With the football season now well and truly over for Liverpool and all, we enter the period which I call “Summer Oblivion”. This is the period where nothing much happens. There’s not much to do other than household chores, the day job and arguing with friends over transfer speculation in the papers in anticipation of next season. The exception this year is that we’ll be treated to the quadrennial spectacle that is the World Cup.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be concentrating on the latter of the three passtimes mentioned above because there’s all too many of the other two, anyway. Following from the contentious article last week, I’m going to summarise four players who are the subject of the most recent transfer speculation, together with a BS rating. One for little or no doubt and five for total BS. In no particular order, this week’s “Fantastic Four” are:
Loic Remy – According to The Independant, QPR Loanee Remy is currently in talks with Liverpool about the possibility of a move to Anfield. The 27 year-old scored 14 goals in 26 games for Newcastle last season which is an impressive stat by any standards. The pacey front man yould make a good addition to any Premiership squad in my opinion. I’m not sure how much game time he’d get, but would definitely provide a better alternative in a cold January Wednesday evening Cup tie than Iago Aspas.
BS Rating: 5 Total fantasy. The player was seen at Arsenal’s last match of the season so I’d say he’s odd’s on to go to London rather than Liverpool. It smells like his agent is trying to twist Mr. Wenger’s arm if I’m not mistaken.
Emre Can – The Mirror claims that Liverpool are accelerating the transfer of Can in order to avoid Bayern Munich’s possible activation of their “buy-back” clause next year. This versatile prospect is the perfect replacement for Steven Gerrard and I’d even go so far as to say that at 20 years old, he’s by far a more complished player than Captain Invinsible Gerrard was at the same age. No question at all. The guy has strength, pace and skill in abundance. Like Gerrard, he can play in a number of defensive and midfield positions: Full back; Centre back; Holding and attacking midfielder. What’s not to like in that? He’s a far better purchase than previous Reds target Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
BS Rating: 1 There is definitely some traction to this rumour and I believe Can would make a superb addition to the Red’s squad. I understand from my German correspondent (well, my other half) that the transfer is quite delicate. Apparently Leverkusen have accepted an offer for Gonzalo Castro from Schalke 04 and if LFC nip in and take Can, then the previously agreed transfer of Castro may fall through on the basis that they can’t sell their two best midfielders… This is probably the more pressing matter for LFC than Bayern Munich. Personally I think the deal will go through. Leverkusen won’t refuse €12m now in order to pick up an automatic €7m from the Bavarians next year. D’uh. Eastenders, eat your heart out!
Yevhen Konoplyanka – Rumours remain rife that the Reds will sign the 24 year-old winger from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The club have made him available for €12m which one would think is an amount well within the Liverpool summer transfer kitty. However, the Ukraine club claim no contact has been made from the Merseysiders. From what I’ve seen I’m not totally convinced. I don’t see why Liverpool would be interested in him and wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was a smoke screen to distract from a more coveted target. Well, I’m hoping so anyway.
BS Rating: 4 I can’t see this happening. I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but Liverpool don’t really play with wingers. Hence them being among the teams with the least “crosses”. Is Konoplyanka really a player in the mould that Brendan Rodgers is looking for?
Pedro – Or Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma to use his full name. Let’s just call him Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez for short. The 24 year old Spaniard, a World and European Cup winner with Spain is the kind of player shoud be looking to sign. A player of pure class and one whom Rodgers would surely be able to improve. The abundantly skillful graduate of the La Mesia academy of Barcelona has been made available as part of a summer clear out by newly appointed Barca boss Luis Enrique according to The Guardian. A forward line including Luis Suarez and Pedro would be too good to imagine.
BS Rating: 3 It would be nice, but I can’t see this happening. Since Rodgers’ appointment he hasn’t been able to attract anyone of Pedro’s profile. He certaily has something to prove so let’s hope this isn’t just “Football Manager” stuff.
So, that’s my Fantastic Four for this week. Fantastic being the appropriate word because I think there’s only one likely mover in that lot being Can. Maybe he can. There’s no official offer so I think Brendan Rodgers and company should wrap up the Transfer Committee Meeting and get ton the blower before José Mourinho gets wind of this.
Overall, Adam Lallana remains the number one transfer target but at £25m, I think Rodgers could find better value elsewhere. This looks as if it’s going to be another drawn out, wild goose chase scenario for Liverpool. Will an offer of £40m entice Southampton to part with their captain and Dejan Lovren? Seems a tad pricey to me and that implies £15m for Lovren. I should cocoa.
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