Tense and difficult negotiations seem to be the norm these days - nothing is simple or straightforward - but the process of negotiation is, of course, well established. A problem occurs between a number of parties; proposals are put forward to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of each of the parties involved. The proposals are carefully considered but, in the end, rejected. Counter proposals are then put on the table in an effort to meet the demands of the other parties. These too are rejected, powers of diplomacy are fully tested and just when it seems that no agreement can be reached, one of the parties blinks first. Result.
And so the drawn out negotiations between Southampton and Liverpool over the transfer of Saints` England right back Nathaniel Clyne have seemingly been through that process and a result looks to have been achieved. It`s understood that Liverpool`s blink will see them pay Southampton the £12.5 million they were demanding for Clyne, who has a year to run on his current contract at St. Mary`s. In business terms this represents a good return on Saints` original investment of £2.5 million when Clyne signed from Crystal Palace, especially as Saints have already signed a ready made replacement in Portuguese international defender Cedric Soares from Sporting Lisbon.
The details will be finalised once Clyne gets back from America but the clubs have agreed the fee and so Clyne will join former Saints Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren at Anfield, which Liverpool seem determined to make as the destination of choice for Saints players. I think this will bring Liverpool`s signings so far this summer to something like eight new players - they clearly believe in buying teams rather than building them and seem to have a bottomless pit of cash to squander.
In other news, difficult negotiations continue over the Greek debt mountain, which has now reached laughable proportions and the only solution seems to be for Liverpool to buy Greece. Dave Cameron`s negotiations about reforming the European Union have taken a bit of a knock with Her Maj. chirping up at a banquet last night that it would be a shame if the UK were to leave the bloated, power crazed, remote, bureaucratic, corrupt, self-serving EU project. I paraphrase, of course, but it`s hard to understand why she would infer such a thing as you might expect the Sovereign of all people to be especially bothered by the prospect of losing yet more, if not all, of her country`s sovereignty.
I`m not surprised that negotiations seem to get more and more difficult these days.