Silly season continues at a pace in this lull between the end of the real season and some tournament or other in Germany starting next month. With Rick Parry, Rafa Benitez and anyone else of note actually on holiday at the moment anything that happens is unlikely to be accompanied by any kind of big press conference.
None of this stops the rumours doing the rounds, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week on the internet, and the Sunday papers will be full of them. Everyone on the internet claims to have chatted to Steven Gerrard’s auntie in the supermarket about new signings, the Sunday press are probably just as bad 90% of the time.
One story that we do very much trust is that Rafa desperately wants to sign Seville’s Brazilian right-winger Daniel Alves. Alves is not in the Brazilian World Cup squad, but Rafa is a big fan of a player he feels can bring a lot of options to the Liverpool side. Alves has already spoken about the interest from Anfield and says he’ll make a decision during his holidays. If Alves isn’t signed then it is almost certain that Birmingham’s Jermaine Pennant will become a Liverpool player. He’s said by many to have been a Reds fan growing up, and now the two clubs have seemingly agreed a fee. According to the newspapers (The Sunday Times) the fee is £3.5m.
The other Jermaine involved in a lot of Liverpool rumours is Spurs striker Jermaine Defoe. A lot of the rumours going round right now suggest he’s already signed, but this does seem to be a little premature. Defoe is in fact just one on the list that Rafa is looking at, but the manager is keeping his cards quite close to his chest for now. According to the Sunday Times, Spurs’ interest in Carlton Cole might pave the way for Defoe to become a Red. More likely that Defoe is on the reserve list for Rafa, and he’ll be signed if the first choices are unavailable, and only if the price is reasonable. According to the Telegraph Cole has already signed for Spurs, where it’s also reported Mido has gone back to Roma.
Liverpool are being linked with forwards all the more now, because Fernando Morientes has almost gone (he’s agreed terms with Valencia but now needs to pass his medical) and Djibril Cisse looks set to be next. It’s a case of ‘when’ and ‘where to’ with Cisse, and now rumours are suggesting a deal could be announced before the end of this week. Again that seems a little too soon considering the absence of Parry et al.
As for defenders, that part of Liverpool’s squad will certainly see some changes next season, including Gabrielle Paletta and others coming in and Djimi Traore going out. However any new signings – including Daniel Agger who signed in January – will have a tough job moving Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia. Carragher has been speaking exclusively to The Liverpool Way fanzine about his partnership with the Finn, and says he’s far too good and consistent to even need replacing: “People always talk about Sami being replaced but it never happens. He hardly ever has a bad game. I can think of two he had last season. We were both really poor at Luton, and he had a bad day against Chelsea at home when he was ill.” A lot more from Jamie can be found on TLW’s website .