Swansea’s admission that they may be powerless to stop Wilfried Bony leaving the club this summer has come a week after Daniel Sturridge was forced to cut short his participation in Liverpool’s preseason tour of the US due to injury. Happy coincidence?
It’s no secret that Liverpool are in the market for another forward. Loic Remy was thought to be the perfect addition to the club: low-cost but with plenty of experience. But that deal fell through following complications with the player’s medical, and the club will now need to look to alternate targets.
But Liverpool aren’t the only club interested in the services of the Ivorian striker, with Tottenham sounding out their interest this summer, and Arsenal also said to be looking at the 25-year-old.
Of the three, Liverpool make the most sense. For starters, Arsenal have no great need for another forward; not that an additional attacker wouldn’t be welcomed at the Emirates, but simply that there are other areas in need of address first. And with Tottenham looking set to hang on to Roberto Soldado after his hugely disappointing first season in English football, as well as Emmanuel Adebayor, Liverpool stand out as the obvious suitors.
Brendan Rodgers also has the added bonus of tempting Bony to Anfield with the prospect of Champions League football this season, something which isn’t set to be in the calendar at White Hart Lane.
Having performed as well as he did during his debut season in the Premier League – 16 goals in the league and 25 in total – Bony will want to test himself at the highest level of club football, with Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins citing interest from Champions League clubs.
It’s also hard to see where Bony would get regular game time at Spurs, provided they were looking to hold firm on their current options. Either Soldado makes way and the club have a near-£30 million striker sitting on the bench for prolonged spells, or Bony accepts an alternating role in the Tottenham attack, which he’s unlikely to do with other options available to him.
At Liverpool, Bony will certainly give Rodgers something different in attack. The club acquired the height and power of Rickie Lambert earlier in the window, but the 32-year-old can only really be thought of as a backup option and a reliever during congested spells in the campaign. Bony, on the other hand, at 25 is younger, quicker and will provide even more power to the team’s attack. There is more than enough pace on hand in Liverpool’s squad, and bringing in Bony will offer a positive balance.
Swansea were initially unwilling to move on the Ivorian’s £19 million release clause, but are now said to be open to negotiating. With Liverpool close to landing Remy for a knockdown £8 million, the opportunity to negotiate with the Welsh club will prove to be something of a breakthrough. In addition, the player’s familiarity with the Premier League should ensure he hits the ground running.
Bony doesn’t have the star power as names like Luis Suarez and Marco Reus, but the club shouldn’t misconstrue his relatively minor status with a lack of quality. The club are also in need of adding further reinforcements to the defence, and while Swansea will push to get as much as they can for Bony, a transfer fee of around £12-15 million will prove to be a good piece of business for Liverpool.