Tuesday 16 January 2018

New Liverpool signing Luis Alberto inspired by Spanish success

Brendan Rodgers has made his second signing of the summer
Brendan Rodgers has made his second signing of the summer

Carl Markham

Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto will use the success of Spaniards in the Premier League to motivate him as he prepares to join his compatriots in England with a move to Liverpool.

The 20-year-old is expected to fly into Merseyside for a medical and discuss personal terms later this afternoon after the two clubs settled on a fee, believed to be in the region of £6million initially with potential add-ons.

A deal is not expected to be completed before the weekend but Alberto will almost certainly be Brendan Rodgers' third signing - after Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas - of the summer by next week.

"I'm very much looking forward to it," Alberto said.

"I'm going to a club like Liverpool, a new culture, a new language, I have to adapt quickly but I'm really looking forward to this big step.

"There are many Spaniards in England and they are doing quite well.

Liverpool Fixtures 2013-2014

17 Stoke (H)
24 Aston Villa (A)
31 Man Utd (H)
14 Swansea (A)
21 Southampton (H)
28 Sunderland (A)
5 Crystal Palace (H)
19 Newcastle (A)
26 West Brom (H)
2 Arsenal (A)
9 Fulham (H)
23 Everton (A)
30 Hull (A)
3 Norwich (H)
7 West Ham (H)
14 Tottenham (A)
21 Cardiff (H)
26 Man City (A)
28 Chelsea (A)
1 Hull (H)
11 Stoke (A)
18 Aston Villa (H)
28 Everton (H)
1 West Brom (A)
8 Arsenal (H)
12 Fulham (A)
22 Swansea (H)
1 Southampton (A)
8 Sunderland (H)
15 Man Utd (A)
22 Cardiff (A)
29 Tottenham (H)
5 West Ham (A)
12 Man City (H)
19 Norwich (A)
26 Chelsea (H)
3 Crystal Palace (A)
11 Newcastle (H)

"Seeing all of them succeeding there motivates me even more."

Alberto, who came through the ranks at Sevilla, spent last season on loan at Barcelona B - scoring 11 times in the second division - but the Catalans did not take up their option to sign him permanently.

He admits, however, it will be a wrench to leave his hometown club.

"I've always said that this is the club where I grew up, it's my home," he told Spanish newspaper Diario de Sevilla.

"I owe a lot to Sevilla, although I'm leaving a little hurt because I haven't had the chance to show what I can do in the Primera Division.

"It seems like I was going to return to Sevilla, but the Liverpool thing came up and it's a very important step.

"I've had to take a difficult and important decision and I hope I've got it right."

Despite reported problems in Spain regarding the transfer of Aspas, who has issues with various agents to resolve, Liverpool have no concerns the deal will be confirmed at some point.

Their position with Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is more complicated, however, and is set to run for several weeks.

The Reds are interested in the Armenia international but so are a number of European rivals.

Mkhitaryan has a reported £20million buy-out clause but with other clubs circling that price could go higher.

And with the situation over the player's ownership - with suggestions there is a third-party arrangement in place - there will be no quick fix with sources at Anfield claiming any potential deal is "a very long way off".

Rodgers is looking to get his business done early, having not been able to last summer after only replacing Kenny Dalglish in early June, and is still pursuing deals for Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori.

Andy Carroll's £15million-plus move to West Ham has freed up some money for the budget while also reducing the wage bill.

However, it is understood there was nothing extraordinary in the pay-off he received for leaving the club.

Reports have suggested the Reds had to give the England international £1million in order to persuade him to complete a move to Upton Park, where he spent last season on loan.

But most players who do not ask for a transfer - and Carroll was effectively pushed out of the exit door by Rodgers - are entitled to loyalty bonuses which are written into their contracts.

The club treated Carroll's departure similarly to those which proceeded it and while any payment is regarded as confidential, the 24-year-old's was not deemed exceptional in the circumstances.

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