James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo has been having his say on all the latest transfer gossip this weekend. Pearce joined Fresh Liverpool’s Luke Robertson in a special podcast interview and we’ve detailed his comments below.
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The highly respected journalist discussed the ongoing rumours linking us with a move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, Raheem Sterling’s possible summer exit and a number of other deals that could happen.
— Fresh Liverpool (@Fresh_Liverpool) July 2, 2015
Do you agree with what he had to say? We give our thoughts in the list below.
Christian Benteke & Raheem Sterling
Pearce said: “Liverpool aren’t going to say that they need to sell in order to buy Benteke. But when you look at the balance sheet, and previous windows, you’re looking at a £30m net spend, and I’d be surprised if Liverpool would end up with greater than that.
“If Sterling was sold to Man City and Benteke brought in, you’d be looking at around that figure. I don’t see Raheem Sterling being a Liverpool player at the start of the coming season.
“I’m worried whether he’s [Benteke] worth what Villa want for him, the full £32.5m. I have slight concerns about his fitness record…he had a very strong finish to last season but prior to that he didn’t have a great spell.
“Quite often you see him do his damage when crosses come in from the flanks, and Liverpool don’t really play that way – unless Rodgers is going to change the way he sets the team up.
“But on the other hand, I’ve seen Benteke play when he’s shown he’s a lot more than just a target man. He’s shown that he has got pace, his movement is good…I think there is more to him than that.”
We say: The idea of Sterling being used to fund a bid for Benteke is an intriguing concept and one that certainly makes sense. We’ve already spent £40-£50m this summer (depending on the value of Danny Ings’ compensation) and perhaps we can’t afford to go any further until Sterling is out of the door. However, we would hope that Sterling’s sale won’t mean that we simply agree to pay Benteke’s buyout clause. There’s no way he’s worth that kind of figure and the majority of supports are not going to be impressed if we don’t manage to argue Villa down.