Alex Song is still a Barcelona player with just days left in the 2014 summer transfer window, but the Blaugrana are playing it smart by not rushing into any deals.
According to El Mundo Deportivo (h/t to Metro), Liverpool are the latest team to show interest in signing the player, but they are unwilling to pay the £10 million transfer fee. Brendan Rodgers wants a loan—Barcelona want a permanent deal.
Metro claim Barcelona are "desperate" for a permanent deal, amidst reported interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Marseille. As shared by Barcastuff, L'Equipe adds Tottenham to the list of interested teams, claiming they have the inside track for his signature.
Here's the same newspaper (Mundo Deportivo, h/t to the Daily Express' Chares Perrin) claiming Arsenal are in the lead. And as reported by Spanish football insider Sergi Dominguez, Marseille are also rumoured to have already contacted the Catalan giants:
Barcelona are desperate? Nice try, Metro. The Blaugrana know exactly what they're doing. When asked about a potential transfer, Andoni Zubizarreta kept his comments brief, per Sky Sports: "We will see if we can find a way out in the remaining days of the market."
The list of suitors for Song is long, and as we get closer to the end of the 2014 summer transfer window, that list will only grow. Arsenal have a need for a powerful midfielder. Liverpool could very much use his services.
With every passing day, managers learn more about their squad. The Gunners have struggled containing the midfield battle in their first Premier League ties. Liverpool's defensive fortitude got somewhat exposed against Manchester City.
All it takes is for one manager to grow concerned with the state of his midfield, and Song's valuation of £10 million goes from "too much" to "a necessary evil."
Sending the Cameroon international out on loan accomplishes very little. A one-year deal with the option to make the move permanent is complicated by Barcelona's transfer ban, and if Liverpool (or any other team) fail to pick up the option, the Catalans are stuck with Song for six more months.
Releasing him or sending him out on a free transfer is an option, but with at least five clubs reportedly interested in his signature, playing the market is far more rewarding. In the age of Financial Fair Play, any transfer fee helps the club in the long run.
Sure, fans might be a little frustrated Song still hasn't left the club. The 26-year-old's chances of making an impact at the Camp Nou are gone, and the club want to move on from the player and start fresh.
But in this case, patience most definitely is a virtue. On the open market Song holds too much value for the club to rush into a deal, and if nothing comes from the reported interest from a host of clubs, a free transfer or loan deal is still an option.
The Blaugrana can only win by playing it cool with Song, and so far, that's exactly what they've done.