January seems to be a time those with serious ambition for the remaining half of the season or a period utilised by sides gripped by desperation to turn things around.
And with Liverpool not really in either camp, it was no surprise to see the club end the winter madness with only Steve Caulker as a new senior member of the squad (Marko Grujic won’t be drafted in properly until the summer).
However, the window didn’t meander to an end for the Reds, who were firmly in the hunt for Alex Teixeira right up to the bitter end, or at least close to it.
Alas, it became pretty clear in the run up to the deadline that a move for the free-scoring 26-year-old would be beyond the realms of possibility, but reports have since suggested that a fresh summer offer is on the agenda at Anfield.
But, will this one actually happen? In 2014 the club chased Yevhen Konoplyanka only to seemingly forget about the then Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk man a matter of months later… so here are FIVE reasons Kopites may never be cheering a Teixeira goal on Merseyside.
“It was a case of ‘if you don’t want it okay, we can’t change the situation, do what you want’. It’s important for now and for the future. It’s not that we haven’t got money or anything, but you have to work respectfully and responsibly.” Jurgen Klopp said.
Reading between the lines it seems that Liverpool had the money and were willing to spend it on Teixeira (perhaps meeting the supposed £38m valuation), but Klopp deemed the fee to be too high. This begs the question: did the German really want him? Surely if he wanted the Brazilian that much and was convinced that he didn’t have options to work with in his current ranks he would have sanctioned the bid?
Okay, there’s a counter-argument that Klopp didn’t want to thrust a massive price-tag – potentially a club record – on the attacking midfielder and pile unwarranted pressure on him, but in the modern era when valuations are swelling, that’s not as big an issue as it was in the days of Andy Carroll and that £35m deal.
Take a look at your own life… how different were things six months ago? Probably quite different, when you take stock. And in the parallel universe in which football exits, six months is akin to five years in real time, so by the time the summer rolls around the circumstances Klopp face may be very different.
For example, something may click in his Liverpool side and goals could start to flow, whether they be from a fully fit Daniel Sturridge (some what unlikely, granted) or via the in-form Roberto Firmino or Divock Origi when he returns from injury. There’s even Christian Benteke to consider, who may find his feet.
Likewise things may change with Teixeira, whose stunning 22 league goals in 15 games form could dip, or, perhaps, he may pick up an injury. Simply put, things might change significantly.
Who knows, by time the summer rolls around, Klopp could decide that the bulk of his transfer funds need to be allocated to a commanding centre-back, a replacement for the often brainless Alberto Moreno, an energetic central midfielder, a genuine winger or, perhaps, a new goalkeeper.
When you look at Liverpool’s squad, if everyone is fully fit, the German tactician can opt to have Firmino, Benteke, Origi, Sturridge or Danny Ings leading the line, while Mario Balotelli (however unlikely a glorious return may be) could be considered.
A genuine worry for Liverpool is that bigger and wealthier clubs may enter the running for Teixeira. And if a team with Champions League football and the ability to offer the Brazilian a serious wage come in, can the Reds really compete?
We’ve seen it happen a fair few times in the past, with the likes of Willian and Mohamed Salah having opted for Chelsea despite genuine interest from Anfield, while the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also been aligned with Merseyside moves only to have better offers come along.
Shakhtar Donetsk are extremely wealthy. Owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukrainian outfit have deep, deep, deep pockets, and, as they showed over the past few weeks, aren’t adverse to moving the goalposts in terms of valuation, with Liverpool having been quoted a range of prices, eventually stopping at Teixeira’s £53m release clause.
Liverpool have had their fingers burnt by financially strong Eastern Europeans in the past with Konoplyanka, so it may be that next time the club pursue another avenue if negotiations mirror those of the month just gone.