The rumour mill is rife and rapturous this summer, and as always Liverpool are right in the thick of it. The Reds conducted their business early (as Jurgen Klopp likes to do) with the £35m Ibrahima Konate signing but since then the transfers have seemingly grinded to a halt.
As discussed on the LFC Transfer Room Podcast with, Matty Orme, Daz O’Connor, special guest Dan Kay and yours truly, Ritchie Slack, the priority for Liverpool at the moment seems to be focusing on tying down their current talent to longer and more lucrative contracts, rather than investing in new blood.
Not a bad strategy in fairness; gone are the days where the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez used the club as a stepping stone to get to a holier grail.
Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Mo Salah and more are expected to sign new deals in the coming weeks; progress indeed for Liverpool based on previous years. The thought alone of losing one of those players makes the stomach turn: some talent cannot be replaced or replicated.
It is perhaps then, no wonder why there has been rare and reliable gossip surrounding the red half of Merseyside since the capture of Konate.
Michael Edwards and his band of miracle makers are seemingly focused on securing the signatures of the 2020 Premier League champions and seeing what is left in the budget before over committing in the transfer market.
James Pearce of The Athletic also commented that Liverpool are looking to raise funds for transfers from selling players in the current squad.
There is a belief that Liverpool can raise in excess of £60m from sales this summer with Marko Grujic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Harry Wilson amongst the outgoings.
It seems that before a transfer flurry of incomings, Liverpool once again need to sell to buy, especially with the recent news that Anfield is set to be expanded again by 7,000 seats by 2023 with costs incurring around £60m.
Fenway Sports Group have always been astute with finances surrounding Liverpool Football Club.
At times this is a frustration for fans who want to see the biggest names play in the famous red, but we are not owned by oligarchs: we are a business that has flourished for FSG and they aren’t going to bankrupt one of their prize assets by being careless.
In the current climate, financially stability will reap benefits further down the line, one can hope anyway.
So, now that the context has been explored, what of Patson Daka?
The RB Salzburg forward has been in the gossip columns of papers in the United Kingdom, Germany and Zambia for a few months now.
The Zambian international was given leave from his duties for his national team by his manager Milutin Sredojevic to ‘sort out his future’. Initiate global speculation.
Since his omission from his national team Daka, the 22-year-old scoring sensation, has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside.
Jurgen Klopp is not the only admirer of the pressing machine that is Patson Daka though; West Ham have declared their interest too and some outlets are linking Chelsea to the young striker who notched 27 goals in 28 games in the Austrian Bundasliga last season.
It seemed earlier this year Daka would move along the Red Bull chain and join RB Leipzig. A transfer many players have made over the years, our very own Naby Keita being one of them.
The move to Leipzig is still favourites with bookmakers, especially since Jessie Marsch is joining Leipzig from Daka’s current team Salzburg.
It is a move which makes sense, unless of course, Liverpool, West Ham, Chelsea or any other suitors is willing to line the Red Bull coffers with more silver than they could turn down?
Austian outlet Salzburger Nachrichten claimed that Liverpool were in the race for Daka earlier this year, and since then the hitman has been continuously rumoured with a move to Merseyside.
Daka is 6ft 1” but is extremely quick (notching a top speed the same as Mo Salah's) and is intelligent with his runs in behind the defence.
Daka actually scored two goals against Liverpool and terrorised the Reds defence in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in pre-season.
It makes perfect sense for Liverpool to move for a potential prodigy as opposed to a Jadon Sancho type signing who will undoubtedly be triple the cash Liverpool will pay for Daka (the rumoured fee is around the £25/30m mark). Jurgen Klopp doesn’t buy superstars, he makes them.
Daka will not immediately demand a place in Klopp’s starting XI, nor should he. The front four of Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are firmly situated ahead of any new arrival.
The perfect storm would be to bleed Daka in to the Liverpool way, as many others before him have endured with great results (see Fabinho and Andy Robertson) Daka has already stated in an interview with the BBC that Sadio Mane and Mo Salah is an inspiration to him.
“I can be like them. They are my inspiration, knowing that they also come from Africa. I think when people are making those kind of comparisons, it’s great, looking at the status of Sadio Mane, the kind of football he plays and the kind of person that he is.”
Patson Daka on Liverpool FC.
Liverpool have the pulling power to attract any footballer in the world. If there is genuine interest in Patson Daka, and the cash is there/raised over the next week or so, Patson Daka would be a great addition to the Liverpool machine.
The talented youngster also chipped in with 11 assists during a stellar campaign for the Austrians, he is an unrivalled talent and with a price tag as cheap as his, this potential deal may be one not to miss out on.
For those cynics amongst us who claim the Austrian League is nowhere near the standard of what is required to make it in the Premier League, Sadio Mane and Erling Haaland have done pretty well for themselves, and Patson Daka scored more than them both in a single season.
It is a transfer rumour which will not go away until his future is revealed. The front runners are Leipzig, Liverpool and West Ham. All common sense points to the German team, since the connection and manager who knows him is heading that way too.
Michael Edwards has a very strong relationship with the Red Bull group. Taki Minamino, Naby Keita and now Ibrahima Konate have all progressed through the Red Bull production line and found themselves at Anfield directly from the group.
The working relationship between Edwards and RB should not be underestimated.
Daka’s future remains up in the air; he is on the move no doubt. Liverpool tend to conduct their business quietly and the fact that Daka and other parties have all been quiet about his movements bode well for those who want the young gunman at Anfield.
Whether Germany, Austria, London or Merseyside; if Liverpool want him, Liverpool will get him.
We just may have to wait a while until his we know his fate, but if he is Liverpool bound, the wait will be worth it.