Mock the Moment

The definition of Liverpool FC ‘meaning business’ is to spend £40m on another midfielder

Apparently, the sign of Liverpool FC ‘meaning business’ is spending another £40m on a midfielder. AS Monaco have reluctantly waved goodbye to their Brazilian international Fabinho who has made his missus very happy by becoming a Red. Fabinho can play as the more defensive of a midfield duo or trio which has Liverpool fans salivating at the thought of him being alongside Naby Keita and the heavily linked Frenchman Nabil Fekir. It’s almost as if Kloppo and the fans know that Jordan Henderson really isn’t that good.

But is this actually what the UEFA Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid actually taught us, that Liverpool need another midfielder? I am not so sure. Another fast attacker? Maybe. You know, just so that they don’t have to bring on Adam Lallana next time. A top-class replacement for Dejan Lovren? Quite possibly. A new goalkeeper? Ah, yes. A new goalkeeper.

Liverpool fans were very excited to hear that AS Roma’s Allison will be arriving at Anfield on Saturday. Unfortunately, their mood was dampened when they realised that Liverpool had not stumped up the £80m or so that is being requested in exchange for Brazil’s number one. Allison is on Merseyside because Brazil are playing a pre-World Cup match there and, in all honesty, it will probably be the only time Allison plays at Anfield in the next couple of years. Liverpool’s need for a new ‘keeper is great, but not so great they are going to spend that kind of cash when they can pick up Jack Butland for half the price.

The last time Jose Mourinho popped back to his homeland to sign a highly-rated teenage defender, it didn’t have the instant impact he hoped for as Victor Lindelof adapted so poorly that Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were considered to be safer bets. However, Jose is not to be deterred and he is eyeing up 19-year-old Porto right-back Diego Dalot as the long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia. Dalot can also play left-back, so watch out Ashley Young.

Jordan Pickford has told the world that England are practicing penalties in their World Cup preparations. That does feel awfully hopeful, that England will get as far as a match that could go to penalties and that even if they do that they don’t lose that match in 90 minutes.

I can’t let today’s column pass without mentioning the absolutely pathetic baiting of Raheem Sterling on social media yesterday. Led by Piers Morgan who, somehow, seems to have been elevated from his position of hacking into a dead girl’s voicemail to that of being the moral guardian of the UK, Sterling has been overly criticised for having a machine gun tattoo on his right calf. The tattoo is a tribute to his late father who was gunned down when Sterling was two years old. Raheem has been the target of the Daily Mail, et al, for a couple of years now despite being a young, polite man who seems keen to do well in the world, look after his family and clearly has a strong desire to be the best footballer he can be. This isn’t enough for some factions of the British public, clearly as there have been calls for him to be booted out of the World Cup squad if he doesn’t remove his very personal tribute to a father he never knew.

Would Harry Kane or James Milner be having the same questions asked? Probably not to the same degree and we can all probably work out why. As someone commented on my rant about this yesterday, it is probably the usual ‘bring a member of the England team down before a major Championship’ routine with some very convenient racial undertones beneath it, and not that far beneath it all.

And people wonder why England never seem mentally right for a tournament – mind you, a lot of those people wondering that are the people who buy the Daily Mail and watch Good Morning Britain.

Back to some more light-hearted transfer rumour tom-foolery. With Ronaldo’s rewording of his post-match Champions League final interview not having the effect he hoped, people are putting two and two together and coming up with a swap deal involving Neymar at PSG.

If you have been following PSG’s hilarious spending spree in the last year or so you’d probably think that Kylian Mbappe is 100% their property by now. But, it turns out he isn’t! No, no, no. AS Monaco still technically own the French star and all this FFP stuff might mean that PSG won’t be allowed to make the deal permanent, which is great news for Manchester City who haven’t spent a crazy sum yet in this newly open transfer window. Peppy G is currently trying to work out a cunning way to crowbar Kylian into that attack and reckons it will be worth the £250m it might cost to experiment.

Just in case, City are about to hand over £75m to Leicester City so that Riyad Mahrez can finally fulfill his dream of sitting on the bench at the Etihad Stadium.

Now Aston Villa are in big financial doodoo following their failure to return to the Premier League, Jack Grealish is a wanted man and, allegedly, he is on the radar of Jose Mourinho. Hang on, that’s two young players that Jose has been linked to today. What is going on?

West Ham United are about to start ruining their reputation of spending big money on crap players and start spending sensible money on good players. They’ve realised Barcelona have a couple of good players kicking around not doing very much and are moving for one of them – a centre-back that goes by the name of Marlon and will cost £15m. He will be West Ham’s best Marlon since Marlon Harewood, if you accept he is also the only Marlon since Marlon Harewood. This could be followed up with the signing of Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj who is out of contract this summer. I’m going to need to find a new club to mock, I can feel it.

Frank Lampard is in yet another advanced position in his career. We are told he is in ‘advanced talks’ to become the new manager at Derby County. Presumably, he has Claude Makelele lined up to do the hard work for him whilst Frank gets to look good and grab the headlines.