Liverpool have been keeping an eye on the Bosnian midfielder for some time…
With every day that passes we edge a little closer to the moment many Liverpool fans thought might never happen – Steven Gerrard leaving us for another club, with MLS giants LA Galaxy his chosen side.
It’s hard to begrudge our captain earning himself a nice little retirement bonus in the Malibu sun. He’s been with us since 1987 and has made over 700 appearances for the first-team, scoring almost 200 goals.
While Jordan Henderson is widely expected to take over the captains armband – as he’s done for much of this season – the 24-year-old should be just one piece in the ‘how to replace our greatest player of all time’ puzzle.
Fresh blood is definitely needed in a midfield for which the only competition is currently between Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva – who both started the recent games against Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers.
Provided the likes of Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho can start performing on a consistent basis next season, Emre Can is also likely to make the step-up out of defence, although at just 21 he’s perhaps not ready to shoulder the pressure of succeeding our iconic No. 8.
Work definitely needs to be done in the transfer market, with whatever limited budget Brendan Rodgers has to play with being focused on recruiting a suitable playmaker who can dictate the tempo of games.
Recent reports have been linking us with a move for Roma star Miralem Pjanic, who first came to our attention earlier this year during Rodgers’ mysterious scouting trip to the Italian capital (via Mail Online).
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Liverpool have been told that they can sign the player for as little as £21.8m, a far lesser price tag to that which was being suggested earlier in the year by the likes of Goal.com.
So why the dramatic reduction? Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain are all reported to have retained their interest in the player, so there’s little to stop Roma encouraging a bidding war for a player who is contracted until 2018.
His numbers this season are virtually as good as his last campaign, with his four goals and six assists in 26 Serie A games guiding La Maggica to second place in the Italian top flight, admittedly 14 points adrift of leaders Juventus.
Well, according to those same reports, Pjanic’s attitude has become a major problem. The Corriere Dello Sport piece includes phrases such as ‘inability to model his game’ and ‘feeling of distrust’.
These are of course only rough translations, but they suggest a player who’s got too big for his boots and is angling for a move away. Surely we’ve got enough of these already…?
Considering the recent high-profile contract problems (via the Metro) surrounding Raheem Sterling, the Reds will no doubt be looking on with interest at the recent problems involving Pjanic’s relationship with Roma.
In this difficult time of transition, we need players that are going to be loyal to the cause and not already looking towards their next move. However, Pjanic is a quality player, and we’d be delighted to have him at Anfield. Whether this mooted poor attitude would eventually become a problem at Anfield is not an issue for today…