Reports from England (which are notoriously reliable and unbiased) claim that Liverpool have offered Fiorentina a whopping £18 million for striker Giuseppe Rossi. With Nikola Kalinic in the form of his life and Khouma Babacar blossoming into a star, il Fenomeno hasn't seen as much of the pitch as he'd like, and has looked frustrated at times. But would la Viola really sell their talismanic striker?
The 28-year-old has been a world-class poacher, capable of worming his way into the box and snapping shots off from anywhere, making the tiniest bit of space for himself with a quick turn before firing clinically past the keeper. After a reasonably productive five years at Villarreal, he joined Fiorentina in 2013. As always, though, injuries have been his downfall; his knees, in particular, seem to be made of glass and chewing gum. After a strong start to his Viola career, he's missed most of the past two seasons, and hasn't looked like himself thus far in his latest comeback bid.
The real question, though, is why Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool would want him. Yes, he's a tremendously talented player, but he doesn't really fit into the German's gegenpressing system, which favors players who are either mobile and fit enough to press the center backs and break in behind on the counter or capable of dominating in the air to allow for long outlet passes. Rossi falls into neither category. With Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, and even Roberto Firmino all fitting the bill, it seems Pepito would be a pricey addition to the bench, even further from playing time than he is at Fiorentina.
Furthermore, Fiorentina probably won't want to sell; Nikola Kalinic and Khouma Babacar are both in spectacular form, but an injury of drop-off from either would prove debilitating. Having another top-class forward, even one who's still working his way back to health, isn't just a luxury for the Gigliati. It's a necessity. On the other hand, that's a whole lot of money for a third-string striker and could go a long way to reinforcing the squad ahead of a serious Scudetto run.
Overall, though, I give this rumor 2 out of 5 popped collars: while Fiorentina could maybe be enticed to sell a favorite son/burgeoning legend/civic pillar, Liverpool probably aren't really interested in buying.