Although no doubt secretly hoping that he gets a move to Liverpool and is able to stay a Premiership player, Birmingham winger Jermaine Pennant today said publicly that he’d be happy enough to stay a Birmingham player for the new season.
Earlier in the day Liverpool Chief Executive denied making a bid for him.
Now reports in the press are quoting that Liverpool have had a £3.5m bid rejected previously.
In reality the big transfer window game of “Call my Bluff” is taking place again. Liverpool would like to sign Pennant, but won’t pay too much for him, and might not need him if they get other players they are looking for. If Liverpool can buy Alves, they might not need Pennant. If Liverpool buy Alves they might not be able to afford Alves. At the other side of the studio are Birmingham City. They’d love to be able to keep him, but despite claims they don’t need to sell him they’d feel much more comfortable if they did let him go. So who’s prepared to budge most on the price?
The same story is taking place with Alves, although that move now seems to have reached a point where final offers have been made.
Pennant’s desire to move to Anfield may be officially a secret, but it’s not being kept a very good secret. And the revelation of a £3.5m bid may have come through his agent as often happens during transfer negotiations.
Now though Pennant is concentrating on his current club: “I am taking every day as it comes as a Birmingham player. All the speculation and stuff doesn’t bother me. If no-one actually says anything to me, then I ignore it. Like I said, I’m still here and I’m looking forward to the start of the season. No-one likes to get relegated. And we shouldn’t have gone down, everyone knows that. That’s in the past now, let’s look to the future, try and rebuild and get back into the Premiership. We’ve got some new players in who are keen to impress, and mainly the same squad as last season.”
If he does have to stay in the Midlands then he’ll be doing his best to help them bounce straight back up again: “I’m sure what we are doing, all the hard work in training, and the determination of everyone, we will take those things into the Championship. I think we’ve definitely got a chance of coming back up. Although people like Emile Heskey and Kenny Cunningham have gone, we’ve still got a big squad with quality players and we can push to win the league.”
In an update on the earlier story on Damien Duff, Newcastle manager Glen Roeder refused to either confirm or deny the Geordie’s interest in the winger.