Liverpool FC Chairman Confirms Dalglish Has Funds Available
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Today, the Chairman of Liverpool Football Club, Tom Werner, spoke at length about the present and future of the struggling Merseyside club. Werner, who joined Liverpool as part of the FSG consortium in October, was questioned about plans for a new stadium, the future of Kenny Dalglish, and the most pressing matter for the club at the moment: transfers.
These are hugely important times for Liverpool. In years past, during the January transfer window, Liverpool used the time to bulk up their squad in areas of weakness that were exposed in the first half of the season. In the last few seasons, players including Alvaro Arbeloa, Javier Mascherano and Martin Skrtel have all been brought to the club during the mid-season window to provide extra depth to the squad.
If anything can be taken from Werner's words this afternoon, it is that this season will be no different.
"Obviously we're hard at work. It is our intention to improve the club short term. We know there are ways to improve the club and we do have targets. We hope to announce something but we are going to be driven by long term decisions.
"It's very important for us to strengthen the club not just this season but next season. I think our supporters understand that if we can move forward and be better, not just this week but next week and the week after then that's more important than any short term decision."
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Great news for Liverpool fans, and amazing news for Kenny Dalglish. Not since former boss, Rafa Benitez, was awarded the funds to bring in Fernando Torres for a club record of £22 million, have Liverpool looked to have any spending power.
In the summer of 2009, Glen Johnson and Alberto Aquilani moved to Anfield for £17.5 million and £18 million respectively, but only after Benitez raised these funds himself by offloading Spaniards Xabi Alonso and Arbeloa to Real Madrid.
During his interview, Werner also announced that there is no transfer budget, as such, but FSG have the capital to launch "an attack" in the transfer market if a deal seems right. These guys are not going to sanction crazy fees for players that will not bring worthwhile benefit to the club. Gone are the days of putting together multi-million pound offers for players past their prime. The signings of Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky in the summer, both worth in the region of £4.5 million, have been labeled the dreaded "flop". FSG have a different strategy. They want "bang for your buck", exciting, young faces with bags of potential to improve, or at least generate a decent profit if sold on.
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One of the primary rumours this window has involved 23-year-old Uruguayan hitman, Luis Suarez, famous for his antics that helped his country reach the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in South Africa. His club, Ajax, have quoted a figure in the region of £25 million for the striker who bagged 49 goals in all competitions for the Dutch side last season. Judging by Tom Werner's words, the Liverpool board would be willing to back a bid for a proven goalscorer, with bags of quality and potential to improve further. Should he sign for Liverpool, it would be a similar transfer to when Fernando Torres joined the club: a pacy striker in his early 20s, established at international level, and looking for a new challenge.
Another alleged target for Liverpool is a product of their own academy, English left-back, Stephen Warnock. Warnock was brought through the Liverpool youth system but moved to Blackburn in 2007 after struggling to hold down a regular place in the first team due to John Arne Riise's good form. Since leaving, he has matured and blossomed as a full-back, prompting England manager, Fabio Capello, to include him in his World Cup squad in 2010.
The signature of Warnock would most likely be on a loan deal, but he would no doubt be well received by the Liverpool faithful as a replacement for unpopular summer signing, Paul Konchesky and injury-prone Fabio Aurelio.
Two other names linked with Liverpool are Stewart Downing and Mark Van Bommel. Downing, capped 23 times for England, is subject to a rumoured £10 million bid by Liverpool to provide another option for left midfield.
Van Bommel, the Dutch veteran, would be available for a relatively small fee and could provide a solid performance in the holding midfield role, a position that has not been successfully filled since Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso both left the club. The main issue with this deal would be the longevity of Van Bommel's career. At 33, he would very much be a short-term option, possibly until the summer when Damien Comolli, Liverpool's Director of Football Strategy can tempt a younger, long-term option to the Merseysiders.
Whoever Dalglish and Comolli decide to bring into the club, the backing of the Liverpool board is apparent, and the Liverpool supporters would certainly welcome some new blood to get behind. They need to be quick to get the ball-rolling on any potential deals though, with less than two weeks remaining until the transfer window slams shut.
What do you think about this news? Who do you think Liverpool should sign this month?
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