Why Monaco's transfer move could cost Liverpool millions

Liverpool could be set to miss out on a huge chunk of money as Blackpool winger Thomas Ince looks set for a move to Monaco.

The 21-year-old former Reds forward has been linked with a host of clubs, including Cardiff City, Swansea City and even a return to Anfield was suggested, after the son of former England international Paul had dazzled defences at Bloomfield Road ever since his 2011 move to the Seasiders.

And now, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, a number of clubs are lining up move for Ince, though it seems Ligue 1 moneybags Monaco are now leading the chase in a surprise move which would see the winger move to France in a deal which could cost Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool millions of pounds.

When Ince left Anfield in 2011, the Reds managed to negotiate a 35% sell on-clause, inserted in case Ince realised his potential and became a star, so that Liverpool could still reap some of the rewards by gaining over a third of any fee. This almost bagged Liverpool around £3m when Ince was on the verge of signing for Cardiff in an £8m deal last summer, but he chose to stay at Blackpool for another season under his father.

But now, with less than six months to run on his contract, Ince can sign a pre-contract agreement, moving at the end of the season. As Ince is under the age of 23, Blackpool are entitled to compensation but a FIFA regulation states that, should he leave the UK, Blackpool would receive just £155,000 for his services, which prompted interest from Inter Milan, Ajax and now Monaco.

So whereas many expected Ince to be sold for around the previously suggested £8m – landing Liverpool a share of the money – the paltry sum of £155,000 would go straight to Blackpool, as sell-on clauses are not applicable in pre-contract agreement situations.

Blackpool boss and Thomas' dad Paul Ince said that his son wouldn't be leaving the club this month, intensifying rumours that he will be leaving on a pre-contract agreement in the summer, with talks talking place between Thomas and Monaco in London this week.

"Thomas loves playing for this club and loves the fans," he told the Blackpool Gazette. "It's only natural he will move on eventually, but that will not be in this window. He wants to help the players and fans stay in this league."

With the Tangerines on a dismal run of eight games without a win and with the club hurtling towards the relegation zone, Blackpool need Ince to be in fine form for the rest of the season if they are to ensure survival – even if costs them £8m when he finally leaves the club in the summer.

image: © matlock-photo

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch