Liverpool's 'monster' offer for Merih Demiral sounds suspicious for a number of reasons

Liverpool were the star attraction on Deadline Day, keeping Jim White's spirits up by completing transfers for not just one but two defenders on Monday before the window closed.

Preston's Ben Davies arrived to a lukewarm welcome reception, before Ozan Kabak was confirmed later in the evening, after his parent club Schalke mitigated his exit (or possibly made it worse?) by signing Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal.

While neither Davies nor Kabak represented the kind of 'marquee' arrival to appease the baying hounds of Football Twitter, they add much-needed numbers to Jurgen Klopp's backline amid a freakish injury crisis that has claimed every centre back at the club so far.

It looked for some time that Liverpool would not make any moves in this window, though a season-ending injury to Joel Matip appears to have been the catalyst for action from the board.

Davies and Kabak weren't Liverpool's only targets, with stories of Duje Caleta-Car's girlfriend's Instagram stories, standby jets and bids for David Carmo and Sven Botman doing the rounds and whipping fans into a frenzy before Monday evening's conclusion.

One name that wasn't mentioned by the usual big-name reports however was Merih Demiral, the Juventus centre back and international teammate of Ozan Kabak.

Sport Mediaset have since claimed that Liverpool, in their Deadline Day haste, made a €57m (£50m) bid for Demiral before turning to Kabak.

Merih Demiral, Liverpool target? | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The report says that the 'monster' offer was swiftly rejected by Juve, before Liverpool took their enquiries elsewhere.

While sure to get people talking (and crucially: clicking), the story seems surprising and suspect for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, if Demiral was a January target for Liverpool, why was he the only one in that price bracket, with the other options representing much lower-cost deals?

Even Caleta-Car of Marseille, the most expensive of Liverpool's widely reported options, was touted for around only £20m.

Liverpool's final business, which totalled sub £2m up-front with only an optional fee for Kabak later down the road, appears to represent their current economic situation, with funds limited by a risk-averse board feeling the pinch.

Speaking in Davies' announcement, Klopp even outright admitted that a player from Preston wouldn't have been on Liverpool's radar in normal circumstances.

"I think it’s probably clear that in a normal transfer window, without any issues, we would not look at Preston if there’s a player for us or something like that. It’s not really likely," Klopp said, in comments that come across as a little awkward in a player's club presentation.

In Deloitte's Money League rankings, it is estimated that Liverpool's revenue is down 8% from the previous year due to the coronavirus, while the club under FSG has generally operated within its means in the transfer market - even before the crisis.

Demiral in action for Turkey | OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

On top of the financial question marks, 22-year-old Demiral - while a fine centre back - has suffered his own serious injury problems of late.

The Turkey international missed 20 games for Juventus while suffering from a cruciate ligament injury (see also: Van Dijk and Gomez) last January and has started just six times in Serie A this season as he continues his recovery. In addition, he has also been hit by other fitness issues that have kept him out for a good chunk of the last two months.

While not impossible to image the former Sassuolo star as being of interest to the Reds in the summer or further down the line, his price tag and injury record ultimately make it highly unlikely that Liverpool's notoriously shrewd transfer operators would have have made such a bid - even in the heat of Deadline Day madness.

Source : 90min