Sevco is desperate to sell Alfredo Morelos.
Everyone knows this.
Everyone realises it.
Everyone, it seems, except Steven Gerrard, who assured worried fans, including a lot of mainstream journalists, at his press conference today that he is under no pressure to sell.
This is true in only the narrowest sense. Gerrard is not under any individual pressure but only because in a football transfer equation there are both a selling club and a buying club and right now there is no-one willing to meet their ridiculous valuation.
But Gerrard is not, in any way, in control of this process.
He doesn’t get to say, for example, what an acceptable fee will be.
He does not get to say how much of the money will be available for him to spend.
Morelos will go if there’s a good offer; that much is a recognised fact if Sevco wants to keep the lights on.
First someone has to want him, and Lille have walked away.
This is why reports in the paper claim that West Brom have entered the race; this is an attempt either to bring Lille – who have other options and plenty of money – back to the table, or to spark interest from somewhere else in Europe.
It’s not working. Sevco will not get an auction going for Morelos.
Too few clubs care.
The guy scored one goal from January onwards, and his discipline problems are on the record.
The Scottish press may have swallowed that story about his throat-cutting gesture but all across Europe managers and chairmen looked at that and were aghast.
In the meantime, Morelos stays. Gerrard was at pains today to point out that the player has been told to shut down all the talk swirling around about him, but how do you do that?
What if he’s playing and he gets injured? It has happened to his opposite number at their second place rivals Aberdeen.
Sam Cosgrove also had interest from abroad but turned down the move.
Now he’s facing a long spell on the side-lines. It’s sad for him, but this is the risk players take in the midst of negotiations. It would not be surprising if Morelos just didn’t fancy this, if he just wasn’t willing to run through walls whilst this is up in the air.
None of this is in Gerrard’s hands.
He may talk a good game, but talk is all it is, and only the media is really convinced.
The player wants the move. That’s clear enough.
The club needs the money. That’s beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Gerrard may be thrown some scratch but Sevco fans who harbour mad fantasies of him getting £20 million for players are barking.
Gerrard may even believe it himself.
He will get a real reality check when, or if, the player is finally sold.
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