Liverpool Transfer News: Victor Valdes Squad Space Left Open, Timeline Emerges

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2014

FC Barcelona's goalkeeper Victor Valdes warms up before a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Sunday March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White/Associated Press

The closure of the summer transfer window isn't preventing Liverpool from adding another name to their squad, with news that a deal for free agent Victor Valdes is moving closer.

Valdes is yet to be signed after leaving Barcelona this summer, but Brendan Rodgers is expected to acquire the former Camp Nou stopper as soon as he can prove his fitness. The goalkeeper ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in March.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12:  Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

According to the Daily Mail's Dominic King, October will be the crucial month, when the Spaniard will undertake his medical to prove no lasting effects from surgery. If all goes smoothly, the deal will become official.

The Premier League has stated that any post-transfer window acquisitions will need ratification from the governing body before being made official, but Mike Whalley of ESPN FC said the Reds have made room for Valdes' expected arrival:

A Premier League spokesman has told ESPN FC that any club wanting to amend their squad list between transfer windows would have to make an application to do so, which would then be considered on its merits.

Such amendments can only be granted by the league body if a club have room in their squad to include an extra player -- but Liverpool do have space to accommodate Valdes. The Premier League allows up to 17 non-homegrown players in a 25-man squad, and as Liverpool have only nine, there would be plenty of room for Valdes.

As King wrote, Liverpool missed out on deals for Michel Vorm and Alex McCarthy this summer, who moved from Swansea City to Tottenham and Reading to Queens Park Rangers, respectively.

As Nik Postinger of We Play confirmed, Spanish publication Sport alleged Valdes has agreed a deal in principle, with the medical and fitness tests being the only remaining blockade:

Valdes will provide steep competition for Simon Mignolet, who hasn't been a completely assured presence between the posts since moving to Merseyside from Sunderland last year.

Mignolet produced a match-winning save against Southampton on the opening day of the campaign, but he was out of position for Sergio Aguero's goal at Manchester City as the Reds were beaten 3-1.

Just prior to transfer deadline day, Rodgers was quoted by the Daily Star's Rhys Turrell saying his side could make one more signing after a busy summer, with Valdes the potential acquisition he was alluding to:

Players will mostly be going out rather than coming in. Maybe one more will come in. A few boys have been told they aren't going to get much game time so they have been given that respect early on to help themselves find a club.

In Valdes' place, Barca brought in Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo, but the veteran keeper and three-time Champions League winner nevertheless remains a revered figure in goal.

WhoScored.com broke down the free agent's La Liga statistics, indicating a league record of just under one clean sheet every other game since 2009:

That being said, Rodgers is right to be cautious about Valdes' return to fitness. Anterior cruciate ligaments hold a reputation for crippling careers, especially when suffered in the later stages of one's development.

After Liverpool spent more than £100 million over the course of the summer, the former Spain international would be something of an under-the-radar capture in comparison.

Strongest Premier League Goalkeeping Setups
ClubFirst-ChoiceSecond-Choice
ArsenalWojciech SzczesnyDavid Ospina
ChelseaThibaut CourtoisPetr Cech
Manchester CityJoe HartWilly Caballero
QPRRobert GreenAlex McCarthy
SouthamptonFraser ForsterArtur Boruc
TottenhamHugo LlorisMichel Vorm
Other

However, possessing two elite goalkeepers is becoming a growing trend among Europe's top sides, and with the Reds now back in the Champions League mix, deeper resources are required.

If all goes to plan from a Liverpool perspective, it appears Valdes will show no lingering effects of injury and become one of their own next month, pending the Premier League's confirmation.