Liverpool fans will be forgiven for having gotten excited over the past few days, with the mainstream media professing that Brendan Rodgers is set to land them Napoli star Gonzalo Higuain in January.
Higuain release clause
Reports yesterday even claimed that the Northern Irishman is confident a deal can be done and dusted by January 1st, with £31million said to be enough for negotiations to begin.
The speculation in Italy however paints a very different picture, with certain papers stating that when Higuain signed for his club last summer, he penned a contract which includes a release clause worth €100million, making his price-tag in pounds closer to 80million.
This means that Rodgers will have to spend more than Barcelona did when they bought Luis Suarez this summer, if he is to ensure that Napoli can’t refuse a sale. If factually correct then all of a sudden that particular deal looks somewhat unlikely now.
And Rodgers’ striker woes continue, with reports this morning relaying quotes from the Reds manager concerning Mario Balotelli’s drab performance against Basel in the Champions League. Liverpool lost 1-0 to their Swiss opposition and their Italian forward didn’t quite look at the races. So much for being given time to settle in.
That being said the future isn't too bleak for Rodgers with regards to his attacking line-up. He has former Southampton hero Rickie Lambert in reserve and ready to be called upon, and Daniel Sturridge is steadily making his return from injury. The Reds have struggled to cope without their star forward and, though he will make his comeback soon, Rodgers could be left to rue the games they've had without him.
Rounding off our report we turn to La Liga, where Dani Alves is said to have confirmed that he plans on making a Premier League move before he hangs up his boots.
The Brazilian right-back has been with Barcelona since 2008 but doesn’t look set to be handed a new contract. Now, despite the emergence of Jon Flanagan, it’s said Liverpool could draft him in as a replacement for Glen Johnson.
The former Chelsea ace has looked someway off the pace in recent times and there have been calls for Rodgers to get rid of him at the next available opportunity. Though Alves's subsequent arrival would threaten to stifle Flanagan's development, the Nou Camp star has plenty of pedigree at the highest level and is equally effective when attacking as he is when defending.