Liverpool’s first signing this summer, manager Brendan Rodgers, can’t sign players from his previous clubs, Swansea City, for the next 12 months. That isn’t preventing him from trying and get Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored 7 goals for the Swans last season.
How is that possible? Well, Sigurdsson isn’t a Swansea player. He was loaned out from Hoffeneim midway through the 2011-2012 season, impressing everyone with 7 league goals in 16 matches for the club in the few months he spent there. Sigurdsson scored nine goals for the German club in 2010-2011 and found the net 17 times for Reading in the previous season.
There’s a lot of talk about Rodgers looking to implement a passing system that was similar to what Swansea featured last season, impressing everyone, and getting the ‘Tiki-Taka praises, a-la Barcelona. Kenny Dalglish was also fond of a pass & move system, but maybe he didn’t have the right players for it. Rodgers, with the current squad, according to some around the club, isn’t going to be able to produce the same things.
So Rodgers can’t sign Swansea players, and it seems the Welsh club are looking to make Sigurdsson’s transfer from Germany a permanent one. Here comes in Liverpool with more money and a bigger name, while Rodgers is trying to use the bond formed with the player to intercept the deal, although not fully admitting it.
Gylfi came to Swansea because I was there as manager and his scoring record was fantastic. I pushed the club to make an agreement to sign Sigurdsson permanently and they did that in terms of the fee and agreed the salary. I have said to Huw (Chairman Huw Jenkins): ‘I’m not going to do anything untoward. This is a guy you want, but it is down to Gylfi’.
I said to Huw: ‘If I speak to the kid I’ll tell him to speak to the new manager, whoever that is’. But if he’s not comfortable with that, he’s in the market place then – and I have to look at him. If he comes on the market I have to be interested. He knows that I rate his qualities and abilities.
Classy? Far from it. But this is business, and Rodgers knows that the pressure to get results is worlds away in Anfield than with his previous club. If breaking some sort of gentleman’s code is necessary to get a player that was instrumental for his success last season, Rodgers has already broken it by using the media to convince the Icelandic international about where he should go and what he should decide.