The American Gerrard- Transfer news and rumors

“The name’s Gerrard, Jordan Gerrard,” also known as “The American Gerrard!” You know about the “Welsh Pirlo”, you’ve seen the “Egyptian Messi”, but you never knew about the American Gerrard! When the American Scouser needed a transfer expert I was there to smash it in from long range with an absolute belter. What a hit son, what a hit! 

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I seem to remember this one Liverpool transfer writer saying something about not giving up and to keep believing Liverpool could finish in the top four. What was his name again? The American something? Anyways, rejoice my fellow Reds! Liverpool completed Mission Impossible and pulled of a photo finish to claim the third spot in the Premier League table, ahead of Chelsea and Leicester.

After an exciting final weeks to the season, football goes and drops everyone off a cliff. The next season does not start until August. How will we survive that long?  Sure, there may be some Liverpool friendlies once preseason starts in mid-July… and I guess there is the Euros if you are into that sort of thing (ha ha). It seems like forever until we will get the vaccine for our Anfield Fever.

Rest assured, Liverpool fans, I will do my best to keep you entertained with the latest coverage of the summer transfer window. I am the mask that protects your face from bad Liverpool transfer stories. The disinfectant sanitizing your life of infectious rumors and the gloves guarding your hands from getting dirty.

This year Klopp is doing his usual thing, claiming he does not expect Liverpool to spend much in the transfer window. But he always says that. Klopp has a tendency to bend the truth when discussing transfer business. I would compare it to your parents telling a “white lie” to you when you were growing up. You want to somehow assume they know best at the time.

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Klopp said all last summer that the club were not signing Thiago. For months he complimented Thiago as a player while denying any interest in signing him for Liverpool.  He claimed there was no money for players.  Yet as soon as the Champions League final was over, Michael Edwards had his man on a payment plan.

My point is that we cannot exactly believe Klopp when he talks about transfer business.  I am sure his intentions are good. Realistically, what can you expect? Klopp is not going to openly tell the world our transfer plans. This could potentially spoil deals we are working on behind the scenes. If you admit your interest in players, your rivals might start throwing bids in just to raise the price.

Konate is Coming

Every Red keyboard jockey and his dog has heard about Liverpool signing Ibrahima Konate. In the event you missed it, Liverpool have reached an agreement to trigger Konate’s release clause at Red Bull Leipzig. The fee is believed to be about $44 million.

The news was officially confirmed on the Liverpool website on 28 May. Konate was quoted telling Liverpoolfc.com:

“I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool. It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new teammates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.”

The club has yet to officially announce what number Konate will be taking with some historically defensive kit numbers currently available (more on that later).

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I have talked about Konate in great depth before. To prevent sounding like a Tiktok video on loop, I am going to just link my past article where I told you Konate’s life story.  I had stated that I did not think Liverpool would sign Konate due to his injury record.  Honestly, my comment there was more wishful thinking than anything.

Simply put, I am still wary of his injury record. This season Konate suffered muscle and ankle injuries that ruled him out for a number of games. As well as a hip flexor that required surgery last summer. He has only made about 22 appearances over the last two seasons. 14 of those appearances were games were he was in the starting 11.

Even with the injury doubts, I do believe Konate is a great player and has a ton of potential. Some articles describe him as a combination of all three of our usual center backs:  strong like Virgil Van Dijk, an aerial threat like Joel Matip, and he may even be quicker then Joe Gomez. Did I mention he is young, with a lot of years to get even better?

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I really hope Liverpool have done their homework on this transfer.  My gut tells me Edwards must know something I do not, so I am going to try and be positive about this new signing. The report is Liverpool opted for Konate over keeping Kabak for almost half the price of Konate.  Liverpool have been pretty clever in the transfer market for the last few years, and if they are willing to spend more on Konate after loaning Kabak, they must be confident that he is that much better of an option.

Klopp revealed a long term interest in Konate in his comments after the signing was officially announced.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux, I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential. I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.

“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”

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Gini Wijnaldum The Truth is Out There!

As many know the conclusion of the Premier League season will most likely be the last time we see Georginio Wijnaldum in a Liverpool kit. No one really quite knows what exactly happened that prevented Wijnaldum from signing a new contract , but various reports claim anything from low wage offers to disputes over the contract length.

Wijnaldum has not officially been announced as a Barcelona player but the leading rumors indicate that is where he was initially headed. There was some last minute talk of Bayern Munich offering him a contract or his agent fishing for one. Also there was some supposed interest from Inter Milan but his most likely landing place is in Spain with his former national Manager Ronald Koeman. Wijnaldum recently refused to deny he was in talks with Barca but admitted to interest from many other clubs as well.

Wijnaldum’s representatives were also spotted in Barcelona leading many to speculate his move there was on. Dutch outlet Voetbal International claim the move was being held up from being officially done and dusted due to Netherlands boss Frank de Boer not allowing Barcelona staff to conduct a medical in his side’s Euro 2020 training camp. Apparently, he wants all his players to remain focused on the tournament and not transfers.

In the meantime, this allowed Paris Saint Germain to take a swing at signing Georginio Wijnaldum. The latest rumor is they blew Barcelona’s wage offer out of the park offering double the wages Barcelona was offering. Even Fabrizio Romano is claiming the move to PSG is now on.  This whole Wijnaldum story just keeps taking new twists and turns, but I would like to focus on his Liverpool exit for a moment.

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Some news outlets have chosen to focus on a somewhat cryptic comment in Wijnaldum’s farewell messages to the fans. After Wijnaldum’s last game he was quoted as saying:

“I would have loved to remain a Liverpool player for many more years, but unfortunately things went differently. I have to start a new adventure. The fans deserve to know the story behind it.”

That last sentence does not exactly sound like Wijnaldum is working on a book about his career, it sounds like he is hinting there is more to the story behind his contract saga. Later while training with the Dutch national team he was questioned about his future. His answer continued to create more questions.

“I am still busy saying goodbye to Liverpool. I am still emotional because I got a goodbye that not many players got before me. Why I left, you will hear again. It will [come out]. The club also has to do with the fact that I am gone.”

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In my opinion, comments like that indicate Wijnaldum did not want to leave the club. There is definitely more to this story. Did the club refuse to meet unreasonable demands or is there a conspiracy behind getting rid of one of Klopp’s most dependable players?

The argument could be made that Liverpool have a large number of first team players around the age of 30. Offering a contract to a player in his thirties can be tricky since you never really know how well a player will continue to play.

Liverpool cannot exactly take the risk and offer extended contracts to all their players over 30, it is just not financially possible. Despite his quality, Wijnaldum was still seen as someone they could risk losing compared to other players like Salah, Alisson or Virgil Van Dijk – all whose contracts are rumored to be extended soon.

This is obviously going to be a bit more of wishful thinking, but what if Liverpool let Wijnaldum leave to make room for an even better signing?  If Liverpool sign this mystery player, Wijnaldum leaving will make more sense to the fans. Whatever happens, I sincerely wish Wijnaldum the best, and he will remain a legend for his part in returning the Reds back to their perch.

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Salzburg Steal

Spanish outlet Todofichajes are claiming Liverpool will make Red Bull Salzburg winger Patson Daka their second signing of the summer and to expect big news in the coming days. Patson Daka has been linked with the Reds in the past, and after scoring 34 goals in all competitions this season it is easy to see why he is being linked with them again.

Patson Daka won the Young African player of the year award in 2017. Since then he has taken the Austrian league by storm scoring more then 25 goals in two consecutive seasons. Now at age 22 the Zambian striker is ready to follow in the foot steps of former Salzburg striker Erling Haaland seeking a move to one of Europe’s top teams.

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A few other news outlets have picked up this story including Sports Illustrated, but none of these have been reliable. These days, if Fabrizio Romano does not report your story, it probably is not happening. Personally, I will wait and see if this rumor picks up any more traction before I get too excited myself.  For the record, though – I would love for Liverpool to make this signing. The Red Bull franchise has one of the best scouting departments in the world, and I think Daka has the potential to be a great player.

Liverpool will be without Salah and Mane for up to a month and a half due to their commitment to the African Cup, which will be hosted during the winter. The assumption is that Liverpool will be looking to sign an extra attacker to make up for losing these key players (Keita included) during a crucial time in the season.

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Right away you are probably thinking so why would Liverpool sign Patson Daka, he is from Africa too? Well Daka’s home nation Zambia did not actually qualify for the tournament leaving him free to fill Salah and Mane’s speedy boots. Daka was also left out of his Nation’s recent friendlies and some are claiming it is because he needs time to sort out his future.

If the stories linking Liverpool with a move for Daka are not accurate he could still end up playing in the Premier league next season. West Ham are also believed to be in the running to sign Patson Daka. Supposedly they have made an informal bid of $35 million.

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The Magician back on Merseyside?

Ever since Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona he has been linked with a move back to Liverpool. Every few months a new rumor pops up including Liverpool and their former midfielder. Most of the time I just ignore them.

AS in Spain are claiming Barcelona have offered Liverpool the opportunity to re-sign Philippe Coutinho as an attempt to avoid paying the rumored $50 million they still owe as part of a payment plan made in 2018 when Coutinho moved to Camp Nou.

Barcelona are in deep debt these days and they are looking for anyway to weasel out of paying the full price for Coutinho.

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Anyone who pays attention to these types of stories will have immediately noticed a red flag with this one.  Namely, Barcelona do not actually still owe Liverpool any of the Coutinho fee. Liverpool have already received the complete amount of this fee when sold the debt to a third party financial institution, which is a common strategy for major transfers.  As such, at this point the money Barcelona owes has nothing to do with Liverpool anymore, so offering Coutinho to Liverpool is the same as offering him to any other club, including any potential transfer fees.

Accordingly, Barcelona probably have no preference who buys him as long as he gets sold. I think the real story here would be analyzing why Coutinho has failed in La Liga and why he does not fit in the Barcelona side.

The stories linking Coutinho with a move back to Liverpool will probably never die, but I think it is best for all of us reds just to move on.

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Squad Number Musical Chairs

I always take special interest in the Liverpool kit numbers. As someone who collects the kits, it is something I follow closely for obvious reasons. One big reason is that you can potentially score a signed kit when a player changes numbers in preseason, after you have already purchased it from the official Liverpool site or store. In the past, when this has happened, the club have allowed fans to send in their jersey featuring the old number in exchange for a signed version with the new number.  I have not been able to confirm if Nike will help Liverpool maintain this policy, but I hope so!

The peculiarities of this transfer window generate some interesting questions regarding the future kit numbers of our squad. Georginio Wijnaldum leaving will free up the #5 jersey, while the #2 still remains available.

#5 is a favorite number for center backs, so I could see our new signing Konate taking that number. Joe Gomez might also think he deserves it. Joel Matip has previously stuck with #32, so he is unlikely to claim the #5.

Prior to taking the #3, Fabinho was rumored to prefer #2 through out his career. If he makes this switch, it would free up the #3, which has traditionally been assigned to the player playing left back. Andrew Robertson currently wears #26 and unless he prefers that high number, I would love to see him wear #3 as our undisputed left back.

Whatever numbers our players are wearing on match day, I will be supporting them with all my heart.

I am Jordan Gerrard and as always I thank you for reading!

The Eriksen Saga American Scouser Podcast

We look at the coverage and the aftermath of the Eriksen incident, the Adrian extension as well as the Euro 2020 in general Bickler is trying to recharge, Jamie is being hunted by the English, and Timucin is not happy with Finland.  Listen to this week's episode full of laughter for more answers!
  1. The Eriksen Saga
  2. Bring on the Euros
  3. Transfer Chaos Begins
  4. Paul's Singing Debut Is Here
  5. Getting Ready To Sing
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