With inspirational club captain Steven Gerrard set to leave Liverpool for MLS side LA Galaxy when his contract expires this summer, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has called on the club to bring in a big name player to replace their 34-year old talisman.
Although they’ve been linked with a lot of names — including Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph and an audacious interest in Everton up and comer Ross Barkley — the club have yet to give any hint of just who they’ll bring in to help ease the burden of their most storied player leaving. There have been rumours that the Anfield outfit are preparing a bid somewhere in the region of £23mil to bring AS Roma maestro Miralem Pjanic to Merseyside, but if Giallorossi president James Pallotta has any say in it, the Bosnian playmaker isn’t going anywhere.
That is, of course, unless the Reds are ready to pay what he calls a “stupid number” to secure his services. While much of his recent, quit through, interview focused on stadium expansion plans, dealing with neighbours Lazio and their elimination from the Champions League, the American hedge fund investor also took some time to talk about the rumour mill and how the club won’t be parting with it’s stars without getting a significant amount of money in return.
The main topic of conversation, for the most part, was on the continually discussed Kevin Strootman and Manchester United’s interest in taking the Dutchman to Old Trafford. After confirming that the club aren’t going to let him link up with Louis van Gaal on the cheap, he echoed those same sentiments when it comes to the Reds and the 24-year old pass-master. “The Liverpool thing with Pjanic is the same. We have another four years with him, and we love him,” explained Pallotta. “We want to put the best team on the pitch, that’s the most important thing. But we’re businessmen. If someone comes in with a stupid number for a player, you have to listen to it. You can’t just say no, no matter what.”
So, the question is if £23.mil is a “stupid” enough number or not…