After making eyes at Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno for much of the summer so far, Liverpool are reportedly ready to abandon their pursuit of the Spain international and compete with Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of Swansea’s Ben Davies.
The Reds and the Andalusians are someway apart with their valuations of Moreno, with Sevilla holding out for £4m more than the £16m Brendan Rodgers expects to pay, and the Northern Irishman is thought to be ready to switch his sights to a devil he knows rather better.
Rodgers oversaw Davies’ development at the Liberty Stadium, although the Neath native was handed his Swansea debut by Michael Laudrup shortly after his old boss left for Merseyside in June 2012.
Despite only turning 19 a few months previously, Davies barged to the front of the left-back queue under the Dane ahead of older colleague Neil Taylor, who lost his place initially through injury.
Davies is yet to look back, having become a virtual ever-present while banking a League Cup winners’ medal and becoming a regular member of the Wales squad since.
Arsenal full-back priorities this summer are on the right, with Bacary Sagna becoming the latest in a decent-sized line of players to swap the Emirates for the Etihad.
However, with Kieran Gibbs looking less and less like the player Gooners hoped he would become, Arsene Wenger ought to give due consideration to Davies.
By the age of 21, Gibbs had barely strung together 20 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, whereas Davies has made the teamsheet 65 times in the top-flight for the Swans.
He played five more games and spent over 400 more minutes on league pitches than Moreno last term, posting an 84 per cent pass completion rate compared to the Spaniard’s 79 per cent, while averaging more successful tackles and laying-on more goal-scoring opportunities for teammates (stats by squawka.com).
It’s not hard to see why Rodgers is going toe-to-toe with new Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino for the player’s paw print, or why Wenger should join the fight, but the Reds chief may be in for a shock if he sees Davies as a cheaper option.