Liverpool are reportedly preparing a £19.5m bid for Andrea Belotti in an effort to ensure they don’t lose out to Arsenal in the chase for the Torino striker.

Reportedly. Preparing. Can you hear the alarm bells?

Yes, it’s one of those stories in which the media claim to know what a Premier League club are doing behind closed doors, alerting their rivals at the same time.

Can we smell agent games?

Let’s take a look.

The original report appeared on the Italian site, Calciomercatoweb. From there, it was picked up by the majors and has spread across the internet, even making it on to the official Liverpool site.

CMW claim the story as an EXCLUSIVE and no other report has any additional information other than what appears on the Italian site so we are being asked to accept that someone close to either Liverpool or the player has revealed information that there is no way Liverpool would want released.

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA - OCTOBER 09: Andrea Belotti of Italy celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between FYR Macedonia and Italy at Nacionalna Arena Filip II Makedonski on October 9, 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
SKOPJE, MACEDONIA – OCTOBER 09: Andrea Belotti of Italy celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between FYR Macedonia and Italy at Nacionalna Arena Filip II Makedonski on October 9, 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

The player is under contract until 2020, and was only valued at £12.5m two months ago. Now, after five goals in his first five Serie A games, you might be left thinking that his agent fancies a payrise for the player who only signed for Torino in the summer.

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That would certainly seem to make the most sense.

If Liverpool had made a bid for the player, I could accept that information being leaked. But this claims they are merely ‘preparing‘ an offer. That makes things completely different and more likely this is a story being touted by someone close to the player.

So what of the inclusion of Arsenal in the rumour?

They seem to be an afterthought on first inspection at this point, something to beef up what isn’t a very strong story, perhaps being used by an agent to give Liverpool a little nudge.

Not much to see here, at least not for Arsenal fans.