It was officially announced yesterday by Liverpool that they had agreed to “a deal in principle” to bring Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas to Anfield.
Now, the Daily Mirror is reporting that Liverpool dealt with an agency not officially associated with Aspas to bring the player in.
This has made the Spanish FA furious, and they are refusing to release the player’s transfer paperwork in order to block the deal.
According to the report, Reds managing director Ian Ayre (pictured) negotiated with Barcelona-based agency PromoEsport, whom Aspas apparently elisted the help of to force a move to Liverpool. The player’s official FIFA-licensed agents are Jorge Santome and Carmelo Vicente, whom which he is signed with through 2014.
Most shockingly, the report says the Mirror saw emails from Ayre that prove he continued to speak with PromoEsport even after finding out they were not only not Aspas’s agent but also not FIFA authorized.
The Mirror quoted a Liverpool spokesman as saying “There was a complication with the paperwork. For the deal to be completed both FAs have to release the paperwork and we are waiting for that to happen. However, we are confident that will be done shortly.”
If the paperwork is not released soon, the 26-year-old would be allowed to be presented by the Reds train with the Liverpool squad, but he would not be allowed to participate in any official matches.
Apparently PromoEsport used Aspas’s brother and fellow agent Jonathan Aspas to present the deal to Celta Vigo in order to hide their involvement. This has driven the Spanish club to ban PromoEsport from their grounds.
Liverpool seem to think this will be resolved quickly, but that remains to be seen.
This isn’t the first time Ayre’s conduct has infuriated other clubs. Last summer Liverpool were brought to the FA by Fulham over the tapping up of Clint Dempsey. Fulham claimed they had caused their player to desire a move away from Craven Cottage thanks to unethical conduct by Liverpool, including an accidental post on Fenway Sports Group’s media outlet NESN announcing Dempsey’s official signature.
Liverpool ended up issuing an embarassing apology and Fulham dropped the complaint. The American midfielder signed with Tottenham at the close of the transfer window.