Whatever your take on Daniel Levy, you have to admit that the Tottenham Hotspur chairman is a bit of a wizard in the transfer market. Hard as nails to deal with, his insistence on getting the best possible transfer deal, penny for penny, led Sir Alex Ferguson to say dealing with Levy was more painful than his hip surgery. High praise, indeed.
Continuing on the human body analogy, the sight of Levy has to be akin to a swift kick in the nuts for whoever has been dealing with transfers in the Liverpool camp in the past few years. Clint Dempsey, Michel Vorm, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Ben Davies, Rafael van der Vaart and, more recently, Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli are just some of the names who were linked with moves to both Tottenham and Liverpool before Levy convinced them to join the former. At times it seemed as if Liverpool were doing all the scouting only for Levy to stoop in uninvited at the last moment.
The Danny Ings case seemed to finally turn the tables, with Liverpool finally getting their man despite interest from Spurs. Having a transfer committee does seem to work after all! Unfortunately for Liverpool, that hasn’t been the case. Instead, a deft Levy ploy is turning the former Burnley striker’s signing into a case of “if you can’t beat them, make them pay top dollar for an average player.”
In England, a compensation fee is paid if a young player is acquired from another club, even at the end of a contract. If a fee isn’t settled between the two parties, an independent tribunal decides the final price, as happened with Daniel Sturridge’s move to Chelsea from Manchester City in 2009 (£6.5 million, since you asked).
With Ings at the end of his contract this spring and Liverpool close to finalizing his signing, Tottenham put in an offer of £10 million (or £12 million according to different sources) for the striker. This didn’t prevent Liverpool from landing the English striker on a free transfer come June 30, but it did give Burnley leverage in demanding the Anfield outfit to pay a significant compensation fee. While Liverpool thought they were going to fork over around £6 million as compensation for the striker, Burnley are now reportedly insisting on double that amount, arguing Tottenham’s bid represented Ings’ true valuation.