Day eleven in the transfer window madhouse and it’s probably going to be another day full of rumours, especially for Liverpool.
Rewind to the summer edition of the transfer window and you’ll find Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez talking about the club’s need to find a new centre-back and a new right-winger. Back to today and this is still what he’s looking for – and still to capture.
The move for Daniel Agger from Brondby is the subject of numerous rumours from all involved parties. The latest situation remains that Liverpool don’t want to increase their £5.5million bid, Brondby don’t want to drop their £7million asking price, Agger wants to come to Anfield, Brondby’s coach accepts Agger will leave at some point. The Daily Express today claim that Tottenham are interested in signing Agger, which if true would probably see Liverpool walk away from the deal, because they seem determined not to get involved in bidding wars.
Benítez knows that the Agger deal is still in with a strong chance of being pulled off, especially with the player having only 18 months left on his current contract, but to be on the safe side he’s got a couple of Spanish-based players in his sights. Deportivo La Coruna’s Fabricio Coloccini and Cesar have already been linked with a move to Anfield, but now the Liverpool boss has confirmed his interest. According to Rafa, the Reds have quite a few options to look at for the centre back position, so if the Agger deal falls through it isn’t the end of the world. Speaking to the Spanish press, Benítez said: “We need to fortify the centre of the defence and we are considering four or five options. We had ideas in the summer and we are thinking now in the same way. We have targeted Coloccini and Cesar of Deportivo La Coruna and we are just about to obtain if they want to sell.”
Bolton’s boss Sam Allardyce is also said to be interested in a move for 28-year-old Cesar, with Argentinean international Coloccini said to be desperate to get away from Deportivo after having a row with coach Joaquin Caparros. 23-year-old Cesar is into the last six months of his contract and would cost next to nothing, Coloccini would probably set Liverpool back just under £3million.
The talk about a move for Simao Sabrosa has gone quiet again, prompting Sevilla winger Daniel Alves to point out that he’d like to be Rafa’s next signing, but claiming his club are preventing him from doing so. According to reports, Liverpool made a bid of £8million for the Brazilian but Sevilla don’t want to sell, and not at that price. According to Alves, Liverpool are just one club showing interest in him: “It is true. I know of Liverpool’s interest, and that of other European clubs, but it all depends on Sevilla.”
Alves says his ambition to become a member of Brazil’s national team, la canarinha, means that he needs to move to a bigger club than Sevilla. He says: “I am an ambitious person and, although I am happy in Sevilla, my objective is to play for a great club to help me be with the Brazil team. My dream is to play with la canarinha and in a World Cup.”
He says he hasn’t spoken to Liverpool himself yet, but that he already knows he’d like to join the club – the reputation of Liverpool is enough: “No director from Liverpool has spoken with me, but I am happy because a European champion is a great club.”
The president of Sevilla, Jose Maria Del Nido, admitted that Alves is available – but says he won’t be cheap: “Daniel has a major price.”
Neil Mellor is the latest player attracting interest from Scottish side Hearts. According to the player’s agent, Mick McGuire, Hearts have made enquiries about Mellor and he’s been given permission to talk to them about a possible move.
Mellor is just getting back from a double knee injury – he scored for the reserves on Monday but is still some way from full fitness after almost a year out of action for the first team. McGuire said: “Hearts are very interested in Neil and they have spoken to Liverpool about him. I spoke to Rick Parry, and Liverpool have given Neil permission to speak to Hearts about a potential move.”
According to McGuire though Mellor may yet choose to stay at Anfield, or to talk to other clubs that have shown interest: “Neil is keeping an open mind on his future and he is happy to go up and talk to Hearts. There has been interest from several other clubs, and Neil is weighing up his options. He is not ruling out staying at Liverpool, because he still has a contract there.”
Mellor will be aware of the recent bizarre move by Hearts to make a bid to the club for a player that left three years earlier. He’s confident enough in his own abilities to get into first-team contention at Anfield and so he’ll be more likely to stay at Liverpool for the time-being at least. He was starting to get more appearances in for the first team prior to his injuries last season, his most notable contribution probably coming in the 3-1 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League when he scored the second and set up the third as Liverpool made it into the knockout phases.