The summer transfer market is a bit like the Cold War, insofar as global policy and events in that era were dictated by rumor and speculation rather than actual shots fired or boots on the ground. Now obviously the consequences of those rumors are far more severe when we’re talking about geopolitics, but it is amazing how players “move” and market prices fluctuate before the actual clubs and players even have a chance to speak on the matter.
Following this analogy, Roma are the United States and Monchi is Ronald Reagan, while Liverpool and Chelsea are the little known members of the politburo, scheming behind the scenes to acquire some state secrets while the Gipper is busy sleeping or eating jelly beans.
Have I lost you millenials yet? Probably...point being, while Monchi has continued to deny any offers have been received, and even admitted that his predecessor probably knows Alisson’s price point better than he does, based on the pure amount of speculation, it certainly seems like Alisson is bound for either Chelsea or Liverpool, while Real Madrid have bowed out gracefully.
Alisson’s merits are well known at this point, but each of these English clubs have markedly different reasons for chasing Mr. Becker. For Chelsea, their pursuit is borne from Thibaut Courtois’ desire to move to Madrid to be closer to his children, while Liverpool’s simply stems from the fact that they, you know, hate their current keeper, Loris Karius.
Roma, meanwhile, seem to have all their bases covered. Not only have they reportedly offered Alisson a new contract, one that will double his current wages, but they may even have his replacement, PSG’s Alphonse Areola, all but locked up. So either way, Roma are set between the sticks, giving them little to no sense of urgencyto make a deal.
With no pressing need to sell and two of the biggest clubs from the world’s richest league baited on the hook, Monchi is in prime position to score big on Alisson should they decide to sell. However, there are intermittent reports that he’s already come down on his €70 million valuation, but with the season fast approaching, Courtois on the move, and Liverpool increasingly dissatisfied with Karius, it’s advantage Monchi—if he can’t play these two giants off each other and get at least €65 to €70 million for Alisson then he may not be the man for the job after all.
Transfer negotiations are a bit like real estate (yes, I know I just said they’re like the Cold War, but what was that if not a passive-aggressive fight for land?) in that the house (aka the player) is only worth what people are willing to pay. However, the key to real estate is getting multiple people interested in your listing, using that speculation as leverage; the simple fear that someone else will get your dream house has a tendency to ratchet up the offers.
In Alisson, Roma has the hottest house on the market. This one has it all: metal roofing, geothermal hookups, a heated pool, lots of land, low property taxes, no neighbors, an open floor plan, French doors, the works. And in Chelsea and Liverpool, Monchi has two desperate house hunters with more money than common sense, and if he can’t bleed them dry, then it might be time to find a new listing agent.