Rafael Benitez today admitted his interest in signing Deportivo defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Cesar. A deal for Brondby centre-back Daniel Agger is was close to agreement, but Brondby are not budging on their valuation much to the disappointment of the player. Liverpool showed with the moves for Michael Owen and Simao that they will not be held to ransom for a player – they will pay the fee they feel is right and no more.
With full-back Jan Kromkamp already announced as needing to only agree personal terms, Rafa continues to seek cover for defence. Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia really only have Djimi Traore with lengthy first-team experience available as backup, and Rafa feels he’s more suited to left-back than the central role. If Brondby continue to drag their heels Agger’s hopes of joining the Champions of Europe may be dashed because Rafa is determined to get that cover in place in this transfer window: “I still need to strengthen in the centre of defence; we have four or five options we are considering. We had ideas in the summer and we’re thinking the same way now. We’ve looked at Coloccini and Cesar from Deportivo and we’re close to making something happen. We will have to wait and see.”
Rafa was speaking at today’s press conference about the difficulties of buying players mid-season: “It is always difficult in the transfer window, but in January more so. Teams are settled and playing and if you want someone who is doing well for his team it is very difficult to buy them. Good players are at big clubs and that is hard. You can only look for players at smaller clubs.”
The motivation for a player in choosing a new club to join isn’t always about money – as Chelsea have found – it’s also about what type of club they are likely to join. There’s never been any doubt about how big a club Liverpool are, no doubt about the club’s history and no doubt about the kind of support a player will get from the supporters. Now there’s the extra attraction – Liverpool are Champions of Europe and drawing admiring glances from around the world. Rafa says this will help them to bring players in: “I would think we’re an extremely attractive team for players to join. We’re the European champions and a team which expects to be in the top four for a long time. Liverpool has always been a big club. Now people can see Liverpool is a big club which is competing for the top prizes. Most players would want to come to Liverpool. I think it’s easy for us to bring the right players here.”