Liverpool appear to have missed out on Vegard Forren to Southampton. Did they approach the deal in the right way and were just unlucky, or were they too over-confident?
Liverpool have been beaten to the signing of Vegard Forren by Southampton, and while you can feel the collective shrug of shoulders across Merseyside, 24 hours earlier fans were getting slightly excited about a cut-price transfer coup.
Forren was wanted by a host of Premier League clubs; this had been known for a while with Molde making clear he would be available for transfer if their asking price of around £4 million was met.
On Monday night it was announced Forren was flying to Merseyside for a medical with Liverpool and a trial period. If he impressed Brendan Rodgers, he would earn a move to the club.
12 hours later he had adjusted his travel plans, and headed to Southampton, after the Saints made a concrete offer to his club and a deal is now more or less complete.
So should Liverpool have just offered him a deal instead of playing about? After all a player wants to feel valued, and in the modern game it is rare a 24-year-old international will ever go for a trial before a move unless he is for whatever reason without a club.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic famously turned down a move to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger made a move to sign him earlier in his career, by inviting him over for a trial.
Zlatan famously said he 'doesn't do trials' and declined the offer. The rest is history.
Now fellow Scandinavian Vegard Forren is no Zlatan, but he has every right to self-confidence. When Southampton came in he was perhaps right to jump at the chance.
After all he will get more first team football there, rather than sitting on the sidelines watching Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel.
It shouldn't just be the world's best who turn down trials, most established footballers (Forren has played in the Champions League qualifiers and Europa League) would do the same if there was a more secure offer on the table.
After all Forren had just this month to secure a deal, had his gamble at Liverpool not paid off he could have been left without a move to the Premier League, and with a stain on his reputation.
So it makes sense for him, but missing out on a player they tried to sign, to a team seven places in the table below them for the second time this season (after Gaston Ramirez) shouldn't be a laughing matter.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Daily Echo tweeted yesterday that Forren was 'never a priority for Liverpool' but that's part of the problem; Forren wasn't made to feel that he was.
Norwegian pundit and former Premier League footballer Jan-Aage Fjortoft also said that 'Rodgers had not seen him play' - So it makes sense that Liverpool wanted to trial him, so in that sense it was a pragmatic move.
It's important to remember that the Reds have had their fingers burned with transfers numerous times in recent seasons, and wanted to be cautious, but it is unlikely to be an approach which pays off if they repeat it in future.
Would it not have been far better simply to do their due diligence on signing him, scout him, make enquiries, and all the usual aspects which go into a transfer?
Sure seeing him first hand would have been better, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that their offer was ultimately snubbed by the player in favour of a more secure option, and an error of judgement considering the strong Premier League interest in him from competitors.
'Zlatan doesn’t do trials' - It appears Vegard doesn't do them either.
Were Liverpool too arrogant in their approach to Forren, or did they do the right thing and were unlucky?
image: © xoiram42