Friday 13 December 2019

Liverpool agree fee for Adam as Villa put £20m tag on Downing

Rory Smith

Kenny Dalglish's comprehensive overhaul of Liverpool after two seasons of underachievement is gathering pace after the Scot's six-month pursuit of Charlie Adam neared its end yesterday.

The 25-year-old travelled to Merseyside to undergo a medical and discuss terms after Liverpool agreed a fee, which could rise to £8.5m, with Blackpool for the midfielder.

Adam will be unveiled as Dalglish's second capture of the summer -- following the £16m signing of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland last month -- in the next 48 hours and is likely to join his new team-mates when they depart for their pre-season tour of China and Malaysia on Sunday.

Liverpool were first linked with Adam last January, when a bid of around £7.5m was rejected by Blackpool, despite the player's private desire to leave Bloomfield Road.

Talks between Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston and Liverpool's director of football, Damien Comolli, began immediately after Ian Holloway's team were relegated in May.

Liverpool are thought to have agreed to pay around £7m up front, with £1.5m payable to the Bloomfield Road club in performance-based clauses.


Adam is expected to sign a four-year contract worth around £50,000 a week. Despite suggestions to the contrary, it is understood no players will travel in the opposite direction as makeweights, though Blackpool are understood to be considering moves for more than one of Liverpool's fringe players.

Dalglish is hopeful of supplementing Adam's arrival with the signing of former Brazilian international goalkeeper Doni by the end of the week. Liverpool had been granted permission to sign the player by his club, Roma -- who are keen to take Ajax's Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg -- last month but the 31-year-old, targeted as ideal cover for Pepe Reina, rejected their first offer.

Adam and Doni could yet be joined by Stewart Downing, despite Aston Villa rejecting a second bid of £15m from Dalglish.

Villa are privately resigned to losing him after he intimated he would not discuss a new deal but insist they will not flinch from their £20m valuation.

Liverpool may yet attempt to reduce the cash fee by offering Alex McLeish a number of players in part exchange, with the Scot open to the idea of accepting a bid which features David Ngog, adjudged surplus to requirements at Anfield, as a makeweight.

Glen Johnson has signed a new "long-term" contract extension which will keep the England defender at Liverpool for the peak years of his career. (Daily Telegraph, London)

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