Disarray has been the best way to describe Liverpool’s entire 2012-13 season, which leaves their upcoming transfer window as one to watch.
The Merseyside club has a bunch of holes that need filling—most notably on the attack—and very little in terms of financial wherewithal to get it done. But with Liverpool once again sitting on the outside looking for a Champions League berth, something has to be done.
Whether it’s selling a big player to free up some funds and rebuilding around small pieces or simply putting the pedal to the medal and taking a risk on a big splash, something has to be done. With a good deal of time before the transfer window starts, though, Liverpool have more than enough time to decide their course of action.
As such, Brendan Rodgers’ side will almost certainly be exploring every option in the coming weeks. With that in mind, here is a complete breakdown of the latest transfer news coming out at Anfield.
Pepe Reina Will Not Rejoin Barcelona This Summer
Arguably the world’s best goalkeeper at the moment, Reina’s name has been a hot commodity when it comes to the summer transfer period. It’s been speculated by some that he would rejoin FC Barcelona of La Liga, the Spaniard’s youth club, and those rumors only heated up more when Victor Valdes’ departure became imminent.
That said, Reina has remained steadfast that he would not be returning home to join the La Liga juggernaut. When asked about a possible departure once again, the 30-year-old keeper said he remains perfectly happy playing at Anfield.
"Any talk of me joining Barca is just speculation,” said Reina (per Sky Sports). "I've got a contract at Liverpool and I'm very happy here.”
While that seems like a very diplomatic answer, there is little reason to believe Reina is being less than honest. He’s been with Liverpool since 2005—a period that far eclipses the time he spent at Camp Nou with the senior club.
What’s more, it’s hard to argue against the success Reina has had with the Reds this season. He’s positioning himself once again to be in contention for the Golden Glove award, which would be his fourth overall and first since his three-peat from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
Though the temptation to join Lionel Messi and compete for yearly La Liga titles has to be tempting, Reina is where he belongs. Based on his quote, he seems to believe that to be the case as well.
Reina Asks for Help from Board This Summer
While he pledged his allegiance to Liverpool, Reina acknowledges what many already know: Liverpool have to bring in reinforcements next season to compete. They cannot continually finish eighth in the Premier League and still expected to be called an elite club.
Their struggles this season have mostly been understandable. The players were still getting used to the managerial styling of Brendan Rodgers—never an easy task during a new man’s first year aboard. Noting that the club is finally starting to coalesce around Rodgers, Reina said it’s now up to the board to free up funds for a big splash.
"Obviously we will need some help from the board but I think the basis is well settled,” said Reina (per The Mirror). “We know the ideas and philosophies of the manager. It is getting better and better so hopefully we will be ready to compete."
That’s easier said than done. Liverpool have been struggling financially for years and now has a debt of £87.2million. As much as Reina and the Liverpool faithful may want help, it’s very possible that the Merseyside club simply cannot handle splashy new deals with its current financial affairs.
Valencia’s Aly Cissokho Pleased to be Named Possible Liverpool Target
With their current season mostly in ruin, additions are surely coming this summer at Anfield. Liverpool have now languished in the Premier League's mid-tier for nearly a half-decade and pressure is boundless to make a splashy move.
Though he certainly would not make massive waves in the mainstream, Valencia defender Aly Cissokho has been among the most speculated names. The 25-year-old Frenchman has emerged over the past couple of years as an progressing talent. Flashing some goal-scoring ability in 2012-13, Cissokho has made good on Valencia’s investment already in the first year.
That said, the rumors about a possible Premier League departure will not subside. Why, you ask? Well, mostly because Cissokho is out there fanning the flames himself.
Via Le Parisien (h/t ESPN):
I've never hidden the fact that the English league is the one that attracts me the most. It's pleasing to see my name linked to Liverpool. They're a great club, and not just anyone can wear that shirt. But it's still just an article in a newspaper.
A move over to Anfield seems like a remote possibility at this point. Though he’s a rising star, Cissokho will have just one season under his belt at Valencia and isn’t even a regular player on the French national team.
It’s possible that Cissokho someday realizes his dream. But with resources not exactly abundant at Anfield, it’s likely Liverpool will have to keep their resources for one or two top targets.