Liverpool to take advantage of winger's contract nightmare

Liverpool's search for a winger is still on-going, with Benfica's Ola John the latest name to be linked, with the Dutchman being forced out.

Brendan Rodgers brought Victor Moses to Anfield on a season-long loan from Chelsea, but the Nigerian hasn't established himself as a regular for the Reds, prompting a number of rumours linking Liverpool with moves for wingers such as Andriy Yarmolenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Mohamed Salah.

However, Rodgers may now look towards a situation developing in Portugal, where winger Ola John is being forced out of Benfica after details were revealed over a third-party fiasco brewing in Lisbon.

John moved to Portugal from FC Twente in a €9m deal in 2012, and made 42 appearances for Benfica in all competitions, contributing four goals and eight assists. At just 21 years old, John has shown the potential to be a top winger, but some inconsistencies have Benfica considering selling him – particularly with the third-party wrangle looming.

When Benfica targeted John 18 months ago, they couldn't afford the €9m fee that the Dutch side demanded. As a result, the Doyen Group offered to pay €3m of the fee, in exchange for 50% of the rights to the player – meaning they would receive half of any transfer fee should John be sold.

But the twist is that as part of the agreement, Benfica would have to sell John for over €9m within three years of his arrival, or pay the Doyen Group €6m. This sort of predicament has the Portuguese scrambling over John, whose inconsistencies make it unlikely that he will be sold for over €9m in the next 18 months. This kind of pressure is another case in the murky world of third-party ownership, something that Liverpool have benefited from before in the case of Javier Mascherano.

Now, Benfica are willing to sell John – probably for a fee just over €6m, so they don't end up losing money on the deal – but Ajax are interested in taking him back to Holland. With Liverpool's reputation across the world, and their need for a winger, a move for John may be suitable for all parties – all four of them.

image: © plassen

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