The distraction of the World Cup doesn’t really stop Liverpool fans wondering where the transfers are for this summer, but the lack of any real activity doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.
Liverpool are getting closer to signing Rafa’s first-choice wing-back as we reported yesterday, but the moves for two new strikers haven’t really stalled, despite the way it may feel.
Craig Bellamy is a player who would be a controversial signing amongst Liverpool supporters. Last season’s signing of Peter Crouch caused some dissent amongst those who felt at the time that the £7m fee was too high, but most Reds fans now agree that Rafa knew what he was doing. Those doubts over Crouch were purely over his playing abilities, and in many cases came from people who’d rarely seen him play. With Bellamy there are the same concerns, which may or may not be unfounded, but the attitude problem is what is putting people off.
True or not, Bellamy has a reputation of being a moaning, complaining, highly-strung troublemaker. For Liverpool fans to accept him he needs to be sure that he never gives them reason to believe there is any truth in it. First of all though, Liverpool need to sign him.
Bellamy is reputedly tied to Blackburn by a knot that’s easy to undo if you know how. It’s one of those “get-out” clauses again. Similar to Michael Owen’s £12m one at Newcastle, Bellamy’s is reportedly set at £6m. The problem with the clause in relation to the Welsh international is that the clause doesn’t stay there for good.
As ever with transfer speculation, little bits of information leak out but not always enough to make a full story. The missing bits are then made up or added to. Two different stories we’ve heard about Bellamy’s get out clause both say that Liverpool would need to move by the end of this month. One version says that’s because he’s been offered a new improved contract by Blackburn – more money but the clause gets taken out in return. The latest version is just that the clause expires at the end of this month. Either way it’s pretty clear that Liverpool can’t afford to hang around if they do want to sign him.
Bellamy is just one name linked with the Reds for the two striker purchases due to be made. Defoe, Bent and Kuyt are three other names linked regularly. The problem with who Liverpool do ultimately sign now though is related to the transfer of Djibril Cisse. The £8m they had lined up for Djibril was part of the planning for the new signings of others.
This is where more speculation kicks in. Marseille are saying that Djibs is still their player – he’s going on loan there for next season, even with the injury, and will sign at the end of that if all goes well with his injury. The player is also going to accept a drop in wages which means less for Liverpool to worry about. So how does this move impact Liverpool’s transfer kitty?
The Liverpool Echo claim that Cisse’s injury has put paid to a move for Charlton’s Darren Bent. But because transfers are never paid up front in full the impact may not be as great as some would think. It does make it easier for Liverpool to try and claim they can’t afford huge fees though, and so keeps transfer fees down. It’s possible Bellamy is just being used by LFC to put the frighteners on Charlton.
The Echo say that Rafa sees how Bellamy is good value for money at £6m, even if he’s not the exact player he was originally looking for. The Echo also say that the player’s reputation is causing some debate within Anfield. The strict rules around transfer mean that Liverpool can’t talk to Bellamy until Blackburn give permission. As ever in transfer dealings though the player gets messages over through his agent or friends to keep within the rules. The paper claims he’s “desperate to join the Reds and has even indicated to friends he’d take a pay-cut to move to Merseyside.”
Expect more stories of this nature leaked over the course of the month as the clubs, players and agents all make use of the media to help with negotiations.