Brendan Rodgers: Gylfi Sigurdsson's wage demands killed Liverpool deal

 

Brendan Rodgers admitted that he offered Gylfi Sigurdsson no more money at Liverpool than he had at Swansea, as he reflected on losing the Iceland midfielder to Tottenham Hotspur.

When Rodgers was Swansea manager he agreed a deal to buy Sigurdsson, 22, who had been on loan there. But when the Northern Irishman went to Liverpool he offered him the same deal, and lost out on the signing.

"We agreed a deal for him to go to Swansea and that was wrapped up," Rodgers recalled yesterday. "I then became the Liverpool manager and that then wasn't something that was going to happen at Swansea so he then had a choice of where he wanted to go.

"I knew what the market was and I wasn't prepared to pay anything over what I had known was agreed before.

"Liverpool would have provided Gylfi with a wonderful opportunity to perform with a manager that he knows and at a club which is a real footballing institution. But he's decided to go to Tottenham, for whatever reason."

Sigurdsson had been excellent at Swansea under Rodgers, who had previously managed him at Reading. "He wasn't playing at [Bundesliga side] Hoffenheim, I brought him to Swansea and he did very well for me there, scoring seven goals in 19 games and was very good," Rodgers said.

"I wish him the best, he's a good kid and there's no ill feeling. We've got other targets and we'll move on."

After missing out on one of his first targets, Rodgers is keen to bring in more players to Liverpool. The 39-year-old has been tasked with revamping a side that finished a disappointing eighth place in the Premier League last year, one position and four points behind local rivals Everton.

"I believe there's one or two areas that I'll need to improve on for sure but overall the core of the group is strong," Rodgers said. "But like any manager, you want to add the other pieces that can complete your jigsaw and that's something that we're doing over a period of time."

"This window for the summer, you either had to get your business in early or it was going to run over towards the end of the window, just purely because of all the games and holidays and championships and everything that was going on. We're doing a lot of work off the field in terms of potential players to come in, but it will only be a certain type of player that will fit the model here at Liverpool."

Rodgers is already starting work on imposing his vision of possession football, which took Swansea into the Premier League and then to 11th place, on to Liverpool.

"The last couple of days were really about painting the vision so that people understand what direction we're moving in," Rodgers said. "We had a really good meeting with the staff on Tuesday. I just felt it was important from the very first day with the staff they understand how I work, my values and morals on and off the field.

"Then obviously for the players it's about what I can do to help them achieve what it is they want to achieve, and let them understand the principles of how I'm going to work and look at the direction which the club is moving in.

"They understand where I'm coming day one, which is important. There's no mystery behind it, they understand the vision and the culture that we're trying to create here. We can now move forward in confidence and look to work hard and work well."

The former Liverpool and England player John Barnes yesterday urged the club's supporters to back Rodgers: "We have to be realistic and we have to trust the manager –know his philosophy and know he will bring in the players to suit that philosophy," he said.

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