Liverpool Transfer News: Rumours and Roundup
The off-season has officially started and the busy transfer period is finally upon us. In three days begins a flurry of summer activity, and as always, most of the focus will be on new players coming in, or rumored to be coming in to Liverpool.
However, there must be “out with the old" in order for there to be “in with the new.” As such, we round-up of the transfer talk currently swirling about Liverpool, examining both the current players released and/or rumored to be released, as well as those rumored to be on their way in.
There are reports floating around that an unhappy Skrtel is set to hand in a transfer request due to the club’s string of poor seasons. Let us cut straight to the chase; this is rubbish. Skrtel is going nowhere.
These rumors seem to have originated on sites such as Goal.com and The Mirror, which themselves fail to offer any citations or substantiation to the claims. As much as it pains me to give life to the rumor by even addressing it, it is necessary nonetheless, that it is debunked all the same.
Just as he failed to impress under Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, so too did he fail to impress with his Spanish clubs this past season. As a result, he has returned to Anfield and must now look to impress whoever replaces Dalglish, if he is to have a future at Liverpool.
Aurelio saw very limited first team action this season with only two appearances for the club in all competitons. With Jose Enrique firmly entrenched in the starter’s role and youngsters like Jack Robinson being groomed for the future, Aurelio’s chance of returning was always going to be slim.
It came as no surprise then when his exit was confirmed with the announcement by Brazilian club Gremio, that it had reached an agreement with the left back on Thursday, returning him to his native Brazil.
The Argentine was rumored to be on his way back to Argentina to rejoin Newell’s Old Boys at the end of the 2010-2011 season. Iit was somewhat of a surprise then that he was brought back under former manager Kenny Dalglish.
His banishment to the bench under Dalglish was somewhat of a surprise, since he was productive in limited opportunities on the pitch, registering six goals and four assists in 22 appearances in all competitions this past season.
His lack of first team opportunities under Kenny Dalglish gave rise to reports that he would consider cancelling the final year of his contract with the club.
Now that Dalglish has been sacked, Rodriguez’ status with the club remains undetermined, and is likely to remain resolved until a new manager has been hired.
Kuyt has declined overtures from his former club Feyernoord in favor of keeping his footballing options open for next season.
After seeing his playing time dramatically reduced under former manager Kenny Dalglish, the Dutch international is reportedly awaiting the appointment of Dalglish’s replacement to see where he fits into the team's plans before making a decision.
In acknowledging the interest of Hamburg and other Bundesliga clubs, Kuyt makes clear that he is willing to move on:
"I'm proud that such a big club like this is interested in me,but there are other options."
The fact that he is sussing out interest at Anfield before making a decision, seems to imply that his preference would be to remain at Liverpool.
Cole enjoyed a relatively successful season, recording six goals and three assists in 28 starts (with 14 appearances as a substitute) for AS Lille of the French Ligue 1.
Now that his season-long loan has ended, Cole is considering offers from former club, West Ham, as well as an option to return to Lille.
He has however, expressed an interest in returning to Anfield, citing unfinished work:
"There is still a part of me that would really love to make it work there and I don't want to have a bad spell at Anfield on my CV. But it is out of my hands now. At the minute I can't rule anything in or out. We have got to speak to Liverpool and see what happens there."
This after never seeming to fit into the plans of neither Roy Hodgson nor Kenny Dalglish. Dalglish in particular seemed to deem him surplus to requirements in banishing him to Italy.
Milan held an option to make the loan permanent had the player made 25 appearances for the Serie A side.
By controlling the number of appearances the player could make however, Milan held the upper hand in determining whether the trigger requirement would ever take effect. It has now become painfully clear that their sole interest is in renegotiating the deal and nothing more.
They can still make the transfer permanent at the agreed price of £6 million before May 31, but don’t expect that to happen. Club Vice-president, Adriano Galliani has even pointedly stated:
"We will not use our option to buy Aquilani before May 31. We will re-open talks with Liverpool in June, though."
Before being sacked, Dalglish seemed to imply that the door would be open for Aquilani’s return to Liverpool. The club certainly could have used his impressive talents this past campaign. As for the future however, it remains to be seen just where a new manager would rate his potential.
Johnson has been one of the club’s better players this season, and he was the favored starter over promising understudy, Martin Kelly.
The managerial change means, at least in theory, that all starting positions are in flux. Nonetheless, don’t expect anything to happen before a new manager has a chat with the player and his representatives.
Following his tumultuous first full season at Anfield, Luis Suárez has remained somewhat unsettled by the racism charge levied against him, and his subsequent eight-game suspension by the FA.
The enigmatic Uruguayan even suggests that he is being targeted by some in English football. The merits of that though aside, at this point his suspension is in the past, and he would be better served by shutting up and moving on.
He needs to put the incident behind him and get over it so as to not run the risk of the controversy following him into next season.
As it was, he finished the season in fabulous form, including an impressive hat-trick at the close of the Premier League campaign.
That form has reportedly resulted in interest from the likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, but Suárez has dismissed any suggestions of him leaving Liverpool this summer.
The 21-year old Uruguayan has had a stellar season with eight goals and four assists in 36 appearances for Bologna.
Modest though his numbers may seem, they were sufficient to draw the interests of a number of Premier League clubs, one of which, according to his agent, presented a £1 million bid for the player’s services.
Dalglish was known to have kept close tabs on Ramirez, and once the new manager is hired, look for an announcement to be made either way, fairly early into the process.
Michu (Miguel Pérez Cuesta)
Financial problems by Spanish club Rayo Vallecano are likely to set off a fire sale of players this summer, with Michu reportedly being made available for as little as £3million.
He has attracted attention from both Manchester United and Liverpool, as befits the highest-scoring midfielder in Spain last season (15 goals and 3 assists in 37 appearances).
Now he looks to bring his impressive talents to the Premier League, and the Reds would do well to get their bid in before it gets too late.
Early reports this winter were that Keita was interested in a move, possibly to Liverpool this summer. With the summer transfer window upon us however, such interest has apparently cooled with other clubs joining the pursuit.
Hard to tell where truth ends from where fiction begins with this one, but don't expect any early movement on Keita by Liverpool either way.
The 23-year old Atletico Bilbao midfielder has reportedly drawn the interests of Liverpool and an array of clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
A £34 million release clause, and the fact that he is signed through 2016, means that a summer transfer, at least to Liverpool, is unlikely.
Tello’s development has been hindered by the lack of first team opportunities, and that has apparently opened the door to a transfer away from the Camp Nou this summer.
Liverpool and other clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Valencia are thought to be awaiting Tito Vilanova’s official appointment, before approaching to gauge where the 20-year old fits into Barcelona’s plans.
Jackson Martinez Jaguares
The 25-year old Colombian has acknowledged the interests of Liverpool, and more recently, FC Porto, and is keen to cash in on a successful season in which he scored 17 goals in 31 league appearances for Mexican side Jaguares.
Talks are yet to commence however, based on an interview he gave to the Colombian press:
"I am not in any advanced negotiations with Liverpool or Porto but I know they are personally interested. I have not spoken to anyone and that goes for my club and my agent. In the next few months things should be finalized."
He is expected to fetch a fee of around £6 million to move to Europe, which should make him an affordable option to complement the current strikers up front.
Liverpool has been linked with the AZ Alkmaar midfielder for most of the spring, and it seemed a forgone conclusion that he would sign with the Reds early in the transfer window.
Now, however, those plans appear to be in disarray as the Swede has reportedly told Liverpool that he is happy in Holland and is in no hurry to leave.
Not much should be read into this however, as it is likely to just be a shrewd negotiating tactic for when discussions begin in earnest. Still, look for a move to be finalized sooner rather than later.
The Dutchman has had a tumultuous stay in the Premier League thus far, after a season in which he repeatedly ran afoul of team rules at Everton. Rumors abounded that Drenthe could make a shock crosstown move to Anfield this summer.
The question must be asked whether the Reds would want to make a move for such a temperamental player, and it may surprise some that the answer may be yes.
Madrid's zeal to get him off the wage bill is likely to see him priced within a reasonable range. In addition, Liverpool would need to look only as far as the successful signing of the similarly tempestuous Craig Bellamy, to know that such a move could in fact pay dividends in the end.
After a successful season for Montpelier in which he led Ligue 1 in scoring with 21 goals, Giroud seems eager to keep his options open. He has spoken glowingly of the chance to sign with Munich in particular, noting that the presence of some of his countrymen adds to the appeal.
“I haven't spoken with Bayern Munich personally, but my agent has been in touch with them. [Bayern’s other French internationals] have all said how well they were received at Bayern, and how happy they were at the club.”
He is currently signed through 2014 and will command a reported £13million release fee, so there is no real pressure on Montpelier to sell him. Still, look for him to cash in while demand for his services is high, and a move to the Premier League seems most logical.
The price was also too high for Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who similarly had shown interest in the Dutch international.
Rumors have once again linked Elia to Liverpool, and with Martinez in the running for the Reds’ job, there may be renewed interest in bringing the winger to Anfield, particularly if current club Juventus makes good on indications that he’s out of favor in Turin.
“We never talk publicly about our transfer targets; however, any team would be lucky to have Clint Dempsey playing on their squad.”
Public prodding by US manager Jürgen Klinsmann only adds to the intrigue:
“If you play consistently at the highest level, then offers will come in; I think everybody is aware of that. His goal is the right goal, we have often discussed it. If he has the opportunity to go to a Champions League team, that’s the crème de la crème of club soccer, then you have to do that.”
Dempsey is likely to move to another club this summer, whether that club is Liverpool remains to be seen.
Errors and Omissions
This space will be used to update the list as the names (and verified reports) come in.
Luuk de Jong
As some of the comments have pointed out, Luuk de Jong was a notable omission and merits acknowledgment in some form. News has been largely silent since this report a month ago linking the Eredivisie star to Anfield.
Earlier reports linked the Blackburn midfielder to both Liverpool and Tottenham, as Blackburn struggled to avoid relegation. Having now suffered the drop, and with Hoilett out of a contract, expect the Canadian international to sign quickly in the next couple days.
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