Lots of us were underwhelmed when we announced the signing of ex-Burnley striker Danny Ings back in the summer, but a series of strong performances and three goals in five games meant he had just started to win over the doubters when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury back in mid-October.
It was incredibly unfortunate timing for 23-year-old; the injury occurred less than a week after we’d installed Jurgen Klopp as manager, and there is little doubt that his physicality and all-action style would tie-in beautifully with the German’s “gegenpressing” philosophy.
Luckily, his injury wasn’t as bad as first feared, and there are hopes we’ll see him take to the field before the end of the campaign (via The Mirror).
However, even though we might not be seeing him on the pitch again for a few more months, he is certain to keep himself in the headlines as a result of the ongoing transfer fee dispute with his former club.
Premier League rules state that even though Ings was out of contract with Burnley when we signed him, we still need to pay a compensation fee to the Lancashire club because he is under 24. We knew this when we signed him, but problems arose when we valued the player at around £6 million, while Burnley claimed they had an offer on the table from Spurs for £12 million.
Now the Express are reporting that Liverpool have been asked to submit there case to the Premier League panel, with a hearing set to take place in the New Year. Burnley have also been approached.
To be fair to The Clarets, their hopes of maximising the fee they receive aren’t unreasonable. Liverpool fans will no-doubt bitterly recall the loss of Steve McManaman on a free to Real Madrid in the late 90s, and more recently, mercenary striker Michael Owen holding the club to ransom at the beginning of the Benitez era (that worked out well, hey Michael?).
It’s very difficult to predict how the hearing will play out, especially given Ings current injury status meaning he’s not really had a chance to prove his current worth to the Reds. If you had to twist our arm, we’d say the final fee will fall nearer to our valuation than to Burnley’s, but with the overly-inflated fees that we’re currently seeing for British players, only time will tell.
Watch this space.