Liverpool have a plan to sign Kalidou Koulibaly in the next window that would see a player transfer the other way. It might be the only way to make it happen.
Gazzetta Dello Sport believes the Reds lead the chase for Koulibaly now, despite Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain’s interest. That’s not easy to achieve, of course, given the pulling power and financial strength of those sides.
But Liverpool have an ace up their sleeve – Dejan Lovren. The Croatian, now a firm fourth-choice at centre-half, would replace Koulibaly at Napoli as part of the deal.
That allows Liverpool to meet the Italians’ £87m asking-price without fronting all the cash.
What RTK has to say
This is a very clever move. The problem with transfers right now is that no one knows the value of players – it’s impossible to.
No one knows when games will happen, for instance, thus teams can’t work out what their investment is for. And that’s before you get to the difficulty of figuring out a player’s worth during an economic crash.
But all players should depreciate in value at roughly the same rate. That means the best way to trade for players is to literally swap them – that way, you can limit the risk of a fluctuation in fees.
The buying club knows exactly what they’re giving up and the selling club knows exactly what they’re getting. That’s not so clear with just money these days.
And so using Lovren in this deal might be the only way Liverpool make the Koulibaly transfer happen. Seeing as he’s fourth-choice anyway, it’s a very smart move.