In his role at Liverpool, chief executive Ian Ayre has been involved in a sizeable amount of transfer deals.
Following the sacking of Damien Comolli in 2012, Ayre was entrusted with a lot more responsibility by owners FSG regarding player recruitment and was part of the notorious “transfer committee” that also included then manager Brendan Rodgers.
Under their watch, the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino been signed, but then so too were Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic.
Ayre will step down from his role at the end of the season, and will be joining 2.Bundesliga side 1860 Munich as general manager next summer, has been speaking to FC Business magazine (in quotes picked up the Liverpool Echo) regarding a number of topics in including the new main stand at Anfield.
He also provided some insight into what he considers his favourite transfer from his time at the club – as well as one failed deal that he would rather forget.
Among his best deals, he says, is the one to take Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool from Serie A side Inter in January 2013. The Brazilian international cost just £8,5m, and has gone on to establish himself as a crowd favourite at the club:
“My favourite signings have included Philippe Coutinho.
“I remember sitting in the corridors of Inter Milan for the CEO for what felt like five days, trying to convince him to sell Coutinho to us, and then jetting him back to Liverpool in time to sign before transfer deadline day.”
In the last few years, however, Ayre has gained a somewhat unfortunate reputation for failing to get transfers over the line, and the anger from certain fans was in full force regarding the collapsed deal to bring Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka to the club:
“Of course, there are some signings that unfortunately don’t come off but the experiences you never forget – sitting in the Ukraine on the day war broke out, trying to sign Ukrainian Yevhen Konoplyanka which sadly never got done because of the selling club.”
Liverpool thought they had a £16m fee (the player’s release clause) agreed with Konoplyanka’s club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in January 2014, only for president Ihor Kolomoyskyi to refuse to sanction the transfer on deadline day.
Ayer will depart the club at the end of the season, after a decade at Anfield.