Liverpool could finance a big-money deal for Timo Werner “with relative ease” this summer, one expert has claimed, despite the impact of football’s enforced break.
Werner is by all accounts the Reds’ primary target in the next transfer window, but the state of the market has led to question marks over whether a move can be finalised.
The 24-year-old is available for just over £50 million due to a release clause in his contract with RB Leipzig, and reinforced his status as a relative bargain with three more goals in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Mainz.
That brought his season’s tally to 30 in just 38 games, along with 12 assists, and his style of play would clearly suit Jurgen Klopp‘s system.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool are believed to have paused all negotiations for signings and sales, but it has been widely reported that Klopp spoke to Werner in the past few weeks.
And responding to uncertainty over whether the Reds could afford to sign the Germany international, football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the Blood Red podcast that they could “very much” meet the fee required.
“Liverpool’s business model is an intriguing one in that historically when they generated extra income that has flowed straight into Jurgen Klopp‘s budget over the course of the past few years, and that money is being well spent,” he said.
“As far as the cost of signing someone such as Werner, most deals these days are spread over a series of years.
“So even though it’s a £52 million potential cost, if that was split into four annual instalments then Liverpool would be able to absorb that with relative ease.
“I don’t see a problem in terms of the financing recruitment, and it could be that they try to do a swap deal.
“I do expect either loans or swap deals arising, simply because clubs, moving more towards the moral and ethical issue, wouldn’t want to be seen to be spending such big sums of money.
“So this is a way of dealing with issues of that nature.”
Maguire, who is a lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool, further expanded on the “ethical issue” of clubs paying sizeable fees for players when their own supporters are struggling financially.
“I suspect to a certain extent if that No. 9 scores six goals in his first four games, everything’s forgotten,” he said when asked if clubs could morally justify spending big on a new striker.
“Football fans are that way.
“If it turns out like Wesley at Villa or Joelinton at Newcastle, where they’ve spend a lot of money and he turns out to be a dud, I think the voices will be even louder than they would be under normal circumstances.
“A lot of people are suffering in the UK at present. They’ve been cooped up, they’ve lost their income streams, they’re not necessarily capable of being furloughed because of the nature of work that they’ve done and so on.
“I think football has got to tread very delicately.
“We do expect, perhaps, a higher degree of moral and ethical code from football clubs than we do perhaps any other line of business that we come into contact with.
“If I’m dealing with my bank, I’m fairly cynical; if I’m dealing with a big grocery store, the attitude’s the same.
“I like to look up to my football club, hoping they have a set of values that I want to be associated with.
“And spending money as if it’s going of fashion and being in complete disregard of what is the biggest global crisis since the end of World World II, I think would be very insensitive of a club.”