So here we go again. Another summer of rumour, counter rumour and seemingly, if past years are to go by, endless wait! Its transfer time again
The waiting to tie up deals is something that has always irked Rafa and now that he has the new awesome transfer powers thrust on him by the owners via his new contract agreement we’ll hopefully see a quicker resolution? Behold the force of Rafa! Jesting aside I hope we do, I don’t think I can face another summer like the last one where the Gareth Barry issue went on for … well my brain hurts just thinking about it!
Who are this summer’s candidates for a move to and from L4? Obviously this is a “fluid” list which will change depending on things like agents demands the desire of the player, who we can sell and of course how much real news there is to report. The latter is in inverse proportion to the transfer rumours that suddenly appear in the paper!
Early runners for a move to Anfield are one Carlos Tevez, However we’ve also been liked with Wheater, Downing, Johnson, Villa, Silva, Eto’o, French, Saunders, Hall, Oates, Emerson, Lake, Palmer, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and finally, but by no means last, some short, unwanted and unloved bloke from Newcastle whose name escapes me! I understand that since Saturday our reported interest in Susan Boyle has cooled!
The favourite from the pack appears to be Tevez and, until yesterday, Gareth Barry. We are reported to be in a bidding war for both with Manchester City. I suspect that when it comes to bidding wars with Manchester City there will be only one winner, however we might win “on points” as we can guarantee Champions League football in 2009-10. However, Mr Barry, after being at pains last summer to assert that it was Champions League football he wanted, has overlooked this in favour of the “potential” of City. Perhaps at 28 years he feels confident about sitting out Europe for another reason and waiting a few more years until City build up their squad (either that or he thinks he’s signed for United) and in the meantime the money will do very nicely thanks very much!
Thankfully this means we will not be subjected to another summer of fruitless pursuit and the verbosity of a certain Mr O’Neill however, does this mean Xabi Alonso, his sale to Juventus seemed to be key to the Barry deal, will stay? I suspect it’s thrown Rafa off course a tad but presumably there are other options and sadly Alonso’s future still seems unclear? Real Madrid’s desire to sign him is plain even though Rafa is at pains to stress that he wants him to stay.
“The situation is clear, we do not want to sell our best players and that includes Xabi. He had a very good season for us and can be an important player in the future. There is no agreement with Real and we want him to be part of our plans going forward. Xabi himself told our club magazine only two weeks ago that he was looking forward to his sixth season as a Liverpool player. Why should he want to leave now?”
Why would Xabi, a Barcelona fan (his father also played for them) want to go to Real Madrid? However, perhaps the question we should be asking Rafa is what’s changed since last summer when he seemed more than happy to off load Alonso to Juventus and only a disagreement over the asking price prevented him for doing so?
It’s rumoured that Real are prepared to put £22m is on the table for Xabi. Will this sum, which was considerably more than we wanted from Juventus twelve months ago, sway Rafa? Presumably it’s an option for him if he fails to raise the money he needs for sales of other players? However, he will need to weigh up what the other players can bring to the team to replace what Xabi takes away?
It will need to be a lot.