A surprise rumour emerging from Spain has seen Liverpool striker Divock Origi vaunted as a potential target for LaLiga club Real Betis.
Origi won’t be seen as a regular starter for Jurgen Klopp next season even so, leading to questions over whether he would sign a new contract.
With just one year left Liverpool have suggested they’d rather keep hold of him as a squad option and run the risk of leaving him on a free transfer—but that might be tested if a big bid comes in.
And over in Spain that’s what they’re expecting, with Estadio Deportivo suggesting Origi is high on the list of many clubs around Europe—with Betis at the front of the queue.
While there more than likely are a number of teams who would love to sign the Belgian, two financial points have to be noted.
The Reds have absolutely no need to sell—see above about not being put out by risking losing him for free—and yet the Spanish publication believes he might be available for less than £15 million, despite his real value being closer to £20m.
That’s on account of his dwindling contract, which the Reds are rumoured to want to extend.
Even if he won’t, it seems unlikely Liverpool will let him leave on the cheap, given how dismissive they were a year ago of any below-fair valuation offers they received.
Secondly, Origi’s wages are under scrutiny. It’s suggested he’s on €2.6m a year—somewhere around €50,000 a week—and that would be prohibitive for many sides, while a large signing-on fee would also be due the striker if he waited to depart in a year’s time.
Local reports on Merseyside have consistently suggested that Origi is placing far more value on game time and role within the team than any financial incentives.
His relationship with the boss is clearly important, with Klopp known to be a great man-manager, while Origi has also found favour as a cult hero with supporters at Anfield.
The departure of Daniel Sturridge will open up more possibilities to play as effectively the first reserve in Liverpool’s attack, but a club like Betis or another decent top-five European league team may well offer him the starting No. 9 role.
Like several Anfield squad members, his future isn’t quite clear cut yet beyond this summer, but as is the case elsewhere for the Champions of Europe, Liverpool enter any discussions from a position of huge strength in terms of both stature and finance.