It's set to be a busy week for Liverpool in the transfer
market as Rafa aims to get his squad in place in time for pre-season.
The Red's attacking midfielder Luis Garcia has been in talks
with Atletico Madrid and spoke recently of his desire to play for them if he
did leave Anfield. With him having just a year left on his current deal, and no
plans the sign a new one, the 29-year-old would almost certainly have left next
summer anyway. His agent says the deal should be complete by tomorrow at the
latest. Manuel Garcia Quillon was reported by PA Sport as saying: "We are
working on Luis Garcia's permanent transfer to Atletico de Madrid. If all goes
well, the deal should be completed either today or tomorrow."
His three years at Anfield saw him play some very important
parts in very important games, perhaps his goal against Chelsea in the
semi-final of the 2005 Champions League being the most memorable. Especially
for Jose Mourinho. Garcia will be missed, but if his wish was to return home
for the final years of his career then that must be respected.
Garcia's deal is possibly going to be part of the deal to
bring Fernando Torres to Anfield, although it now seems the two clubs are
treating the deals separately. The fee has been agreed and Torres – on holiday
at the moment -has agreed his personal terms with Liverpool, although of course
he is yet to actually sign. Some reports suggest he's actually prepared to take
a pay cut compared to his salary in Spain. He's even said in Spanish reports to
be considering ending his holiday early so he can sign for us.
Atletico have his replacement lined up, and it will be of
relief to Liverpool fans for more than one reason. Firstly it confirmed
Atletico were ready to let their captain go, and secondly it confirmed his
replacement was not going to be coming to Anfield after all: "Atletico Madrid,
Villarreal and the representative of Diego Forlan have reached an agreement for
the transfer of the Uruguayan player for the next four seasons," said the Atletico
Torres is likely to get Robbie Fowler's number nine shirt
next season. Fowler's contract ended this summer and he has told Sky Sports
that he's still not had any serious offers for next season: ""I'm between
jobs," Fowler told Sky Sports News. "I actually thought I'd have a
few options, but at the minute I've not, nothing has happened as yet. There
should be interest in a few weeks for me, I think. Obviously I don't want to
blow my own trumpet, as in this day and age, lots of players are in my
situation and not everyone can get a club. I'm in that boat, so we'll just have
to wait and see."
He was reported to have been off to Scotland or America, but
it seems neither of those stories actually carried any weight. He feels sure he
could be of use to a club – as he should: "I'm confident in what I can do. I'm
32 and not past it by any means. I feel as though I'm capable of still doing a
job, I'm just waiting for that phone call to get any offers." He said injuries
could be putting people off him, but says that shouldn't really be the case: "I've
not got a bad record in the Premier League. I know I've had a few injuries and
people might be scared off by that, I don't know. I never played as much as I
wanted to last year, but I kept myself in good shape and I think I'm as fit now
as what I have been for a long time."
Fowler is a modest person and obviously finds it hard to ‘blow
his own trumpet', but he finds himself having to: "I don't think I need to
prove myself to anyone, my record speaks for itself. I'm not going to stand
here and say 'come and get me' because I've played at the top level for 10 or
15 years now and I think that says it all."
Scott Carson is reported as having asked for talks with Reds
boss Rafa Benitez about his future. Benítez spoke recently about how he planned
for Carson to be his second-choice keeper next season and wanted the England
Under-21 player to fight for the first-choice role. The Liverpool Echo have
quoted ‘an Anfield official' as saying Scott wants talks with the boss about
how much of a chance he actually will get. He's not planning an argument
though: "Scott doesn't want to ruffle any feathers. He just wants to discuss
the situation with Rafa. They will be perfectly amicable," said the unnamed
One of the reasons Carson was said to want these talks was
because of interest from Sammy Lee at Bolton. He reportedly wanted Carson on
loan for next season, after being turned down by free agent and former Reds
keeper Jerzy Dudek. Dudek's almost certainly off to Madrid, although he says he
did think about the chance of playing under Lee: "I made a decision to leave
England but Bolton's offer has made me have a rethink. I still haven't signed
anything with Real Madrid and I have other offers to consider very carefully."
Dudek knows his time at Madrid will almost certainly be spent on the bench.
Has as already been reported elsewhere Liverpool may well
have pulled off a coup in signing Barcelona teenager Dani Pacheco. Liverpool
will pay compensation of around £350,000 for the 16-year-old striker.
Rafa is believed to have given up on winger Florent Malouda
after he made it fairly clear in statements to the press that where he played
wasn't too much of a concern, suggesting he was most interested in which
contract looked most lucrative. Rafa is prepared to pay decent wages, given the
funds, but isn't a fan of players who consider that to be the most important
aspect of their future.
The shock news that broke at the end of last week was that
Rafa wanted to sign a player from Manchester United. He's interested in their
defender Gabriel Heinze, who can play at left-back or in the centre of defence.
It doesn't look like Liverpool would actually have to negotiate with United –
Heinze is close enough to the end of his contract to be able to leave his club
under the new FIFA ‘buy-out' rule. Liverpool would have to pay Manchester
United compensation based on the amount of money left owing to Heinze on his
existing deal as long as it has less than two years to run. As ever, estimates
vary as to what that fee would actually be calculated as, somewhere between £4m
and £6m. Heinze would need to undergo a very good medical before Liverpool
The official Liverpool FC website confirmed that Hungarian
youngster Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon are now officially Reds players
after their move from MTK Hungaria was finalised. The club say the pair have
both signed three-year contracts and will be under the control of Gary Ablett
for the reserves.
Ablett has allowed defender Godwin Antwi to join League One's
Hartlepool on loan for the whole of next season.