Rumour Mill: Dossena, Voronin, Babel, Heskey & Maxi

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Day five of the January transfer window and all of a sudden the speculation surrounding Liverpool FC has intensified.

Late last night Italian press reported Napoli had agreed a £4.4m deal to sign Italian international Andrea Dossena, a move which looks set to be completed within the week once personal terms and a medical can be concluded.

The weather could play a role in any potential transfer movements this week, with Liverpool’s John Lennon airport suffering many cancellations.

Another man set to leave Anfield very soon is Ukranian Andriy Voronin. Dynamo Moscow look to have agreed a £1.5m fee for the forward, who has spent the last week sunning himself in Miami. Personal terms are said to have been discussed with the 30 year-old. Dynamo though may face competition from neighbours CSKA Moscow for Voronin’s signature.

Crucially, the departures of Dossena and Voronin will allow manager Rafa Benitez to conclude the signature of Argentinian winger Maxi Rodriguez.

Sports News - November 04, 2008

The Liverpool news website Click Liverpool reports Rodriguez has spoke with national team captain and Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano in order to decide upon a loan move to Anfield ahead of the World Cup this summer. It has been claimed Maxi’s deal will be concluded as soon as one of Dossena and Voronin complete their moves away from Merseyside.

UPDATE: Maxi’s agent confirmed on Tuesday evening the player has held talks with Liverpool, and Spanish journalist Guillem Balague now claims Rodriguez could sign on a permanent 2 and a half year deal, with a fee of around £1.5m. Stay tuned for further updates.

Rafa Benitez may have denied he is looking to let Ryan Babel leave during the transfer window after the Reading match on Saturday, but that hasn’t stopped the bids coming in for the Dutch forward. Birmingham, Fiorentina and Besiktas are all reported to have made bids for Babel, with Birmingham having a £9m bid rejected on Monday.

Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill, the Aston Villa manager, has commented on reports Emile Heskey is a target for Benitez and a return to Liverpool. “After the Blackburn game on Saturday, someone asked me about Heskey, a hypothetical question about ‘What if Emile wanted to go?’ and it took me a bit by surprise.” said the Villa boss.

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“I haven’t really sat down yet and spoken to any of the players about what is going to happen in January.

“I couldn’t give you any guarantees about anything, but we are in a situation here where I would be wanting to keep the players who are making an impact at the football club.

“And I think Emile in the last number of weeks has been really excellent for us. Ideally, because we are involved in different competitions at this minute, I would try and keep them if it’s at all possible. I just don’t know. I will take every situation on its merits.”

So neither ruling it out or in, if Benitez does want Emile back and the player wants to return it could well happen.

With eight days between the FA Cup tie with Reading and Sunday’s home match with Tottenham, Benitez seems determined to use the time to shape up his under-achieving squad. Hopefully some of the deals will be finalised by Sunday.

  • Elsewhere, Burnley have confirmed Owen Coyle wishes to leave the club in order to join Bolton. And the two Carling Cup semi-finals in the North West have been postponed, Blackburn vs Villa and Man City vs Man United have both been called off.
  • Keep up to date with the latest speculation this January in our dedicated Rumour Mill.

    To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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