Liverpool’s spending spree shows no sign of ending as they moved last night to make Nathaniel Clyne their sixth summer signing having agreed a £12.5m transfer fee with Southampton.
Having had an earlier £10m bid rejected on Tuesday, Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s chief executive, returned to the negotiating table yesterday to table the higher offer, albeit one that was £2.5m shy of Southampton’s original £15 million valuation.
However, once Clyne – whose contract with Southampton expires next year – informed the club that he had no desire to remain at St Mary’s, the deal was done.
Capped five times by England, Clyne has agreed a five-year contract in principle but has still to finalise personal terms and agree a medical. Should those formalities be completed then he will become Liverpool’s sixth addition of this busy close-season, following the arrivals of Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan and Joe Gomez.
This costly piece of business pushes Liverpool’s summer outlay above the £40m mark – following the £29m transfer of Firmino, the Brazilian international, from Hoffenhiem.
However if, as expected, Raheem Sterling is sold to Manchester City early next month then Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, may even be in a position to argue that he has made the club a profit this year.
While City and Liverpool have yet to settle on a figure for the England international, with the Merseyside club rejecting City’s £40m bid last week, City’s owners have given their approval for another offer to be made.
This is the fourth summer Rodgers has spent shopping for new players since he became Liverpool’s manager and having yet to win a trophy for the club, the pressure is mounting on the Ulsterman to deliver.
With Clyne’s arrival, his net spend will be a little shy of £145m since he swapped the environs of Swansea City for Anfield, although Sterling’s sale would have a dramatic effect on the balance sheet.
It is the impact Clyne will have on the team-sheet that concerns Rodgers most of all, however, because right-back has been a problem position ever since Glen Johnson’s form dipped and Jon Flanagan picked up a serious knee injury.
The 24-year-old is the fourth player to join Liverpool from Southampton in the last 12 months – after Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert moved to Anfield from the south-coast club last summer.