Future Reds – July 2008
This is a summary of the ongoing transfer speculation regarding Liverpool’s potential incoming players and how likely each of the moves are to take place.
Gareth Barry – Midfielder (Aston Villa)
Frozen out by his Villa manager, it seems to be only a matter of time before he joins Liverpool. Around £2-£3 Million seems to be the discrepancy in the transfer value and neither manager appears to want to back down. However, various bonuses and add-on’s can be created so that neither Rafa nor Martin O’ Neill loses face. Chelsea or Scum could come in with their moneybags and gazump us but Barry seems to have his heart set on Liverpool.
Would it be good for us? – Arguable whether he is better than Alonso on his day but certainly more in form over the last couple of years. Is a proven Premier League player and certainly won’t weaken us as a team.
Chances of Happening – 90%
David Villa – Striker (Valencia)
Clearly a friend as well as a countryman of Torres, Villa would probably be open to the idea of playing alongside Torres at club level. However, Valencia have said they want to keep him and Villa has said he wants to stay. Chelsea or more likely Real Madrid or Barcelona coming in with £25M plus may make them think again but with his value having increased after Euro 2008 it is unlikely whether we could compete financially for a player much sought after.
Would it be good for us? – There’s no doubting his quality but he hasn’t played in England before. Personally when he and Torres were rumoured a year ago, Torres was always the one I thought would be the more suited to our game. I wouldn’t be against the idea but there are probably other cheaper options available.
Chances of Happening – 15%
Robbie Keane – Striker (Tottenham)
Well I didn’t see this one coming as a possibility until last week. It may have only arisen because of the possible Tottenham interest in Crouch and the media letter their imaginations get the better of them in the form of a swap deal. However, there does seem to be some substance in the story and Keane hasn’t ruled out the idea. Tottenham want to keep him and have placed a £20 Million valuation on him which is probably £3 or £4Million too high but with Benayoun or even Scott Carson thrown in as a makeweight, this is a deal that could well happen if the 2 Spanish managers can remain on good terms (unlike Rafa with O’Neill)
Would it be good for us? – He’s a different type of striker to Torres, more predatory but with a good touch and undoubted skill. The two may well compliment each other well and with Keane seeming more settled now than early in his career when he had a different club each year he may well be looking now (at the age of 27) for one last big move with Champions League football likely
Chances of Happening – 50%
David Silva – Winger (Valencia)
Similar to Villa’s situation in lots of ways. He had a good Euro 2008 but Valencia don’t appear to want to sell him and Silva himself has made no suggestion he wants to leave. It’s probably slightly more likely than Villa simply because Rafa is clearly looking at bringing in at least 1 winger during the summer
Would it be good for us? – A player of great skill who showed his calibre playing for Spain as well as Valencia for the last couple of years. He’s only 22 and could have a superb career ahead of him. The worry is that he’s very lightweight and perhaps not ideally suited to our game. I think I’d take the chance though
Chances of Happening – 25%
Stewart Downing – Winger (Middlesbrough)
It’s obvious that with Rafa looking for a winger than Downing’s name would come up at least in passing. He’s been in the Premier League for a few years and has got 18 England caps and is a fairly decent but not spectacular player. However, he only signed a new 5 year contract a few months ago so he can’t be desperate to leave. He’s a Middlesbrough lad and is only 23 so he doesn’t need to leave yet if he’s got ultimate ambitions of a league title or Champions League football.
Would it be good for us? – For a fee of around £12-£14 Million I think he’d be a decent player and certainly would suit the left hand midfield role better than Babel (who incidentally I think should be employed as a 2nd striker). If Boro want more than £14M I’d say forget it.
Chances of Happening – 30%
James Milner – Winger (Newcastle)
A cheaper alternative to most of the wingers currently being considered. Available for around £8-£9 Million, Milner is very worthy of consideration. He’s able to play on either wing and has provided some good crosses at Newcastle. The trouble is he currently plays in a very average team where he is not pushed at all. However, remember the potential he showed as a youngster at Leeds and although he seems to have been around for ever he is in fact only 22. I think Rafa is keeping him in mind as a very realistic alternative should he be unable to get his other targets
Would it be good for us? – He’s stronger than Benayoun, more confident than Babel and wouldn’t cost the earth. Whilst Liverpool fans may not get particularly excited about Milner he did score a rocket of a goal the season before last against the Scum. I’m sure you can find that on You Tube if you want to get excited about him if he signs.
Chances of Happening – 50%
Albert Riera – Winger (Espanyol)
Apparently Liverpool have already made an offer of £9.5Million plus Sebastian Leto for Riera which was rejected by Espanyol who have said they will accept no less than £19Million for him. In summary they are completely bonkers. Whatever Riera’s potential may be, he has no history with any of the major clubs in Europe and has only been capped 5 times by Spain by the age of 26. He’s quick and can clearly shoot (judging by his quality strike for Spain against Denmark) but their valuation is just madness. He wants to leave Espanyol and so expect Rafa to go back with another bid of around £12M plus Leto. If they don’t accept that then forget it because Riera is not without risks.
Would it be good for us? – Probably but it’s a little bit of an unknown considering that Espanyol is the best club he’s played for – hardly on the same level as Liverpool. If Rafa is convinced then we’ll have to believe him.
Chances of Happening – 40%
Joaquin Sanchez – Winger (Valencia)
Linked with Liverpool in previous seasons but not really in this one, I’ve included Joaquin for no more reason than I think he’s the player we SHOULD get. Like Silva and Riera he is quick but he’s also very strong and although sometimes wasteful he has no confidence problems in just running headlong at defenders. Valencia want to keep him but they are rumoured to need to sell some players to raise funds. Joaquin was left out of the Euro 2008 squad which may make him think he needs to play elsewhere to get back in the frame. He’s only 26 and has only played for Real Betis and Valencia. He deserves the chance at a big club so let’s hope he agrees. Would probably cost at least £15 Million, maybe £20M.
Would it be good for us? – Yes, he’s ideal – trust me Rafa
Chances of Happening – 20%
OVERALL PREDICTION – We’ll get Barry, Keane and at least 1 winger (fingers crossed Joaquin)