Here’s the thing with Sevco; they have made a mug out of Alfredo Morelos and they have made mugs out of themselves.
Their PR and transfer strategy is lamentable.
Their way of trying to drum up interest in the player has been self-defeating and self-destructive.
More than two years ago, when the first ridiculous stories were emerging about bids from China and elsewhere, I said this was going to cause that club a lot of problems. They were leaking this stuff to the media every other week, and all of it was nonsense.
The fake China bid will go down as one of the most ham-fisted and manifestly dumb things a club in Scotland has ever done.
It didn’t matter that the story of the “£30 million bid” was transparently false; Sevco pushed it through the media in the hope that some club out there would start sniffing around this “superstar” who the player’s own agent said was available “cheaply.”
But nobody came calling, nobody but the agent himself who said “if you’re turning down that kind of money my footballer wants a wage rise.”
He knew those stories were bollocks, but because he knew the club was pushing them he also knew he could leverage them.
And so he got Morelos the first of two inflation busting pay increases on the back of rumours.
Yet as time went on, and the club started to believe its own hype, another predictable thing happened, something which this website also thought was a certainty; the player started to believe it too. He started to think he was worth a move to England or France or Spain, a top league with all the big money that went with it.
And when the club named its ludicrously high asking price, poor Alfredo began to understand that their strategy was pricing him out of the move he cherished. There was always going to be blood on the walls because of that. We’re now seeing the results.
Today, someone’s been talking to the Colombian press and saying that Morelos has asked the club to accept Lille’s £18 million bid.
Which is perfectly fine and would get him his exit except for one little fly in the soup … there is no £18 million bid from Lille and there never has been.
The press has done a wonderful job in bullshitting its way through this story, with reports that the Lille chairman “confirmed” that they’d made a bid … which he did.
He just never stipulated what size the bid was.
The media filled in the blanks and made up its own number, which the Ibrox press office, in the hopes of starting a scramble for his services, knew they would.
But Lille has moved on. They’ve signed a striker, and for big, big money. They aren’t going to spend that kind of money again, this time on a grumpy SPL player, and especially not when UEFA has them under scrutiny and restrictions via their already egregious FFP violations.
Other clubs are said to be “interested” but only the French have made a cast-iron bid.
That may or may not change, but any future bid will be weighted by Morelos’ temper tantrum tendencies, his current lack of goals, his terrible physical conditioning and his status as a bad boy pushed to the fringes and all in addition to the manager’s disdainful comments about him which every manager out there was most interested in hearing.
And bear in mind, part of the reason Sevco keeps Gerrard around is that he has a higher profile and bigger footprint in the game than they do … so no matter what they are putting out there about Morelos the footballer, the manager’s characterisation of him as lazy and arrogant and not a team player will be what reverberates loudest around the dugouts and boardrooms.
I don’t feel in the least sorry for either club or player, but it is kind of pitiful to read tonight that Morelos is now begging them to accept an offer which they invented in the first place and which has no basis in reality at all, an offer that even if it were real would have expired the moment Lille walked away from the table to sign someone else … and all this before Morelos’ training ground strop and Gerrard’s subsequent decision to drop him which advertises the general unhappiness all round.
That would have changed the equation of the deal completely.
Either way, that deal is no longer there.
He’s asking for something his club cannot give him, and that he’s doing so through the media is a sure sign that he hasn’t fully grasped the size of the con-job Sevco has tried to pull on him here.
The truth is, they’ve trapped themselves – and therefore him – in their own fiction … neither of them can wish that fact away.
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