The race for Jadon Sancho remains 'open', says Fabrizio Romano
Could Champions League qualification encourage Liverpool to go against their instincts and make a big money move this summer?
That’s not a descending order charting the increased unlikeliness of a particular player making a Liverpool switch, though the theme of ‘unlikeliness’ is a relevant one to the discussion at hand.
We’ve been linked to all three names, each a prestigious European talent in their own right, with varying frequency throughout this season.
Given that Champions League football no longer looks like the pipe dream it once appeared to be following a brace of damaging draws suffered against Leeds and Newcastle in April, there is room to consider each as a potential target for the Reds without being laughed out of the room.
Indeed, despite Manchester United’s well-documented interest in Borussia Dortmund star Sancho, the race for the Englishman’s signature is far from decided.
It’s worth noting that though Liverpool have not been expressly mentioned in Fabrizio Romano’s update here, the Sky Sports journalist has previously acknowledged our interest in the 21-year-old on his Here We Go podcast:
“He wants to move to a top (maybe) English club. Dortmund say if an important bid arrives in the summer they are prepared to sell Sancho. Important bid means around €85-90 million, not less than €85 million,” the Italian revealed earlier in May.
“At the moment there are no official negotiations yet between English Clubs and Dortmund.
“But, Dortmund are expecting someone to move in the next weeks, because if they want to sign Sancho they can’t arrive in the last week of August, because Dortmund won’t sell players in the last week of August.
“I’ve been told that Liverpool have an interest in Jadon Sancho if they will sell some offensive, attacking players.”
Though Liverpool’s position without Champions League football (and the associated income) has been made clear - our transfer plans will not change, as Jurgen Klopp has suggested - we still haven’t really clarified how our plans will change (if at all) with entry into Europe’s premier competition.
It’s a vital distinction to make, particularly given the revenue the recruitment team will be able to dip into just by virtue of qualifying for the Champions League, let alone getting past the group stage.
We’ve been consistently told throughout the season that purchasing one of Europe’s elite talents - the likes of Sancho, Haaland, or Mbappe - will cost a pretty penny, regardless of the financial ramifications of COVID-19 (though the reality remains that the current global circumstances will have an impact).
That’s not necessarily a problem until you add into the mix Liverpool’s general refusal to go big on a player where there isn’t already a pressing need (as was the case with the January purchase of Virgil van Dijk in 2018) and the general acknowledgment by journalists that such a move would have to be funded by the sale of one of famous front-three.
If our plans don’t change without Champions League football, will there not be the possibility of a major money move for a Sancho-type player with all the riches that come with the occupation of a top four spot?
It’s not really how we do business, of course, and the likelihood remains that Michael Edwards and co. will unearth some hidden gem that will inspire fanbase-wide frowning at our computer screens and confused mutters of ‘who?’ before they ultimately bear fruit once domestic football returns.
It’s not always the most instantly satisfactory way of conducting transfer business, though, to the recruitment team’s credit, it has generally paid off.
We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled as soon as the curtain is drawn on this year’s season, however, especially if Klopp’s Redmen achieve what was once deemed unlikely and secure that once distant top four spot.