Liverpool’s proposed transfer for Sevilla’s promising left-back Alberto Moreno is in danger of falling through after various reports claimed there has been a dispute over the transfer fee.
The Reds have been chasing the 21-year-old as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his back line for next season, but a deal now looks some way off.
According to Simon Jones of the Mail Online, Liverpool have already agreed a £16.2 million fee with the Andalusian outfit for the player, but have baulked at Sevilla’s proposed structuring of the deal, an agreement that would see the Reds pay a significant portion of the fee up front.
Meanwhile, David Maddock of the Daily Mirror reports that the Reds have failed to agree a fee at all, and they are unlikely to meet Sevilla's asking price for the Spanish international. Maddock claims Sevilla are looking for £18 million for Moreno, a figure the Anfield outfit are not prepared to pay for a player so inexperienced.
Maddock also claims Rodgers is unhappy with Sevilla’s attempts to create an auction for the player:
Rodgers has become increasingly annoyed by apparent attempts to create an auction by Sevilla, who have tried to flog the player to a number of clubs, including Spurs.
And unless the Spanish club becomes more realistic over their valuation of the defender - who just missed the cut for his country's World Cup squad - then he will look at other targets.
These latest reports emerge after Moreno was on Merseyside last weekend, but it was for entirely social purposes, as he was attending the wedding of current Liverpool player and former Sevilla teammate Luis Alberto, as depicted here by LFC Fans Corner:
Alberto Moreno and his girlfriend was at Luis Alberto's Wedding yesterday. Congratulations to Luis and his wife! pic.twitter.com/Igcayqrw9G— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) June 8, 2014
Despite being heavily linked with a move to Anfield, the player insisted recently he is still extremely dedicated to his current employers, per Tom Maston of Goal.com:
All I know is that I've been a Sevillista since I was a kid. My future? I do not know about that. That's a matter for my father and my agent to deal with.
I have four years [left on my contract], I am dedicated to play and I'm happy here.
Moreno is clearly a player that Rodgers has isolated as a vital acquisition. The dynamic full-back enjoyed a wonderful campaign for Sevilla, playing a key role in their run to Europa League glory.
Stylistically, he’d be a superb fit for the Reds, and he is a player that suits Rodgers’ tactical blueprint down to the ground. He is a supremely energetic young full-back and would bring an unyielding industry to the Reds’ left flank with his bustling vertical forays.
He is defensively aware and extremely alert, but he also harbours an offensive threat too, as illustrated here by Opta Jose:
30– Alberto Moreno is the 2nd defender who have won more fouls (32) than conceded (30) in La Liga last term (Pedro López 41-49). Liverpool?— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 7, 2014
After already strengthening the Liverpool midfield and attack with the signings of Emre Can and Rickie Lambert, Rodgers now must turn to the back line. A patent for conceding sloppy goals cost the Reds the Premier League title last season, and it's an area Rodgers simply must strengthen if the Anfield outfit are to mount a serious charge again next season.
Is Moreno worth £18 million?
Given recent reports, it’s also very clear that Liverpool are not going to be pushed into overpaying for any of their transfer targets this summer, despite the additional funds that will be available to them after qualifying for the Champions League.
The Reds have already issued a reported final offer of £25 million for Adam Lallana, per Ben Smith of the BBC, and there is a clear theme running through these reports that suggest Rodgers is happy to move onto other targets quickly if the price isn’t right.
Rodgers’ predecessor Kenny Dalglish famously splashed the cash during his tenure, bringing in players like Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam for vastly inflated fees. You suspect lessons have been learnt from that period, and the Liverpool hierarchy will be especially erudite and patient in pursuit of their targets.
Moreno would be an undoubtedly fine acquisition, though. Liverpool’s need for a left-back is paramount; Jose Enrique’s fitness remains unreliable and while Jon Flanagan did an excellent job filling in, the youngster is not a long-term solution.
But the Spanish international most definitely is, and whilst reports paint a clouded picture in respect of a potential transfer fee, it seems as though both clubs are privy to striking a deal. Despite this recent stumbling block, expect a deal to be constructed soon and for Moreno to be donning Liverpool red in the 2014-15 campaign.