Hamburg have told Liverpool to come up with a bid of at least £12.5m for long-term target, Eljero Elia. The Bundesliga club are aware of Liverpool’s interest, and are keen to capitalize:
“We do not loan players,” said Bastian Reinhardt, Hamburg’s sporting director. “We would need at least €15m for Elia.”
23-year-old Elia’s performances since joining Hamburg in 2009 have seen him develop considerable renown in the Bundesliga, as well as earning him a place in the Netherlands squad at last summer’s World Cup. Elia can be deployed either on the wing or as a striker, and Liverpool’s Director of Football, Damien Comolli, is keen to bring the Dutch hotshot to Anfield.
But of course Liverpool already have a young Dutchman who can play up-front or out wide; Ryan Babel has spent the majority of his time at the club trying, and failing, to convince a string of mangers that he is worthy of a first-team place. As it now seems that Kenny Dalglish is just as reluctant as his predecessors to give Babel that chance, the player may now have no choice but to seek a move elsewhere.
Hamburg’s Bundesliga rivals, Hoffenheim, have been linked with a bid for Babel, yet Liverpool are keen to offer Babel to Hamburg as part of a swap deal to bring Elia to Anfield.
So Liverpool get their man without spending a fortune and get rid of Babel, who gets a chance to resurrect his career elsewhere, and Hamburg get a ready-made replacement for Elia, plus some extra cash to make up the difference.
So everybody wins. Except Hoffenheim.
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