There are a lot of footy enthusiasts who don’t enjoy the summer off-season. It’s understandable enough; after ten months of intense action, you now have nothing, save the international match-ups and the MLS. Outside of the manager merry-go-round, the only news stories being generated are those of reckless transfer speculation. Truth tends to fall to the wayside as ‘sources close to the club/player’ (usually the best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night!) are credited with ridiculous and outrageous claims which alternately frustrate and excite the gullible fan. One day an editor might trot out an outdated story (like ‘Henry to Barca’), only to contradict it the very next day in another piece. And, so rarely does anything ever come of this prattle, besides antagonizing the fans, upsetting the club and unsettling the odd player. It’s easy to see why many fans don’t care for it and tend to ignore it.
I, for one, love reckless transfer speculation.
Understanding it for what it is and taking it at face value, it becomes playful entertainment on the barren summer landscape. Occasionally, a story gets legs and turns out to be a real, full-blown drama ala ‘Steven G to Chelsea’. But, more often than not, it’s just fun to read that some crappy club wants to over-pay for your shitty striker (who will actually be with the club for two more patience-testing years) or that a superstar winger is chomping at the bit to pull on your favorite shirt.
I can only imagine my tolerance of the conjecture is akin to somebody who watches celebrity gossip on E!; neither has any real redeeming value but there’s a certain level of enjoyment that is derived from taking them in.
So, over the summer, as Rafa twists his proverbial mustache and ponders spending his warchest, I’ll hash over
all most a decent amount of the Liverpool transfer talk. Whether it’s dead wood to be cleared or new talent being wooed, my aim is to bring all the scuttlebutt together in one place.
In other words, watch this space.
As for this week, the Champion’s League Final did little to stand in the way of fresh speculation. Only hours after Milan hoisted the cup, the
weeds links started popping up. Keep in mind, although each ‘story’ came from a mainstream press outlet, I do not stand by the accuracy of any of them…
- According to Rafa, Bolo Zenden will “be allowed to talk to other clubs”. Which is to say, he’s gone. Thankfully. As to what clubs he’ll be talking to, I’m unsure, but a mid to bottom of the table Premiership club or a move back to Holland would both be equally as feasible. I can’t be too bitter as he was signed on a free, but I’m ready to see the back of him
- Real Betis is in for Mark Gonzalez, with “a deal nearly completed”. I personally think he’s young, speedy and has only had one season to bed in, but if Rafa pulls the plug on him, I’m sure it’s for the right reasons. (those reasons, of course, being cash money)
- Martin O’Neill and Aston Villa are keen on Craig Bellamy. Rumor has it, Liverpool want 12 mil for the Welshman. West Ham and Blackburn are also reported to have shown interest. Why? Maybe they’re a glutton for punishment.
- Xabi Alonso repeats his desire to stay at Anfield and Rafa echoes the sentiment. To sell him would be madness. One ‘story’ has Xabi going to Barca in exchange for cash and Eto’o. Another unsubstantiated rumor has he and Momo off to newly promoted Juve.
- Marseille may or may not exercise the purchase option on Djibril Cisse. He is open to a stay at Marseille, but will not consider moving to a ‘weaker’ Premiership side. Hopefully, somebody will be impressed with the impressive manner he ended his not-so-impressive season (including two goals in the French Cup final) and let Liverpool recoup some cash. Maybe if Ged lands at Man City, he’ll buy him again?
- Barca is keeping tabs on Sissoko, who could find himself out-of-favor after recent Liverpool signings. My feelings are mixed on this one.
- If Rafa buys a new center back, Hyypia is gone.
- Liverpool have shown interest in Lyon’s Florent Malouda. He’s signed up through 2011, so the 26-year old right winger is valued somewhere around 14 million pound mark. You can admit it; you’ve never heard of him.
- Javier Mascherano says it’s possible Carlos Tevez could join Liverpool. It’s also “possible” that I’ll win the Powerball lottery later tonight.
- Rafa may be keen on Inter’s Nicolas Burdisso. Problem is, Inter are still keen on their 26-year old Argentinian defender. Burdisso, you might remember, was the cat who had his nose broken by Valencia’s Navarro in March’s CL brawl.
- Once again, Daniel Alves is on the verge of joining Liverpool from Sevilla.
- Once again, Gabriel Milito is on the verge of joining Liverpool from Zaragoza.
- Michael Owen apparently still has a buy-out clause in his contract which could bring about a return to Anfield. George Gillett has actually addressed this and said it is Rafa’s call to make but Americans have the Spainard’s back regardless.
- The club will listen to offers for Peter Crouch. I think this is just another tall tale. *cue rim shot*
- Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pederson could take Zenden’s roster spot on the left flank. *snooze*
- George Gillett has backed Rafa’s plans to buy Snoogy Doogy. No word on what position Doogy plays or how much he’ll cost, but I hear his work rate is phenomenal.