Liverpool have been heavily linked with Southampton playmaker Adam Lallana over recent weeks and it has been widely reported that the Reds have already lodged more than one offer for the player.
Saints are said to be seeking something close to £30million for the England man, as he has a 25% sell on clause, meaning Southampton would owe a hefty sum of any transfer fee to Lallana’s former club Bournemouth.
There is no doubt that Lallana is a fine player and would bolster Liverpool’s already potent attack but a fee in excess of £25million for Lallana seems outrageous. The best English players are already overpriced and a huge fee for Lallana would intensify the inflated transfer fees of British footballers.
There more reasonably priced players in the market than Lallana, and here are three players who would provide better value than the Southampton skipper.
The 22-year-old Brazilian has had an exceptional campaign in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim and seems destined to make a move to a bigger club in the summer. In 33 appearances for the German club Firmino has scored 16 goals and made 11 assists. The Brazilian can play anywhere along the line behind the forwards but is intelligent enough to do a job if asked to play up front as well.
Firmino would probably cost in the region of £20million-£25million, so would be cheaper than Lallana. There may be concerns about the slight Brazilian's ability to adapt to the Premier League but one only has to look at Firmino’s countryman at Liverpool, Philipe Coutinho, as evidence that a small frame is no barrier when a player has the required quality.
Shaqiri has been linked with a move away from Bayern this summer after another frustrating season from him. The 22-year-old made only 20 appearances for the Bavarian giants and half of those were from the subs bench, however Shaqiri still managed a credible six goals and two assists. At this stage of his career the Swiss winger should be playing more regularly and he will no doubt seek a club that will offer him a steadier stream of first team appearances next season.
Bayern would certainly look to recoup their original outlay and possibly make a profit on a player who is young enough to go on and have an outstanding career. This would mean a fee in the region of £10million-15million, for a young player with room to develop, it could represent something of a bargain.
The Red’s pursuit of Konoplyanka in January was doomed to failure after the club left the negotiations until the last few days of the window. The player himself was open to a move but his club Dnipro refused to sell at the eleventh hour.
Konoplyanka is predominantly a left winger but is comfortable on the right wing or playing through the middle. He is an excellent dribbler and made an average of 4.6 successful dribbles in the Europa League this season. To put this into context the Premier League’s best dibbler last season was Eden Hazard with 3.8 successful dibbles per game.
In January Liverpool had a £16million deal in place to sign Konoplyanka until Dnipro’s chairman pulled the plug and the player would probably cost a similar amount were Liverpool to return to seek a successful outcome this summer.
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