Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Carling Cup quarter final with Arsenal at Anfield, Rafa Benitez highlighted the two main positions he feels he needs players – at least for cover for the regular starters.
“In some positions we can maybe use other players but the problems are always at right-back or in central midfield.”
Steve Finnan is the only recognised right back, while the injuries to Momo Sissoko and Bolo Zended have meant Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard are left to play in every game in the middle.
It is with Lucas Neill (right back, although capable of playing anywhere across the back 4) and Javier Mascherano (centre mid) which Benitez continues to be most strongly linked to.
And while the Neill talk has gone quiet over the last few days the reports are that Mascherano deal has been agreed with the club and the player but now Liverpool must seek approval from FIFA as the Argentinian played for Corinthians this season before joining West Ham on transfer deadline day. A new ruling last year states players cannot represent 3 clubs in one season.
Liverpool though are said to be seeking legal action citing the only one suffering from the ruling is the player himself.
Those two additions, for me, would be adequate for the January window, adding depth and balance to the squad whilst not rocking the boat too dramatically.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s Mirror reports Sheff United’s England under 21 international Phil Jagielka will be the subject of a Â£9million deal if the Yorkshire club are relegated. The 24 year old central midfielder is highly rated and it is believed Rafa Benitez has a deal with United for a first option on the versatile player.
Another being heavily linked over the weekend has been Charlton’s Darren Bent – someone who Benitez has in the past admitted to have an interest in but didn’t want to spend such an excessive fee and so signed Craig Bellamy instead.
Bellamy himself has been subject of some proper shite transfer talk; like a Â£6million move to Villa. Quite why we’d sell him for the same price after half a season is beyond me but some stupid journalist somewhere thinks so.