Browsing the morning papers and headlines online the attention is firmly on the imminent arrival of Maxi Rodriguez and the conclusion of Andriy Voronin’s departure from Anfield.
At the time of writing, neither deal has yet been completed, while both are expected to be so come Monday morning.
Yesterday saw Andrea Dossena complete his return to Italy with Napoli, in a deal worth around £4.4m.
Speaking yesterday, manager Rafa Benitez explained:
“He (Dossena) wants to play in Italy so it was an opportunity for us and for him. Hopefully he can go to the World Cup. We tried to sign players with an attacking mentality like Andrea and Philipp Degen because to sign wingers is sometimes £20-30million. Offensive full-backs are a little bit cheaper and we wanted to improve going forward with these type of players. Dossena had some good games but couldn’t perform at the level we know he can, so it’s best for him and best for us.”
The player himself is happy to have returned to his homeland, saying “I am happy to be able to wear the Napoli shirt. I have chosen a place of great prestige with big plans. I can’t wait for the time to play at the San Paolo in front of an extraordinary public.” The 28 year old signed a four year deal.
Voronin’s move to Dynamo Moscow is expected to recoup £1.8m, while Philipp Degen is also attracting interest back in the Bundesliga, with VfB Stuttgart interested in the Swiss right back.
Bizarrely, there’s a headline dominating the Newsnow top stories which states Dynamo Moscow have completed the 18m (yes, 18m) signing of Liverpool flop Voronin. Seeing as it doesn’t state the currency involved im guessing it’s 18m rubles, a fairer price for the much maligned Ukranian international.
With Dossena and Voronin heading out of Anfield, Maxi Rodriguez’s arrival should be complete very soon. Benitez said on Friday;
“The deal was almost done, but then there was a problem between the player and Atletico Madrid. So he is still, at the moment, their player.”
“Rodriguez is an experienced player, a good international and he scores goals.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian quotes Benitez on another player attracting interest, Ryan Babel;
“If I do not find any good replacements, I will try to keep him (Babel).
“He said that he wants to stay. We will try to train with him in the right way and, if he can give something to us, I will be really pleased. We signed a player with talent, with pace and ability and we want to see the best from him. So we will try to push him and hopefully he can play well. He has the potential and he has shown this a lot of times but we want to see him playing at this level more frequently.”
Of any other possible signings, Benitez hinted there won’t be many more incoming and he will instead wait until the summer to reinforce the squad;
“There aren’t too many good players in the market now that you could bring here because the majority of them are with top sides or in the Champions League and they want to stay until the end of the season.”
One player who has been linked with a summer move is Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh (above), who it is claimed Liverpool are hoping to sign a pre-contract agreement with. Benitez refused to be drawn on the player specifically, saying;
“I have to plan for the summer. When I decided to stay it was because I wanted to stay. I gave my word and I want to fight, so I will fight until the end. Always you have to be ready and you have to know the market.”
Rafa and the club are clearly planning for the future and the boss isn’t going anywhere yet.
And finally, head over to Kopblog for Gerry’s latest musings on the transfer window, including these findings on our transfer budget;
“With this “massive” war chest of cash we could easily afford Lionel Messi’s toe nail clippings, David Villa’s left testicle or possibly even the nasal fluid of Kaka but while these things might come in handy if we were to install some kind of cloning device at Melwood, they probably wouldn’t enhance our chances of climbing back into the top 4 and perhaps picking up a bit of silverware this season.”