The season’s not even over yet – although it might aswell be for Liverpool – and the rumour mill is in overdrive, seemingly fuelled by Rafa Benitez’s rather bullish comments about new signings.
Transfer speculation is also boosted by reports of a Â£30m kitty being given to Benitez, plus money raised from player sales which could be quite substantial with Scott Carson, Peter Crouch, John Arne Riise, Steve Finnan and Jermaine Pennant all expected to bring in a transfer fee.
And it is Crouch who is today reported to subject to an Â£8m move to return to Portsmouth where he made 37 appearances in 2001/02, scoring 18 goals. The Mirror reports Crouch would be given Â£75,000 a week to join Harry Redknapp’s side. They also report that Pompey are interested in John Arne Riise…
Who, in a seperate report, is said to be angry over his future after finding he was offered as part of the offer for Gareth Barry last week. Riise has just 12 months left on his contract and said “What the manager thinks, you never know.” He is spoke how after 7 years at the club he would expect to be told if he was being sold.
It is Riise’s left back spot which is undoubtedly needing enforcing over the summer and Barcelona’s Eric Abidal is the subject of reports of an Â£8m move, with the Liverpool Echo reporting LFC scouts were in attendance at Barca’s match with Valencia last night. The 28 year old French international only joined the Catalan giants from Lyon last summer.
Reports continue to suggest the deal for right back Phillip Degen has been completed, something we reported before the media picked up on the story [Link].
The Gareth Barry story continued this weekend with former Liverpool player Patrik Berger advising the Villa captain and current teammate to move to Anfield claiming it is “the opportunity of a lifetime. Liverpool don’t come after you every year.” He added “If I was in Gareth’s position I would go there tomorrow.” No doubt Martin O’Neill won’t be best pleased with them quotes!
It was another reported target, Antonio Valencia, who hit two at Villa Park on Saturday to inflict defeat upon Barry’s current club. The Wigan attacking midfielder has been subject of numerous reports in recent weeks.
A new name to be linked with a move entered the rumour mill at the weekend though, with Birmingham keeper Maik Taylor linked in the Independent as back-up for Pepe Reina, with Charles Itandje set to be sold this summer.
Our rumour mill forum will be keeping track of all the arrivals and departures at Anfield this summer, make sure you check it regularly and join in the debate on who we should sign and offload.