Liverpool’s ownership finds itself in a precarious position following the Chelsea setback in their pursuit of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia. Securing a deal for the talented Southampton player should have been straightforward: meet the £50 million asking price early in the transfer window, and the deal would be sealed. Unexpectedly, Liverpool launched a groundbreaking bid for Caicedo, a departure from their cautious spending approach. However, the recent chaotic and uncertain dealings in the transfer market have left the club reeling from the aftermath. Losing out on Lavia and Caicedo adds to Liverpool’s growing list of midfield recruitment blunders. Their failure to convince Aurelien Tchouameni to move a year ago and their quick abandonment of the Jude Bellingham pursuit earlier this year, despite indications he might consider Anfield, are all part of this narrative.
The argument that financial constraints led to the rejection of the Bellingham deal no longer holds water, considering the £111 million offered to Brighton for Caicedo. With such substantial resources available, Liverpool theoretically possesses the means to pursue reasonable targets without hesitation. Time is of the essence, but Klopp has conveyed his preferences to the Liverpool board. Nicolo Barella from Inter Milan has long been on their radar, and recent hints suggest Inter might entertain offers for the midfielder. An opportunity to observe Barella closely was missed in 2022, when he was suspended for both of Inter Milan’s Champions League last-16 ties—a fact Klopp acknowledged while expressing his admiration for the Italian player. Klopp’s words then have been validated by Barella’s stellar performance, earning him the title of Serie A’s finest midfielder last season. Given Liverpool’s struggles in rejuvenating their midfield over the past year, Klopp is justified in urging the club to go all out in securing Barella’s signature.
In contrast to the drawn-out sagas surrounding Bellingham, Caicedo, Lavia, and Tchouameni, Liverpool cannot afford to accept rejection in their pursuit of their next target. Settling for anything less than a marquee signing now would not compensate for the series of transfer fiascos.
Liverpool’s ownership is left with no alternative; it’s a make-or-break scenario with Barella.