Liverpool could need to reconsider any fees they may have been discussed with reported transfer target Timo Werner given the current uncertainty in the transfer market.
That is what David Maddock, The Mirror’s northern football correspondent, seemed to suggest in an interview with Empire of the Kop when asked about the club’s potential summer transfer activity.
With players’ values set to drop as clubs lose income due to the stoppage of football amid the coronavirus pandemic (as per Daily Mail), the journalist expects clubs to wait and assess the market before committing to transfer deals for large sums of money.
Maddock told Empire of the Kop: “Clubs like Liverpool who do a lot of work beforehand on transfers – maybe two years in advance in some cases – will have targets singled out for this summer. Clearly Timo Werner was one of them. But any fee discussed (and his release clause has been reported variously between £25-50m, and I believe it closer to the bottom end) will now have to be reconsidered in the light of the shift in the market.
“That’s not me saying that, it’s the main people at the biggest clubs in Europe saying it. Any exec who commits to a £100m deal, a £50m deal, even a £25m deal right now would be insane. It would be financial irresponsibility of the worst kind. Clubs will wait, see where the market’s at when the window finally opens, and then start discussing fees. So very few deals are done.”
Maddock is right to hint that clubs will likely be reluctant to sanction large-scale transfer fees in the current climate – even Liverpool, who in February announced a turnover of £533m and a pre-tax profit of £42m for 2018/19 (as per The Guardian), recently took the decision to place some non-playing staff on the UK government’s furlough scheme before swiftly retracting that course of action. That episode highlights how even clubs of Liverpool’s finances and stature have been affected fiscally by the effects of COVID-19.
The Anfield club already look set to revise the valuation of Xherdan Shaqiri as a knock-on result of the pandemic (as per Football Insider), an indicator that players could be available for significant discounted fees this summer.
Regarding Liverpool’s interest in Werner, if the RB Leipzig striker does have a release clause in the region of £25m, as Maddock believes, that should hopefully embolden the Reds to roll the dice and do all they can to bring him to the club. That there is a plausible possibility of spending £30m or less to sign a potent striker with 25 goals between the Bundesliga and Champions League this season reflects how the market is likely to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic and it should incentivise Liverpool to pounce on such an inviting opportunity. However, in such times of uncertainty, it is questionable how enterprising the Reds will be in this summer’s transfer market.
Liverpool fans, what do you make of Maddock’s transfer market predictions? Have your say by commenting below!