The weekend saw the month of March upon us, and with it another series of transfer rumours as the season approaches it’s final 10 games and all attention turns to who will arrive and depart Anfield this summer.
Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who has had a very-much Jekyll and Hyde season, is linked with a move away in The Sunday People.
Shelvey enjoyed a good first half of the season and was shown to be a key player in Brendan Rodgers’ plans, but a dip in form and some less than well timed off field comments haven’t helped his cause of late. He’s started just twice since the boxing day defeat at Stoke, something he publicly commented on. After the West Brom defeat, his only League start, he vented frustrations at “internet warrior” supporters.
Stoke City are reported to be interested in the England under 21 international. The Sunday People suggest Stoke had representatives at last Monday’s reserve match against Man United, which Shelvey was impressive in. A fee is reported around £7m – which would be a healthy return on a player signed for £1.8m from Charlton.
Elsewhere, The Metro claim Liverpool are to hold talks with CSKA Moscow attacker Keisuke Honda over a pre-contract deal. The 26-year-old Japan international’s deal with the Russians expires this summer and he will not sign a new contract.
Keisuke Honda Portokalis / Shutterstock.com
“We tried to extend his contract, but we can’t force him,” CSKA director Roman Babaev is quoted. “It is up to him what happens next.”
Honda would certainly suit Liverpool’s profile of player, still relatively young at 26, available at a reduced fee (free) and therefore a guaranteed higher sell-on fee. He would also help boost their target market in Asia.
In 2011, Liverpool’s shirt sponsor Standard Charter admitted they would like the club to sign a big Asian player. “We would love the club to have players of nationalities from the markets in which we operate,” said their head of corporate affairs, Gavin Law. “Look what Park [Ji-sung] has done for [Manchester] United in terms of coverage in Korea.
“Liverpool are more aware than most other clubs we’ve spoken to of the commercial opportunity for them. If they can sell a million shirts with another Mr Park on the back, why wouldn’t you?”