Liverpool forward Luis Díaz has made a familiar-sounding transfer admission. But Jürgen Klopp should not be fearing a Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suárez repeat just yet.
I would like to play for a Spanish club that has always attracted my family’s attention, but it is more of a childish dream,” Díaz explained in an interview that also covered other topics.
Now I only think about lifting trophies and making history with Liverpool, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I am very grateful for the opportunity they have given me.”
Quite how well the quotes have been translated into English and exactly how Díaz feels about the appeal of Real Madrid and Barcelona — the two clubs he would likely be referencing — remains to be seen.
But while the lure of La Liga clearly still exists, Barcelona, at least, are not the proposition that they once were. Suárez moved to Camp Nou to link with Lionel Messi and Neymar. Coutinho was later but he symbolised part of their demise with the move still a dream one when he made it. Just last week, Barcelona president Joan Laporta claimed (via AS) that Díaz turned them down to move to Liverpool.
Barcelona face a long way back to the peak of their powers, even if they currently top the standings in Spain and have improved under Xavi. After all, they are heading into 2023 in the Europa League, which is a barometer of their level, no matter that they had a tough group, and will have financial ramifications for an already perilously-placed side economically.
Real Madrid, admittedly, would be a bigger draw as things stand (a reasonable fear still remains that Jude Bellingham might yet prove that point). But should they ever be interested in Díaz and want to test the theory — or, as a wider point, with anyone else who felt similarly, too — then there are still reasons to feel confident.
The appeal of the Premier League remains strong. The level of competition remains greatest in England and with the wealth that its club sides enjoy, that is unlikely to change any time soon.
The landscape of football is different now, making Díaz’s promise to only think about Liverpool appear realistic for some time amid an admission that a transfer to Spain could appeal. A Coutinho or Suárez repeat might yet beckon at some stage, but the reality is it is not that clear-cut just yet.