Thursday’s Transfer Talk

Manchester United seem to be quickest to the transfer market this summer with the signings of Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani already. But with Rafa promised the new American owner’s big dollars this summer, when and with who will Liverpool announce their big summer spending spree to compete with United and Chelsea in the title race next season?

Today (Thursday 31 May) has seen more rumours flying about Anfield as to who’s coming and going this summer as Rafa reshuffles his squad ready for a fresh assault on the Premiership crown.

Lyon star Florent Malouda (pictured) has today claimed that the Reds are interested in signing him, but admits we haven’t put a bid in for him yet:

‘œThere are contacts with Liverpool but they haven’t made an offer to Lyon yet. They are a good club and play in the English league, which is very interesting. I have no preference, I can also move to Spain. It depends on the club’s ambition and their desire to sign me.’

Malouda is reported to have been valued at around £17million by Lyon, who have just parted company with former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier.

Liverpool could thwart Newcastle‘s attempt to sign highly-rated Wigan left-back Leighton Baines. The 22-year-old is said to be looking for a new club after his mentor, Paul Jewell, left Wigan shortly after keeping them in the Premiership with victory on the last day of the season over Sheffield United. Baines, who is eligible to play for the England U-21s at the European Championships next months, was all set to join Sam Allardyce’s new-look Newcastle squad, but could be tempted to join the Rafalution.

Long-time Liverpool target Daniel Alves could well be on his way out of Sevilla this summer after his agent hinted the Brazilian may be looking to move onto bigger and better things. However the Reds may face competition from the likes of AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona for Alves’ signature.

Aston Villa are said to have been put off signing Reds striker Craig Bellamy with reports suggesting that Liverpool are asking for at least £10million for the Welsh international. Bellamy has struggled to hold down a first team place since his £6million switch from Blackburn Rovers last summer.

Benitez has warned off teams looking to acquire the services of defender Sami Hyypia this summer, insisting that the Finn is still part of his plans at Anfield. As Hyypia revealed earlier this week, Benitez has told him that he still has a big part to play in the club’s success, despite the preferred centre-back partnership of Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger:

‘œIt’s true I spoke to Sami and I told him I wanted him to stay. I expect Sami to be with us for the start of pre-season. He is a good professional and it’s not easy to find defenders with his experience.’

John Arne Riise has expressed his desire to remain at the club despite mixed form during the last campaign. He says he is looking into signing a new contract with the club and wants to keep winning medals as a Red:

“I know the manager would have called at once it if was true that he wanted to offload me. I have had full confidence at Liverpool for six years, and see no reason to stop playing for the club. The plan is that we shall talk about a contract extension before the start of next season.”