I have it on good authority from a reliable source that Liverpool have unofficially agreed terms with Chelsea for Daniel Sturridge in a deal worth £12 million, plus incentives, and that as soon as the January transfer window opens, the sale will officially go through, the player’s agent already having opened preliminary talks with the club over personal terms and subject to them being agreed.
The same industry insider who had prior knowledge of the Raul Meireles deal and the Torres deal of 2011, has informed me that Sturridge’s move to Anfield is a ‘done deal’.
The most intriguing insight he gave me was that Liverpool are in negotiations with Newcastle United for a swap deal involving Andy Carroll and Demba Ba.
However, the deal is a long way from being wrapped up due to unprecedented complications, which could mean it does not happen at all, involving the Englishman’s loan to West Ham which presents two major problems – whilst his contract with the Hammers does contain a recall option, he has already been registered with two Premier League clubs this season which means, under FIFA regulations, he technically cannot play for a third.
However, due to Ba’s imminently expiring contract and his failure to agree new terms with Newcastle – the club are reluctant to sell him for his minimum fee release clause of £7.5 million before they line up a suitable replacement – they are willing to accept a swap deal that includes cash plus Carroll who could actually end up physically moving in May, not January, if they cannot resolve the registration issues with FIFA. (Refer to Chapter III: Article 5.3 of the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players.)
The second problem is that West Ham’s loan of Carroll was subject to a clause where they would be granted the first option to buy him, provided they aren’t relegated and, subsequently, a legal duel between Liverpool, West Ham, and Andy Carroll looks set ensue as the player is keen to return to return to the North East.
There is little in the way of information about the contract Carroll has with West Ham and, equally, the deal that was struck between them and Liverpool – as all parties are under strict confidentiality agreements. Newcastle, however, aren’t, which is why manager Alan Pardew has been talking up a possible return for the striker – as an outsider he’s practically the only person involved who can comment on it and can’t be sued for it.
Meanwhile, it will not come as much of a surprise to hear that Liverpool are in for Walcott. What I have been told is that his transfer from Arsenal is currently hinging upon one thing – if Arsenal meet his £90,000 per week wage demands before January 1st, he will stay at the Emirates and, if not, Liverpool will be his destination of choice. The Reds are prepared to offer him his original demand of £100,000 per week.
My source described the Walcott situation as a ’50-50’ – the other factor being that Brendan Rodgers will only be allocated £20 million for January transfers by the board. The Sturridge deal plus the Ba deal would likely devour that budget and to bring Walcott in, they’d have to offload Stewart Downing to generate the surplus and, despite rumours linking him with Arsenal, Downing currently has yet to generate any real interest.
What are your thoughts on the potential incomings and outgoings at Liverpool?
images: © Vincent Teeuwen