French Champions Lyon claim they’ve been in contact with Liverpool’s Milan Baros and Harry Kewell.
Kewell has spent a large part of the season out of the side following injury, only just returning to the team, and Baros has been shooting himself in the foot again by complaining about his lack of time on the pitch.
Lyon’s chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas spoke to L’Equipe and said that they need more than one player: "We will hire a player for the right flank. I also want a defensive midfielder as Essien and Diarra will play in the African Cup of Nations, and Juninho will have matches with Brazil." The Diarra he refers to is Mamadou Diarra, not Liverpool’s Alou Diarra, who is currently playing in France – on loan to Lens.
Aulas continued: "We are also looking for an outstanding centre forward. We had contact with Baros, and, some time ago, with Kewell, but it was too expensive."
Lyon had also tried to sign Fernando Morientes in January, but the Spanish star chose to join Rafael Benitez at Anfield instead. Aulas was asked if they’d try again to sign him, but said they wouldn’t: "About Morientes, when a deal could not be settled, it is not a good idea to go back. Anyway, we will have a big team next season and we will have great ambitions."
The news that Lyon have been talking to Liverpool players – presumably without permission – will annoy Liverpool, especially in light of comments Baros has made recently.
Baros denied that he’d had disputes with Reds boss Benitez, but says he’s unhappy with his treatment. Speaking to Pravo, the Czech star said, "It’s not true that I had or have had disputes with Benitez. But I am annoyed when I’m fit and I only warm the bench. Or when Benitez takes me off during a game even if I haven’t used up all my energy on the pitch."
Baros was the top scorer in Euro 2004 and that success seems to have gone to his head somewhat: "I need to play, only then will I be better than I am now. This effects my scoring statistics in the international team. I don’t score many goals."
Baros has shown some good signs this season and scored some good goals, but he’s not always been the right type of player for the Reds tactics game by game. The fact he’s only scored 13 goals in all competitions shows he’s not managed to match his predecessors of Owen and Fowler. Baros has only scored 7 goals in the league too.
Baros is reported to be getting interest from a whole host of clubs across Europe, including Valencia, Fiorentina and newly-rich Everton. He says he’s not asked for a move though: "But I haven’t said I’m going to leave Liverpool. I have some offers, but this is my agent Pavel Paska’s job. If I leave The Reds I would like to play in a team which would be at least at the same level as Liverpool in regard to playing in European competitions. And I would like to play there constantly."
That means Everton could be included in the list of clubs he’d like to play for – but he wouldn’t confirm or deny that he’d been speaking to them: "No comment, speculations are good for nothing. This question will be answered at the end of the season. Then we will deal with it with my agent. Of course it would be much better to speak about offers with a Champions League medal."
What Baros perhaps fails to realise is that the more he talks to the media about how much he dislikes the way Benitez is treating him, the more likely he is to be left out of the squad for the final altogether. Especially with Djibril Cisse increasing his fitness levels every day.