July 1st means it’s time for deals to be sewn up

It’s time for transfers that were pretty much done already to be officially completed this weekend. Although the transfer window actually opens on the last day of each country’s season, most contracts for players don’t end until today, the last day of June.

So tomorrow deals which have already been signed become official. Craig Bellamy is officially a Red from midnight tonight, his transfer from Blackburn completed thanks to the date. Fabio Aurelio is officially made a Red tomorrow, in a deal agreed back in January when he was first allowed to make contract negotiations with other clubs under the Bosman rules.

Gabriel Paletta is also going to officially become a Red tomorrow – his signing from Argentinean side Banfield was agreed earlier in the year but he was allowed to finish the rest of the domestic league season off first. He wouldn’t actually have been eligible for Liverpool anyway, the deal not actually being concluded until after the transfer window had closed.

Djibril Cisse may have officially become a player for Marseille tomorrow too had he not suffered that horrific broken leg. There’s a lot of confusion over his future now – Marseille have claimed they have agreed to take him on loan, but Liverpool say that was merely an offer from Marseille, not an agreement between the two clubs.

Daniel Alves is still Rafa’s main target and a £10m deal is tantalisingly close to being agreed. The loss of Djibril Cisse is helping Liverpool to claim they are struggling to better their offer. Reports are being leaked that Rafa is considering giving up on the right-sided player and aiming for another striker instead. The striker is Kuyt, but in reality Rafa is actually hopeful of getting both players this summer. There’s more money available to Rafa than is being let on, but he’s choosing to play it cool. He won’t want to be ripped off – he’s made that clear on many occasions – and he’s not planning to budge on his final offer for Alves. In fact latest reports from the Spanish press say the fee is agreed; now it’s down to the terms of the agreement.

Last summer Rafa had money to spend on Michael Owen and Simao. He was expecting to spend around £21m on the two, but not a penny more. Neither player joined. Although he has made other signings since, they weren’t paid for out of that money. The inability to sell Cisse has had some impact on that figure (his sale would have been likely had the other two deals gone ahead) but not as much as is being hinted at.

The local press in Liverpool claim that Rafa is now switching his attentions to Tunisia’s 29-year-old World Cup player Hatem Trabelsi instead of Alves. Stranger things have happened and the player is now available on a “Bosman” as his contract with Ajax is now at end, but he seems more of a back-up plan than anything. Jan Kromkamp is on his way back to Holland this summer and maybe Trabelsi is being considered as cover.