Nobody really believes Liverpool will land Paris Saint-Germain’s ageing phenomenom Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer, least of all bwin, who offer 3/1 about the Swedish striker signing for a Premier League club by the start of September.
However, the rumour stubbornly refuses to go away after resurfacing this month, having first been mooted in March.
Just in case Brendan Rodgers and the Anfield money-men are contemplating a move, we’ve cobbled together the reasons for Liverpool signing him up, as well as why they won’t:
– He guarantees goals, having struck 338 in 613 club appearances, including 28 in 31 Les Parisiens games this term, 17 of them coming in 21 Ligue 1 fixtures.
Raheem Sterling is Liverpool’s highest Premier League scorer with just seven goals this season, and who knows where he’ll be after the summer? They could clearly use a striking boost.
– He practically guarantees titles. In ten of the past 11 seasons, the team Zlatan has played for came in first-past-the-post in their respective leagues, although Juventus’ 2004-06 Scuddetti were revoked due to Italy’s Calciopoli scandal.
That piece of misfortune notwithstanding, Liverpool could do with such a lucky charm after a quarter of a century without winning England’s top flight.
– His signing would be a statement of intent. If Liverpool can’t bridge the current four-point gap and qualify for the Champions League at 5/1 odds, they’ll struggle to attract the biggest names this summer.
Buying a player who made UEFA’s Team of the Year in 2013 and 2014 could go a long way to remedying that, and may persuade others to follow.
– He wouldn’t fit into Liverpool’s system. Like Pep Guardiola, Rodgers’ coaching apes that of veteran Marseille strategist Marcelo Bielsa, who drills his players to press high up the pitch and pass crisply.
Zlatan didn’t work out at the Camp Nou. There’s no evidence to suggest things would be better at Anfield, especially after just-as-lazy former Inter teammate Mario Balotelli’s travails this term.
– He’d cost too much. Liverpool are said to be haggling with captain-in-waiting Jordan Henderson, who has reportedly turned down a new deal worth £80,000 per week.
Zlatan would want three times as much, if not more.
– He’s too old. Bar Rickie Lambert, Liverpool’s other six summer 2014 acquisitions came in at an average age of 21.
Snapping up the 33-year-old Swede would be a big shift in emphasis from Rodgers/the Liverpool board.
– He’d be awful trouble.
Read his autobiography. Zlatan is a bad egg. He was almost kicked out of first club Malmo for headbutting another trainee, and former Ajax teammate Rafael van der Vaart hates him so much he uses the giant centre-forward’s picture for golf target practice.
Furthermore, much of the talk regarding the much-travelled sharpshooter’s potential move from Paris has come about after he had a few choice words to say about France. Imagine what he’d think of Merseyside?
After (mis)handling Balotelli this term, Rodgers doesn’t need more trouble.