Liverpool Set to Complete Excellent £18m Swap and Has Rafa Benitez Quit?

Things go from bad to worse to awful for Anfield boss Rafa Benitez, but he still has time to plan a Premier League swap deal apparently.

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Sports - September 25, 2007

Liverpool FC set to trade Ryan Babel for Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones

Rafael Benitez is attempting to bring Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones to Anfield as a replacement for want away attacker Ryan Babel.

The out-of-favour Dutchman looks set to leave the Reds after a very public rant on microblogging site Twitter about his omission from today’s squad that drew with Stoke City earlier today.

Trinidad and Tobago international Jones was the subject of interest from Tottenham Hotspur last year who saw a bid of £16 million rejected by Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn who described him as ‘untouchable’.

However plans to hold onto the 25-year-old are believed to have been shelved following a reported falling out with manager Steve Bruce, which could see him leave Wearside with Babel heading in the opposite direction.

Anfield legend John Aldridge has welcomed the potential arrival of lofty marksman Jones whom he believes would signal good business on Benitez’s part if Babel was offloaded in the process and add fire power to the Reds’ attack following the arrival of Maxi Rodriguez earlier this week.

He said: “Let’s hope that comes true because we need a bit of fire power, especially in the next six weeks. That lad has done really well at Sunderland; he’s gifted, he’s only young and he’s a good player who can score goals, put himself about and is fantastic in the air.

“Apparently he’s fallen out with Steve Bruce, who’s a no nonsense manager, so it might be for the good and the player that he moves on and he could be a really good acquisition. (Click Football)

Now I am not a huge fan of Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones but after watching a toothless display, yes another one, against Stoke City I am convinced that Liverpool simply can not make it into the top four without another striking option. If that striking option can be clinched by offloading Ryan Babel at the same time then that is a deal that will suit us down to the ground.

Liverpool’s Dutch Winger has been spouting off on Twitter for weeks now and whilst I agree with most of what he has said about the lack of financial clout at the club his constant moaning about not having enough chances to prove himself is getting on my nerves. He has had enough chances at Anfield over the past two and a half seasons and he has consistently thrown them away and I am in full agreement with John Aldridge on this one.

Some sources quote this deal as close to completion but I am not sure it is a by any means a done deal but I sincerely hope it is. The Trinidad forward is by no means a fantastic player but we don’t have many options to pick from. We are finding it hard to clinch signings both due to lack of funds and also because we are not such an enticing option to prospective signings at present.

If Liverpool can offset the cost of Jones, said to be in the region of a rather inflated £18m, by giving Sunderland Ryan Babel then that is fine with me.

Now it appears that some people are under the impression that Rafa Benitez may have quit/sacked/left the club. News of this has hit Twitter and other social networking sites as well as some blogs, I don’t think its accurate but I don’t think its far off happening. Anyone who saw the gaffer’s frankly bizarre post match interview will have noticed his strange demeanour and it that interview he stated “IF” he was to stay at the club it would be because he would be doing so for the fans. Not sure what that really means but reading between the lines he appears to be asking for one last chance from the Anfield hoardes but I am not sure there are many who would still back him. Would you?


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