More on the earlier story regarding Liverpool’s efforts to bring Luis Figo over to the Premiership. Figo’s agent has now confirmed that Liverpool have agreed a fee with the player, but that Real have decided to demand a transfer fee, contrary to what they had agreed with the player. The agent, Luis Douens, said: "An accord exists between Liverpool and Luis over the financing of the move. Luis wants to play in England and Liverpool is a great club."
So Liverpool and Figo are agreed – the ball is now in Real’s court says Douens: "The decision rests on Real. If they want money for the transfer then I believe it will be hard."
More comments have been made on the issue by Real sporting director Arrigoi Sacchi. He claims the decision over a fee for Figo will have to be made by his boss, Real President Florentino Perez: "The subject of Figo is a question for Florentino. The final decision will be with the president."
In what has been a summer of changed minds, Milan Baros is now saying that he’ll leave. Possibly. Then again he might stay. Who knows? This week has been surreal for Liverpool fans in so many ways. The Gerrard u-turn, the news that Luis Figo has almost signed, the reports linking Liverpool to Peter Crouch. Baros was all set to go to Valencia, even before the end of the season he was reportedly going there. Valencia changed president and the move was off. Next up he nearly went to play for Lyon, but did not fancy the move – especially as it would have left him working for former Reds boss Gerard Houllier – a manager that used him even less than Benitez. Quotes attributed to Baros say he’s not made up his own mind yet: "Anything can still happen," said the Czech star (yes, we know anything can happen, it’s been that sort of summer). Baros is probably waiting for the right offer to come in, but isn’t going to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. He says, "I can still leave. This possibility is not eliminated. I did not want to hurry something and also that is why I remain at Liverpool. I have been here for three and half-a-years and I am satisfied."
Baros didn’t sound satisfied when he was complaining about being substituted too often by Benitez, but maybe he’s been thinking about things a little more instead of sulking: "Liverpool are going to play the league, two domestic cups and the Champions League. We are going to play approximately 70 matches and there are also the international duties. You can’t play this amount of matches with the same two strikers.Every club has four high quality strikers, so there is no reason to be afraid. I will fight for the position and if it goes well, I will be happy. If not, we are going to resolve the situation with my agent."
Maybe Baros has seen the lengths Liverpool went to in order to keep Steven Gerrard, and hopes he’ll get some of the same. Assuming the move for Crouch goes ahead Baros will actually be one of six strikers fighting for a place, along with Cisse, Morientes, Sinama-Pongolle, Mellor and Crouch.
One player who seems to have been given a big hint he wasn’t wanted is goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. Now that Jose Reina has signed for Liverpool the club are inundated with goalkeepers. Kirkland, Reina, Dudek and Carson are all top-quality keepers, and Rafa Benitez told Kirkland that unless he goes out on loan he may struggle to get first team football. After joining West Brom on a one-year loan, Kirkland is set to play for the Baggies in their pre-season friendly with Cheltenham on Saturday. The former Coventry keeper revealed that Benitez was straight with him, saying: "The gaffer was honest. He said there were a couple of clubs interested in taking me on loan and he thought it would be a good idea if I took those up. When your gaffer says that, you have to look elsewhere. Will this move become permanent? I don’t know honestly. I spoke to Bryan Robson and he just said ‘come here and enjoy it’ and compete for a first team place."
In fact Kirkland is still going to face competition to be Albion’s number one keeper, he revealed: "I’ve not been guaranteed a first-team place. I’ve got to come here and work hard – and whatever happens after that happens. But I’m just glad to be playing again this weekend."
Chris had a chat to Liverpool’s former goalkeeping coach Joe Corrigan, now on the staff at West Brom, and that helped him to make a decision about where to go: "I spoke to Joe Corrigan. It was a big factor in me coming here along with the gaffer. I worked with Joe for four years at Liverpool. I’ve really missed his training. His work ethics suit my work ethics so I’m just glad to be back in harness with him."