Fenway Sports Group could be looking for additional investment to fund a Liverpool midfield revamp.
That’s according to Peterborough United chairman and Reds fan Darragh MacAnthony speaking on his podcast The Hard Truth. FSG have put Liverpool on the market, having owned the club since 2010.
Sam Kennedy, partner of the American group that always owns the Boston Red Sox and Pittburgh Penguins, confirmed there has been a ‘lot of interest’ in the Reds. FSG have been criticised by sections of supporters for not spending enough in the transfer market, having failed to sign a midfielder in the summer before recruiting Arthur Melo on loan.
Jude Bellingham is a target for Liverpool but is expected to cost more than £100 million. MacAnthony isn’t shocked that FSG are looking to sell the Reds.
And he believes to prise Bellingham to Anfield, as well as another top-class engine-room operator such as Declan Rice, means that FSG may need help to pay the fees.
What’s been said
The Irishman said: “No surprise, no shock. At the end of the day, if you're the owner of Liverpool, you're looking at a midfield that's going to cost £200-250 million to fix because you've let these windows go and let these players age - and you haven't replenished in those areas.
“Fabinho is nearly 30, Thiago [Alcantara] 31/32, [Jordan] Henderson 33/34, James Milner is 38 next year, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving the club, Naby Keita will be leaving the club because he's had glass-like injury issues. You're going to need three new centre-midfielders.
“What would three centre-midfielders for Liverpool, who want to be in the Champions League and competing for titles, cost nowadays? Seventy-to-eighty million? To get proper ones, you want Declan Rice, you want Bellingham and whoever else. Fenway, to be fair to them, maybe they're just being honest and are saying we need help so we sell a percentage of the club, we get some bigger money people in and can go and do that.
“Maybe they're just being honest, maybe they're doing it the right way. Maybe this is the admittance that if they’re really selling or open to an equity split to rebuild that team, it's going to need some help in the middle of the park. Let's not forget on the horizon that Salah is 31 next year, van Dijk is 32. They don't have a [Philippe] Coutinho who they can bring in to spend on Alisson [Becker] or [Virgil] van Dijk. I think it's just them being honest.
“At the end of the day, if they stay as owners and haven't got the £200 million, that’s fine, just come out and say that and we're going to have to spend £100 million and bring in £30-40 million players and try to improve them. OK fine, you might miss the Champions League for a season or two but Arsenal have just spent upwards of £300 million in the past four or five windows to get back into the Champions League. Once you're out, as Arsenal showed - they are lucky they're owned by one of the richest men in the world and could around to re-up again and Newcastle are on the rise.
“Who knows what is going on. We don’t know people’s personal finacial situations, we don’t know about COVID, we don’t know how it affects people, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.
“Yes they’ve improved the club, training ground, stadium, brought the title back so I can’t be over critical but sometimes owners should just come out and say we’re going through a hard time, going to need some support and interest in the bank given to us - we’ve got that with what we’ve done so give us a bit of leeway for a couple of years. The one thing I do know is that if Jurgen is there, I’m OK.”