What we know for a fact is that Benayoun, Insua and Riera have left, and that Jovanovic, Joe Cole and Wilson are in. This is what has happened so far, however, we might be in for another couple of both pleasant and unpleasant surprises before this longer transfer window is over.
What is being said and what is being reported! We are told Torres is locked in talks with Club over his future (but the chances of El Nino leaving are very remote). Mascherano on the other hand will feature as a repeat of last year’s ‘Alonso Saga’ and will ultimately leave for Inter Milan (the Club will probably look to make a substantial stash from this move as the player is still under contract). We are told Degen has been told he can leave, Ngog and El Zhar are both on the brink of being sold/loaned. I also read that newly promoted Serie A Club Lecce have offered Euro 1.2 million for 50% ownership of Kriztian Nemeth (if the Italian media is to be believed and the Club crazy enough to take the bait). Rumour of the week goes to talk of the Club going for Jan-Klaas Huntelaar in exchange for Ryan Babel (or an outright purchase), as well as a possible interest in Carlton Cole to partner/be a stand-in for Torres (both the Dutch and England internationals are 26 years old and cost more or less the same). The Reds have been linked with Wayne Bridge (unlikely) and Paul Koncheski (more likely) for the left-back position. For any quality left back that wants to be assured of first team football with one of the top teams in the world, then Anfield should be their obvious choice. They really should be knocking on our door! And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. What we must not forget is that we have an interesting posse of reserves players that are waiting to burst into the first team! That is one resource we must never ever keep out of the equation.
Three more aspects to consider:
• Roy Hodgson is slowly but surely restructuring the backroom staff. New coaches, new medical staff ecc, ecc. Sammy Lee is staying on too so there is also continuity here.
• More ‘England’ at Liverpool. An English coach after so many years, another England international in our ranks and the possibility of more arriving is well and truly refreshing.
• Money, money, money. The media, both written and online, continues to mention financial issues and this is has not only become stale, but utterly ridiculous. I don’t think we need to spend mega-bucks, what we need to do is spend wisely.
I read this week that Man Utd have been again named the richest Club in the world, and that includes being over Stg 750 million in debt. We are just a third of that and we have the same marketing potential as they have, not only, the Reds remain the most titled Club in England.
Roy Hodgson seems a sensible man and definitely not a risk taker. He will go for what is right for the Club and is used to work without extravagant amounts of cash on hand. Contrary to what is being said, Roy does have a decent amount of money to spend and when Mascherano’s transfer is finalized, this will become more substantial. As I said, we need to be shrewd in our choices. Three of our latest signings (Rodriguez, Jovanovic and Cole) have come on a free and they are all outstanding players….let the trend continue.