The news that Luis Suarez would probably say yes to a transfer offer from Real Madrid has settled uneasily over Anfield overnight.
Liverpool do not want to lose the prolific Uruguayan, but should not stand in his way if Los Blancos bid in excess of £40 million for his swashbuckling services.
At first thought, the potential exit of their only 20+ goal-threat must seem appalling to Reds fans.
But the canny early transfer market moves of manager Brendan Rodgers appear to have instilled a relative sense of calm and optimism over Merseyside.
First came Kolo Toure for free to shore up the defence, and now reports have emerged that Liverpool have agreed a €9 million deal for Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.
25-year-old left-sided attacking midfielder Aspas is highly-regarded in Spain, as evidenced by the plethora of “Liverpool sign La Liga crack” articles in the Iberian nation’s football media last night.
The last few players described as “cracks” to move to the Premier League from Spain were David Silva, Santi Cazorla and Michu, and we all know how those players have fared in England thus far.
Aspas has been relegation-threatened Celta’s best player by far this season, scoring 12 goals from 33 midfield appearances. Only Lionel Messi was directly responsible for more goals for his team than Aspas was for Celta, via goals and assists.
On the verge of Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad, and linked to Chelsea earlier this season, Spanish football pundits agree that Aspas has what it takes to augment Liverpool’s first-team, and succeed in the Premier League.
While he may not be as an accomplished a striker as Suarez, Aspas offers an immaculate technique, deft first-touch, vision and cutting edge which can can be utilised out wide, in central midfield or in the hole behind the striker.
Should Suarez be sold, Rodgers would be forced into the market for a new striker. But the impending arrival of Aspas at Anfield, set to be finalised when La Liga ends this weekend, will be another feather in Rodgers’ cap, and will help to assuage the sense of loss if El Pistolero goes.