Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez flew straight out to Spain after the friendly against Wrexham was over on Saturday, in a final attempt to secure the services of right-wing-back Daniel Alves. Rafa’s already mentioned he may also be considering moves for some of the names hit by the Italian scandal, but with that ruling still subject to various appeals he’s concentrating on those he knows he can get. Or at least, in the case of Alves, those he hopes he can get. Sevilla’s president, Jose Maria del Nido, his saying in public that no deal is likely to happen: “I’ve already forgotten about it, because I don’t want to put him in the shop window.” In reality he’s willing to give negotiations over the fee one last try. Rafa is said to have already been given permission to speak to Alves and personal terms had been agreed, now it’s a case of dealing with the fee to be paid by the Reds.
Rick Parry confirmed over the weekend that the Reds were still looking at other players to compliment the new faces already on board this summer, saying, “We are happy with who we have brought in but we haven’t finished yet.” The fee paid for Alves will determine who else if anyone else the Reds get. It may be asking too much to get both Dirk Kuyt and Alves, but Liverpool are not revealing too much about the state of their finances.
Robbie Fowler signed in the summer after his six-month “trial” worked out well, and with Craig Bellamy signing for £6m the need for Kuyt is perhaps not so great. Robbie enjoyed Bellamy’s goal at the Racecourse Ground, an effort he actually set up for the Welsh international: “I thought Craig was a good player at Newcastle. Now he has come to a massive club and only time will tell how he does. But from first impressions he is a very, very good player in training and he scored a very, very good goal here.”
Robbie’s was asked what he though the Reds’ chance of a nineteenth league title were, and revealed how ambitious the side are under Rafael Benitez: “Every season is huge for Liverpool. Every season is a new start and we are obviously wanting to win stuff again. If we play as well as we did towards the end of last season, then you never know what will happen.”
It’s this ambition that saw Craig Bellamy turn down a much better financial package than he’d have got at Blackburn, a sign of just how much the player wants to succeed for the club his boyhood idols played for: “I would have fancied staying at Blackburn if Liverpool hadn’t come in because I was happy there and the new contract they offered me was very good, but you have to decide whether your dream is worth more than money. I came here because I have been a Liverpool fan all my life and because I would rather see medals on the mantelpiece than have money.”
Bellamy said that he finds it frustrating when he meets players who look forward to their pay packets more than the chance of glory: “I used to get really annoyed when I thought someone was in the game just for what they’d get in their pay packets. But I’ve grown up a bit. I now appreciate everyone has different motivations. Sure, some people are driven on by money. They think they will get a better contract if they play well. Their outlook might not be the same as mine, but it is what works for them so I let them get on with what they have to do. In fact, some of the worst attitudes I’ve seen have come from the very best players, so who am I to say what’s wrong and what’s right? The aim here is to win every game you play and if you can’t live up to those expectations you don’t last very long here. And I aim to be here a long time!”