appearances across all competitions. Costa is certainly a step up from Aspas—who has scored 50 in his 152 appearances—but not by so much that it justifies the price tag.
To put that price tag in perspective: It is higher than the combined fees of Sturridge (£13.2 million) and Aspas (£7.2 million).
This is not to say that Diego Costa is a poor player. Far from it (his 31 total assists imply excellent hold up play in addition to his finishing capability), but it still doesn't justify that cost—not while so many versatile attacking players remain committed to Anfield.
If Brendan Rodgers absolutely must have a striker, he could opt for someone like Udinese forward Luis Muriel. At 22, he's managed 36 goals in 83 appearances, putting him at a fine pace compared to the strikers mentioned above. His fee would also fall in the Sturridge/Aspas range—a significant discount compared to Costa.
Or, if Liverpool finally come to terms with their weakness in midfield, they could look to a defensive midfielder like Saint Etienne's Josuha Guilavogui—a tall, strong 22-year-old who managed three goals and two assists on top of consistently outstanding defensive performances in Ligue 1 last season. He would also cost far less than Costa.
In any event, Brendan Rodgers would be doing Liverpool a disservice by spending over £21 million on Diego Costa. The need for a player like him is not readily apparent, and the asking price is too high.