BRENDAN RODGERS has revealed Liverpool were unwilling to match Gylfi Sigurdsson’s wage demands after the midfielder snubbed a move to Anfield to join Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The Icelandic international completed his protracted switch to White Hart Lane this week, having at one stage looked odds-on for a move to Merseyside. Spurs paid Hoffenheim a fee of around £8m for the 22-year-old’s services.
Rodgers, who worked with Sigurdsson at Reading and during a loan spell at Swansea last season, admitted he had held talks with the player about a transfer to Anfield, but said he was not willing to pay over the odds in order to secure a deal.
“I was quite relaxed about it,” said the Reds boss. “Gylfi did fantastic for me at Swansea last season. I brought him in from Hoffenheim, where he wasn’t playing, and he did very well. He scored seven goals in 19 games, which was very good. He and I both sat and spoke. I believed playing football was going to be the most important aspect for him, but obviously it was important financially as well.
“We agreed a deal for him to go to Swansea, and that was wrapped up. I then became Liverpool manager, so that (Swansea move) was not going to happen. 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 already.”
Rodgers admitted he was disappointed to miss out on a player who would have added goals and dynamism to his midfield, but insists the club will now pursue other transfer targets.
The Reds have been linked with a move for Bologna’s Gaston Ramirez, and whilst Rodgers would not name any names when it comes to targets, he did reveal that it would require a specific type of player to come in and make a difference to his squad.
He said: “Liverpool would have provided Gylfi with a wonderful opportunity to perform with a manager that he knows and at a club that is a football institution, but he has decided to go to Tottenham for whatever reason.
“I wish him all the best. He’s a good kid and there is no ill-feeling. We have other targets in mind and we will move on.
“Like any manager, you want to add the other pieces that can complete the jigsaw. That’s something that we are doing over a period of time.
“We’re doing a lot of work off the field in terms of potential players to come in. But there will only be a certain type of player that will fit the model here at Liverpool.
“It always takes time with moves, particularly to a club like Liverpool.
“But the staff and the people behind the scenes are working very hard on a number of possibilities and, hopefully, over the next number of weeks they will appear.
“The most important time will be the beginning of the season, making sure we are in a decent shape. Until then, we just have to be patient and work with the players that are here then, when the time comes, we can add that bit of quality and excitement.”