Liverpool have emerged as contenders, alongside Arsenal, to sign England midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips.
The 28-year-old winger is set to find himself down the pecking order at Eastlands this season, following the arrival of David Silva from Valencia amongst a host of other players. Despite his home grown status, it is believed that Roberto Mancini may well be prepared to part with the winger should a bid come in close to their valuation of their player, which is understood to be close to the £8.5m they paid Chelsea to bring him back to the club in 2008.
Wright-Phillips spent seven seasons at Manchester City before Chelsea stepped in to pay £21 million for his services in the early days of Roman Abramovich’s influence on Premier League football. His time at Chelsea wasn’t a successful one and long spells on the Chelsea bench, saw his return to City for well under half the price, pre-Sheik Mansour buyout at a time when his name was also linked heavily with Liverpool.
Arsenal interest is said to have quietened due to the players believed wage demands as opposed to the asking price for the player. The wideman having already rejected a £10,000 per week increase on his existing contract with Manchester City at the end of last season. Arsenal may be able to provide Wright-Phillips with Champions League football but wage demands will not be a major issue to Kop boss Roy Hodgson having already persuaded SWP’s former Chelsea colleague Joe Cole to take up life on Merseyside despite a wealth of interest.
Hodgson has spent wisely this summer, gradually increasing the squad depth at Anfield with the only fee paid to date a £2m initial payment to Rangers for Danny Wilson. Joe Cole, Fabio Aurelio & Milan Jovanovic all arrived as free signings and Hodgson continues to express his interest in at least another 2 or 3 new arrivals to Melwood. With the sale of Albert Riera and the forthcoming expected departures of Emiliano Insua and Javier Mascherano yet to come, as well as a basic level transfer fund, the new manager finds himself with options. As long as the Liverpool board do the seemingly difficult task of keeping their word and providing sale profits for re-investment back into the squad, the names of Christian Poulsen and Peter Crouch are thought to be heading on to the staff list shortly.
Whether Wright-Phillips will find himself making the short trip from Manchester to Liverpool remains to be seen but Liverpool retain a focus of interest on experienced players, especially those that have it in the Premiership. Wright-Phillips current team mate Wayne Bridge, presently in a similar squad situation himself, remains part of a trio of left backs alongside Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa and Fulham’s Paul Konchesky as other possible arrivals as the Reds look to provide further defensive cover once Insua officially becomes a Genoa player in the next couple of days.