Liverpool's pursuit of out-of-favour Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand looks like ending in failure if reports on Tuesday are to be believed, although the reason is more likely not what is being reported.
John Cross in The Mirror claims Chelsea are refusing to do business as they are "less than impressed with the way Victor Moses' loan at Liverpool has progressed."
Surely Chelsea certainly aren't the only ones not impressed with Moses' loan—ask any Liverpool fan, it's a rare discussion that supporters agree en masse.
Moses' performances have been well below par and perceived to be lacking in effort, the minimum requirement for any footballer. That is strange, because the Nigerian winger was a regular under Rafa Benitez last season at Stamford Bridge, and we all know how highly Rafa rates a strong work ethic.
Perhaps Moses has been given a rough deal by being used in an unfamiliar role by Brendan Rodgers when he moved to a 3-5-2 formation shortly after Moses had impressed on his debut at Swansea.
Don't see how people aren't impressed by Victor Moses. This clearly shows why he's done perfectly so far: https://t.co/RkPfKNE8KQ— U (@UKILFC) January 6, 2014
But with the rare chances the Nigerian Player of the Year has been given, he's failed to impress—away to Hull and at home to Oldham were his last two starts. Both times he was the team's worst performer by some distance.
So there's reason for all parties to be unhappy with how the move has transpired.
Though if Chelsea are so unimpressed, as Cross claims, then surely they'll happily terminate the loan agreement and take the player back to London where he can be 10th choice among their plethora of attacking midfielders and wingers. Jose Mourinho, being the caring kind that he is, can save Moses from the hands of Liverpool.
The truth is, Chelsea do not care about Moses the player, they care only that a) Liverpool now won't be seeking to make the deal permanent, and b) the player's value is not increasing with his lack of playing time and poor performances.
It's hilarious that the only thing all Liverpool fans on Twitter agree with is the fact that Victor Moses is an awful footballer.— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) January 6, 2014
For Chelsea, the loan of Moses relieved them of one of their stockpiled attacking options; off the wage bill and hopefully for them leading to a decent fee afterward.
Chelsea aren't unimpressed for Moses, they're unimpressed for themselves.
As for Bertrand, if Chelsea aren't willing to do business it's more likely a sign that they now see Liverpool as a threat.
The Reds are just four points behind Mourinho's side and are firmly challenging for a top-four place this season—that's the reason Chelsea won't sell to their rivals.
According to Matt Barlow of The Daily Mail, Bertrand was first linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer; Chelsea rejected the approach.
Since then the Englishman has made just three appearances for the club—two in the League Cup. Mourinho preferring to play right-back Cesar Azpilicueta in Ashley Cole's absence, showing just how out-of-favour Bertrand is.
The report in The Mirror claims Chelsea will allow the 24-year-old to leave this January, and for the Bertrand himself, surely that must be his desire.
A little over a year ago Bertrand was in the England squad, with an outside chance of going to the World Cup. Indeed, it's not long since he was a surprise starter in the Champions League final.
Bertrand was a regular for Chelsea under Benitez last term and clearly has the potential to become a solid left-back, that isn't likely to be at Chelsea, and now it seems it won't be at Liverpool either.