Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has used the £40m transfer of Thiago Silva from AC Milan to Paris St Germain as a guide for what Manchester City must do if they want to get Daniel Agger to the Etihad Stadium.
Whilst Rodgers insists he does not want to lose the Denmark defender, he also recognises City have the cash to lure any player.
But, ahead of tonight’s Europa League qualifier with FC Gomel at Anfield, Rodgers indicated Roberto Mancini will have to dig deep.
“Thiago Silva has left AC Milan for PSG for £40m. He (Agger) is one of the leading players in European football, so it is going to be a big valuation.
“Is he a player I want to lose? No. He understands how I want to work and can play a real pivotal part in how I want to play.
“But I am a realist. If someone comes in with a massive bid and it is in the best interests of the club, whether it is Daniel or any other player, you have to look at it.”
Rodgers’ words underline the brutal reality of life at Liverpool.
The club are heading towards a third successive season outside the Champions League, a tournament they won as recently as 2005.
And owner John Henry has made it clear he simply will not fund the kind of massive signings splashed out on during Kenny Dalglish’s ill-fated 18 months in charge.
“The reality is we don’t the money that was here,” he said. “I don’t have a bucket-load of money to go and get in a load of players. We have to be strategic.”
Rodgers confirmed striker Craig Bellamy is set to leave for Cardiff but the future of £35million record signing Andy Carroll remains open to question, with Newcastle still hoping to resign their former player.
Thus far, Rodgers has been unable to strengthen and refused to confirm the status of his obvious interest in Swansea midfielder Joe Allen.
It is all rather unsettling ahead of tonight’s encounter, although with Liverpool holding a first-leg advantage, Rodgers should be able to enjoy his first home game in charge.
“Anfield is so inspiring,” he said.
“You see the flags and scarves and there is so much tradition and heritage at the place. That is the draw. That is why I came here. It is a club that can really go forward. There will be no prouder man than myself tomorrow night.”