Football

Shane Long's Move To Liverpool Has Taken A Step Forward According To English Reports

Shane Long's Move To Liverpool Has Taken A Step Forward According To English Reports

When we first heard of Shane Long's proposed move to Liverpool on Friday, it's fair to say there was a healthy amount of scepticism. As much as we may have rationalised the move, it was still unlikely. There's may well have been some soundings coming out of an agent or someone of that nature but whether or not that would become reality was anyone's guess.

Fast forward a couple of days, in which Southampton have signed a new striker and Liverpool's lack of a cutting edge became all too apparent, and now it seems there may be some moves afoot. According to Alex Crook of the Mirror, Liverpool have now made an official bid for Long worth somewhere in the region of £8 million.

Given the fact that Southampton paid Hull £12 million for Long's services less than two years ago, it will come as no surprise that the same report is suggesting that the Saints have swiftly told Liverpool where to go with that bid and promptly rejected it.

Once again, we'll have to cast a sceptical eye over this report but it must be said that Crook is a well known reporter on the south coast football beat. He concentrates on Southampton and Bournemouth, so if there has been a bid, it would make quite a bit of sense that he would be one to report it.

So, assuming a bid has been lodged and subsequently rejected, where does that leave Long? It's fairly obvious he wants to play as a central striker. Graziano Pelle's drop in form had looked like it may have come at the perfect time for the Tipperary man. He took his chance through the centre against Arsenal and Watford and it looked all set that he would have plenty of chances to make his mark between now and Euro 2016.

However in came Charlie Austin and once again, Ireland fans have cause to worry that Long may have slipped down the pecking order once more. When asked about the possibility of either Sadio Mané or Long leaving St. Mary's in the aftermath of Austin's arrival, Ronald Koeman was fairly adamant.

Will someone be sold? No. Nobody is for sale in January. At the end of the season, you don't know, but not now. We like to make the squad stronger, that means Charlie in, nobody out.

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However, if that reported bid has been made, you'd have to think Liverpool would have known £8 million was unlikely to cut it. Southampton would have every reason to hold out for at least the £12 million they shelled out for Long in 2014, so if the Tipperary man is the striker that Liverpool have identified to fit into Klopp's style of play, there's every chance they'll be returning with another offer.

And with that in mind, it's worth keeping in mind what Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger had to say after the deal for Austin was confirmed.

Players coming in and out of here in the last two weeks of the transfer window is not in the plan. I would never say never on either direction because it’s the nature of the sport, you don’t know what opportunities present themselves.

We'll look forward to more of this in the coming weeks.

See also: The Ideal Transfer Window Scenarios For Ireland's Euro 2016 Squad

See also: A Section Of Liverpool Fans Are Not Keen On Shane Long Joining Their Team At All

Gary Reilly

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