Looks like a busy January in store for Rafa!
The Liverpool manager has received no indication that is the case and therefore plans to raise funds for a forward by finding a buyer or an exchange for Ryan Babel, Andriy Voronin, Andrea Dossena and/or Philipp Degen. All four are deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield, despite Dossena starting Saturday’s abysmal defeat at Portsmouth in place of Benayoun, and will be sold should the opportunity arise. Benítez could be restricted to loan deals if the four remain in situ.
Voronin was reluctantly retained by the Liverpool manager in the summer only when it became apparent he did not have the resources to invest in a new striker. The Ukraine international enjoyed a successful loan spell at Hertha Berlin last season and several Bundesliga clubs remain interested in his services, although the 30-year-old’s agent has ruled out a return to Hertha despite Voronin being ostracised by Benítez since the Champions League draw at Lyon. Napoli are among the clubs keen to take Dossena, a £7m flop, back to Italy, although they balked at Liverpool’s asking price in the summer. Babel represents the most saleable asset of the four. (Guardian)
Rafa Benitez is being linked with a move for Valencia forward Juan Mata.
The 21-year-old Spanish international doesn’t generate the headlines in the same way as team-mate David Villa, but this precocious young talent is believed to be considering a move away from the Mestalla stadium with Liverpool the team ready to make a move.
Guillem Balague reports in his Daily Mirror column that Mata is one of the lowest earners in the Valencia ranks, and his associates are touting the players potential to Rafa Benitez, a known admirer.
With the financial state at Valencia still in question, the Spanish side may well have to sell in the transfer window to balance the books and please investors.
And with the club keen to keep hold of major assets like David Villa and David Silva, one of their other top players may have to go. The former Real Madrid man could be a possible victim.
Mata also speaks English, a benefit to the Premier League suitors, and Liverpool will be keen to make an early move before a bidding war ensues in the New Year. (Telegraph)
I think most Liverpool fans can agree that the quartet of players named by the Guardian are all surplus to requirements at Anfield and even though Ryan Babel is a player with undoubted talent I am afraid that time is running out on his rather hit and miss Liverpool career.
Juan Mata is perhaps the more likely of the Valencia trio to make a move to Merseyside and the youngster possesses a lethal streak in and around the box that could work well alongside Fernando Torres and the 21 year old is growing into a good box player who may well jump at the chance of a move to the Premier League to further his claim for a regular spot in the Spanish international set-up.
The £14m striker can also play well out wide so would offer us some adaptability that could well appeal to Rafa Benitez who appears keen to bring in the player from his former club. We need to do as much wheeling and dealing in this transfer window so as to push on with our top four push and if that means finally getting rid of some deadwood then so be it. We can not afford to miss out on a Champions League spot next term, the financial ramifications of doing so would be disastrous.