When a club representative tweets that Liverpool have made an offer for Stewart Downing, you sort of have to take that as something that happened and guess what happened last night?
Yes, there was a tweet that said Liverpool had offered £15mn for him and well, that sort of signals the end, doesn't it.
I mean, Downing has no loyalty to us. He must be aware and he must have said that he'd like to go, otherwise Liverpool would have never made the offer. But in typical red Scouse style, they come in low and hope to get him on the cheap.
Nobody knows what the value is, but I suspect it is around the £20mn mark and all Liverpool have to do is offer it and I'm sure Downing will be there player but
if when Downing leaves, alarm bells should start ringing.
Lack of ambition
Ask yourself why he wants to leave and when you look around and read what he has said, there can only be one conclusion. It isn't a nice one and it basically suggests the club have no real ambition or to be more precise Randy Lerner has lost his ambition.
And yes, he has put money in, but it isn't as if he has just given it away - the club is in more debt today than it ever has been. He has taken out millions in interest payments and management fees and if he were to sell the club today, there is a good chance he'll get all his money back.
Okay, it isn't as if you can sell a Premier League club every day of the week - so all that is happening now points to no more ambition. Okay, I might be wrong, we might spend the £16mn from the Ashley Young sale and the £20mn (if it happens) from the Stewart Downing sale and he might pump in another £25mn on top - but all that is going to mean is we have 10 new players, when all we need is three or four.
I think it is now clear to everyone what exactly that five year plan was. I hope I'm wrong, but when I look around at the moment, I'm not inspired with confidence or much hope and I'm not even seeing the PR and spin that we saw not so long ago.
Basically, I hope we haven't fallen into that place where it is just about balancing the books at not taking risks. If it hasn't happened, it will soon, because Lerner knows about as much about this game as I know about his game, but not yet, please.
On the other hand
This could all be part of a master plan to get a manager to play the younger players and see if they really have it. Lerner could have scoured the earth for a hard nosed Glaswegian to give the players the fight and determination they need to compete at this level only to be surprised that he had one down the road.
It could be. Everything is possible. But if McLeish goes and spends money to replace one of our promising youngsters, then we sort of know it isn't. But I'm holding out hope and looking for positives.