Confused by Liverpool’s tactics over Yevhen Konoplyanka 9


By the end of the night Liverpool may well have completed a deal with Dnipro for Yevhen Konoplyanka, in which case this article will be redundant - but it’s worth asking why the club are negotiating at such a late stage for a player who they’ve clearly been targeting for some time.

Of course, this isn’t really directed at Liverpool specifically - clubs have always negotiated deals right up until the deadline - but they are providing the latest example of something which is baffling: why give yourself such a small margin of error?

According to reports, a Liverpool delegation is in the Ukraine as we speak but are yet to agree a fee for the player; how is that so? How, with so few hours left within which to do business, is this transfer still so far from being completed?

Maybe Dnipro’s decision-makers are being difficult or maybe there’s been an unforeseen development in the negotiations, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to allow for the possibility that something might go wrong and still retain the option to add a different player to the squad? If Ian Ayre had been in the Ukraine a week ago, Liverpool would be in a position to do that. As it stands, though, it appears to be Konoplyanka or nobody.

Transfers are complicated, that’s certainly true, but the window is a month long and £15m-£20m targets are not decided upon impulsively - Liverpool seem to have unnecessarily boxed themselves into a corner.

If a club are shopping for bargains or look to add a last-minute loan-signing, then I can fully understand that, but trying to conclude a big-money overseas transfer on the very last day of the window makes very little sense. For better or for worse, this wouldn’t be the first time Ayre has swung-and-missed on a target, and so it might be worth looking into more efficient and successful ways to do business.

Liverpool are looking so good at the moment, and it would feel like a missed opportunity if they didn’t manage to strengthen at all this month.

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