Liverpool use genius negotiating tactic to secure first summer signing at knockdown price
The season is not even over but Liverpool have made a massive breakthrough in their attempts to sign Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton this summer.
Return of the Mac
There has been a notable absence of updates for what promises to be one of the biggest ongoing transfer stories of the summer, almost as if there is a Premier League season still going on and everyone is a bit preoccupied.
But the Liverpool Echo are here to sort that out by pushing the Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool story further along the line with a bona fide Mediawatch favourite.
‘Alexis Mac Allister can grab dream Liverpool FC shirt number after summer transfer’
Oh dream shirt number articles, how we have missed you.
There is a fun little bit before we get to the proper stuff, when it is said that Brighton signed Mac Allister ‘for what now seems a bargain €8m fee’ and Liverpool ‘might well have to spend seven or eight times that on his signature’.
And yes, the best of luck to Jurgen Klopp and friends as they try and convince Brighton to sell them a World Cup winner with two years left on his contract for £48.3m, when he has been valued at no less than £60m by a club with a proud history of standing firm on the prices they set.
But perhaps Mac Allister will force the issue because ‘the Argentine would seemingly have a free run at his dream shirt number’ if he moves to Anfield. And that is surely enough to tempt any grown man.
Liverpool have indeed not reassigned Sadio Mane’s No.10 shirt, which just so happens to be the one Mac Allister wears for Brighton. It truly is his ‘dream’ to have a giant 10 emblazoned on his back.
Of course, Mac Allister also wore the No.8 on loan at Boca Juniors, as well as the 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 28 at Argentinos Juniors. He has represented the Argentina national team wearing 5, 7, 8, 10, 20 and 21. If anything it sounds like he quite likes the number eight. But the Echo know he only dreams of the 10 and so Liverpool pretty much have the signing tied up.
Where one leads, the Daily Express website must follow.
‘Liverpool have perfect present for Alexis Mac Allister as Reds try to seal £70m transfer,’ they say, not realising that Brighton only want ‘seven or eight times’ their initial investment for some as yet unknown reason.
Quite unbelievably, the genuine suggestion is that Liverpool would legitimately use the lure of the No.10 shirt in formal negotiations with Mac Allister:
‘Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could entice Alexis Mac Allister to Anfield by pointing out that he would have a free run at his dream shirt number.’
He could. But he might be surprised when the response is more to do with wages, playing opportunities and future plans.
Maybe Mediawatch is completely out of touch and absolutely wrong here. Perhaps ‘one particular selling point’ for Mac Allister is ‘the coveted No 10 jersey’. He might have been a boyhood Andriy Voronin fan.
But bloody hell, do we really have to pretend that Mac Allister’s ‘path towards the No 10’ being ‘clear’ means anything whatsoever regarding Liverpool’s chances of signing him?
Waste not, want not
In a lovely example of recycling, Reach PLC have made sure to squeeze every last drop out of some more eye-catching Sam Allardyce quotes.
If the Leeds manager namedrops both Erik ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp, why produce one sensationalist story designed to infuriate a huge fanbase when you can do two?
Which leads us to this glorious copy-paste headline special…
‘‘Don’t be daft’ – Sam Allardyce takes swipe at Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’ – Manchester Evening News.
‘‘Don’t be daft’ – Sam Allardyce takes swipe at Jurgen Klopp as he defends Newcastle over time-wasting’ – Liverpool Echo.
…and you have to say that is magnificent.
What was this ‘swipe’ that Allardyce simultaneously wounded Ten Hag and Klopp with? Well when asked for his views on Newcastle’s time-wasting, he asked “who doesn’t do it?”.
“Who complained?” Allardyce continued, before saying “they all time-waste in the last five minutes when they’re winning 2-1, don’t be daft!” when it was pointed out that Klopp and Ten Hag had both made comments previously.
And there you go: a couple of sister sites have an easy target for angry clicks, despite Allardyce not actually saying anything even vaguely incendiary.
Of course the Liverpool Echo take it as personally as possible, pointing out in their final paragraph that ‘according to data, Liverpool are the best team in the Premier League when it comes to not time-wasting. Newcastle are second bottom, behind Brentford.’
And does citing the average delay time before play restarts in any way counter Allardyce’s claim that every team wastes time if the circumstances suit? Obviously not. But Liverpool’s time-wasting clearly Means More.
Young man, there’s a place you can go
‘Frank Lampard calls up the captain of Chelsea’s UNDER-FOURTEEN squad to train with their under-performing first team, in a remarkable show of faith’ – MailOnline.
‘Frank Lampard promotes Chelsea’s Under-14 captain Charlie Holland to first-team training in remarkable show of confidence’ – talkSPORT.
‘Frank Lampard calls up captain of Chelsea UNDER-14s to train with struggling first-team amid nightmare season’ – The Sun website.
The only ‘remarkable’ thing here is that almost every outlet reporting on this has fallen for the ‘Frank Lampard gives yet another youngster an opportunity’ narrative. And credit to The Sun for pretending that Holland was called up to show the first team how it’s done.
But thank you to Marc Mayo of the London Evening Standard for quite sensibly pointing out that his ‘surprise inclusion’ was mainly down to the fact the U21 season is over and the club’s U18s are on tour in Germany, with players from both age groups ‘routinely brought into senior workouts to fill gaps and for experience’.
Silly sods for not making out Lampard had given Chelsea’s U14 captain the nod ‘in a remarkable show of faith/confidence’ with a view to playing him against Nottingham Forest this weekend.
‘Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney inspire Premier League club to repeat Wrexham gesture’ – Daily Mirror website.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have apparently invented the concept of flying to Las Vegas.
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