Watford‘s owners could employ a complicated strategy to secure Jerome Sinclair’s move from Liverpool for a cut-price fee.
Ian Herbert of the Independent reports that Sinclair could be on the verge of leaving Liverpool for either Udinese or Granada, in rather complex circumstances.
The 19-year-old, who is the Reds’ youngest ever player, has been strongly linked with a move away from Anfield, and the fact that Aidy Ward is his agent adds fuel to the speculation.
Herbert claims that a new Reds deal for Sinclair could well have been completed by now, were the controversial Ward not in the picture.
Furthermore, it is thought that the presence of Sinclair’s father during discussions has continued to muddy the waters between player and club.
As it is, Watford‘s owners, the Pozzo family, are suggested to be plotting to sign Sinclair for either Udinese or Granada, who they also own, with a view to sending him on loan at Vicarage Road.
Operating outside of the Premier League, Udinese and Granada would pay a nominal fee of around £200,000 to sign Sinclair at the end of his contract.
Doing the business in this manner would mean the Pozzo’s find a way around the transfer going to a tribunal panel.
The Reds are not believed to want to let Sinclair go – Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons, Fulham and Bristol City have all expressed an interest in him – but the wages they are offering do not appear to be high enough to keep hold of the striker.
Liverpool no longer have the pulling power that they used to when it comes to keeping hold of young players, with Raheem Sterling’s big-money move to Manchester City last summer the perfect evidence of that.
Jon Flanagan is another player who is out of contract at the end of the season, with the 23-year-old finally making his long-awaited return to first-team action against Exeter City last week.
It would be a shock if Flanagan was not offered a new deal by the club, with the boyhood Liverpool fanatic a potentially key player in the long-term.
Doubts remain about the future of Jordan Rossiter, who was offered a new contract when Brendan Rodgers was at the club, but is yet to put pen to paper since the Ulsterman’s dismissal in October.
Chances could be few and far between for the 18-year-old midfielder in the coming months and years, with the signing of Marko Grujic adding further depth and quality in his position.
Losing Flanagan and Rossiter would be more of a wrench for the Reds, but Sinclair leaving for such a low fee would be a major blow.