The Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, has suggested that Liverpool may need to part with £16m to secure the services of the midfielder Charlie Adam. Damien Comolli's telephone call on Sunday asking how much the club want for the player was the latest to be rebuffed.
Though Liverpool would be unlikely to pay anywhere near that sum, Holloway said yesterday that Blackpool "could finish bottom" without Adam. But by unexpectedly insisting that Adam has the qualities of Xabi Alonso and suggesting that Liverpool would be "fools" not to improve on Friday's £4m offer, it is clear that the club are ready to cash in.
Liverpool director of strategy Comolli's trip to Amsterdam to negotiate a deal for the Ajax player Luis Suarez did not deliver a result yesterday as the Dutch side continue to play hardball but Holloway, in a change from his previous refusal to countenance a move for Adam, said Liverpool were on the list of elite clubs he would sell to. Aston Villa are no longer interested.
"I think they're mad not to buy him off us because I think he can replace Xabi Alonso, which [with respect to] Raul Meireles they've not done yet," Holloway said. "If I was the Liverpool manager I would have him in my team by now. If the player is good enough then sign him and that's what they should do. Put up or shut up, it's as simple as that."
In a direct call to the chairman of Blackpool, Karl Oyston, on Sunday night, Comolli asked for a valuation but Holloway suggested that Oyston was unimpressed with that approach. "Damien Comolli rang my chairman faffing about," Holloway said.
Last night Liverpool confirmed that Ryan Babel has agreed a move to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. He will fly to Germany today to finalise the deal.