Liverpool target Alberto Moreno was conspicuous by his absence as his Sevilla side went down 2-0 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, amidst reports he was instead gearing up to complete his switch to Anfield.
Only the money men involved on both sides of the deal will know just why it took so long to agree the Spaniard’s sale, especially as the fee now appears to have shimmied way under the often-muted £20m.
But for Liverpool fans well-used to seeing their club pay over the odds, the fact Moreno will cost only £12m is purely a Brucy bonus.
This is a player the majority of discerning Reds would have been happy to cough up the seemingly standard £20m+ for any day of the week.
After witnessing every Tom, Dick and Harry playing in the problem position last season the necessity for buying a quality, specialist left-back was written in truck-sized neon lights.
Jose Enrique’s season-long injury clearly didn’t help matters during the 2013/14 campaign, but the former Newcastle man is far happier as a raiding wing-back than as part of a back four and Brendan Rodgers clearly doesn’t trust the Spaniard as his first choice.
Still only 22, Moreno has quickly forged a reputation one of the best left-backs in Spain, earning himself three caps and his greater positional sense should see him slot straight in ahead of his compatriot Enrique.
Arguably, the loss of Luis Suarez hasn’t yet been addressed with the signing of another world-class striker (sorry Rickie Lambert), though the additions of Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic should, in theory, provide some of the missing guile and attacking menace.
If the deal is finalised in the next day or so Moreno could be in line for his Anfield debut on Sunday, where Liverpool are rated as 4/11 favourites to beat Southampton in their Premier League opener.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.