Figo joins Inter, Rafa needs a striker

Just about three weeks ago the Portugese winger Luis Figo was claiming that he saw a move to Liverpool as a "dream". Liverpool had already agreed terms with him, his club were going to let him go on a free transfer and his dream was going to come true. Then Real changed their minds, and demanded a fee of £2million. Liverpool weren’t willing to pay the amount, and Figo was upset at Real’s change of mind. He said at the time: "If the club don’t see me as part of their plans, why won’t they let me go? It’s close but it’s still up in the air and nothing has been finalised. It’s my dream to play for Liverpool but dreams don’t always come true."

Real dropped their demands for a transfer fee, but Figo was then demanding they pay him the difference between his potential new wages and the remaining money owing on his contract. Real weren’t willing, and Liverpool gradually started to lose interest. The player, it seemed, was more concerned about money than his dreams.

Today he signed a two-year deal with Inter Milan, the team disgraced by their fans in last season’s Champions League. In doing this he gave up on his "dream" move and Liverpool will look elsewhere now for a right-winger. Although Liverpool have lost their target, they refused to be held to ransom for a player that is heading towards the end of his career.

The Reds also tried to dismiss the stories linking them with a move to bring another Real Madrid player – Michael Owen – to Anfield. The denials were not made directly by the club, but through the local newspaper the Liverpool Echo. The Echo reports "club sources" as saying that the Reds are still putting priority on signing a central defender. The paper says Liverpool are "not in talks with Owen". It then goes on to say that Rafa Benitez "could be ready to reassess his attacking options".

One of the reasons that the Echo says Benitez may be rethinking his striking plans is due to the injury to Peter Crouch, and also the departure imminently of Milan Baros. The Crouch injury only causes him to miss two Champions League games – he was already ruled out of Liverpool’s first two league games.  Milan Baros has been earmarked to leave since well before the end of last season. Anthony Le Tallec was allowed to leave on loan to Sunderland earlier in the week, despite injuries to Neil Mellor and Florent Sinama Pongolle. To say that Benitez is only now going to rethink his striking options seems to be a little off the mark. The whispers round Liverpool now are that Jamie Carragher’s mate Michael Owen is about to come home.

Peter Crouch meanwhile spoke of his frustration at his injury. He said: "It is really frustrating to pick up an injury like that but hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later. I wanted to finish the game against Kaunas because I was really enjoying my home debut but I had no choice in the end and had to come off. It is a real disappointment for me."