Although the silly season winded down (at least for Liverpool) a few weeks ago, the summer transfer window officially closes come Saturday. After the checks for Torres, Benayoun and Babel were cashed, you’d have thought that our non-youth spending was done. Yet, with Carra’s injury, the near-miss on Heinze, and (to a lesser extent) the departure of Paletta, Rafa still has one toe in the pool, testing it for a final quick dip.
I think everybody recognizes the ‘fact’ (more like ‘widely accepted opinion) that the squad could stand to be bolstered with one more centerback, maybe one who is a utilityman capable at fullback. So, it’s not shocking to hear a few rumors swirl about as the window prepares to get shut for the oncoming chill of Fall.
Ignoring the silly claim that Liverpool were going to spend £13.5 million on Arsenal/Real Madrid reject Baptista, the latest name to be linked with a move to Anfield is Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi. The 29-year old Fiorentina, who plays centerback and right fullback, is apparently keen on a move… to Spain.
His agent claims Rafa made a move for the former HSV man:
Manager Rafael Benitez together with the club director Ricky Parry have therefore asked me if I could address the offer to Tomas. Tomas has consulted it with his family and told me that he was happy with life in Italy and that the only country he would move to is Spain. I have to respect his decision, nevertheless it has surprised me a lot. Liverpool never give this offer twice to one player.
‘Never give an offer to the same player twice’ — it sounds like something Evil Rafa would say, wouldn’t it?
For his part, the Gaffa had this to say about any possible last-minute moves:
We were checking some options for the first team squad yesterday, but it’s very difficult to find the right players this late. I don’t think we will be signing anyone now. Rick, Foster, Eduardo (Macia) and I looked at some options, but we decided we don’t want to sign a player just for the sake of it. It has to be the right player and not for crazy money.
He also added:
There has been no bid for Crouch, certainly not before this morning anyway. I have the same idea now as I’ve said before. I don’t want to let anyone go. I’ve spoken to the player and he knows we need him.
At least until next season. This isn’t a judgement call or an endorsement, just a hunch, but mark me down right now for a Crouch sale next summer.
I also like how Rafa always uses of the phrase “the player”. I tell you, he’s not going to get personally attached to players. If he needs to cut you out or sell you for the betterment of the team, he’ll do it.
In other transfer news, Besian Idrizaj is moving to Crystal Palace on a season-long loan deal. Idrizaj is no stranger to the Championship, after spending some time at Luton Town last term.