Rhian Brewster appears to be close to a move to Crystal Palace, amid news that the Selhurst Park club have put in an official bid for the striker – including a buyback option for the Reds.
Liverpool have nurtured Brewster’s undoubted talent through his formative years and enabled him to take his first steps in senior football.
They have also supported him well throughout a lengthy rehabilitation after a serious injury, so added to his unquestioned ability it’s no surprise to see that the club are not entirely ready to give up on him developing into a top-class striker.
But at present his route to the senior set-up on a regular basis looks difficult, after the January arrival of Takumi Minamino and last week’s signing of Diogo Jota, making a departure this summer inevitable.
It only remained to be seen whether it would be a loan deal for a season – for which Sheffield United were keen – or a more permanent move, which now seems the likely course of action.
James Pearce of the Athletic says a move is “gathering pace”, while Rob Dorsett of Sky Sports has given further details of an official bid from Crystal Palace.
UPDATE: Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has since countered the Sky Sports reports, saying they are “total fabrication from start to finish” and clarifying Palace “have not made a bid formal or informal”. As such, talks are clearly a way from completion – though the interest in Brewster seems genuine and ongoing.
- Palace claimed to have submitted an official bid of £19 million
- An additional £6m would be payable in add-ons
- The Reds would maintain a buyback option for £37m
The sale along those lines would represent another sizeable return for the Reds on a player they identified at an early stage in their careers, signed for very little and developed to Premier League-level.
Ki-Jana Hoever similarly joined Wolves last week for a fee going above £10m.
Brewster featured and scored in the Reds’ shortened pre-season campaign, though missed a decisive spot-kick in the Community Shield against Arsenal – which would be his last kick of the ball for the club, as it stands.
But there remains a chance of a future return if, as expected, he proves himself a top-flight calibre striker.
For now the best course of action is for him to get top-flight games and prove he can score and contribute as regularly in the Premier League as he did with Swansea last season, making this potential type of sale-and-buyback deal a shrewd piece of business.
The Reds are keen to now recoup funds after signing three players this summer, and Brewster’s impending exit is unlikely to be the last – though he retains more hope of an Anfield future than some of those who might follow him out the door in the coming weeks.