With a handful of long-rumoured targets finally arriving and a bit of football to distract everybody, the mongering of rumours has taken a bit of a back seat in recent weeks—or at least the degree to which people have taken note of it has decreased. Still, with a few notable holes remaining on Liverpool's squad as the weeks slip away and a new season draws near, it was inevitable that things would begin to pick up again if given the chance...
When the summer started it seemed inevitable that as long as Aguero remained on the market, somebody somewhere would link him to Liverpool. Like David Villa before him, in recent years he has become the favoured signal of intent signing for those who deal in poorly sourced whispers.
With many supposed in the knows starting off the transfer window with talk of how Liverpool's new owners intended to make at least one big, major, gargantuan, signal of intent signing before they got distracted by Charlie Adam's thirty-seven medicals. And with Aguero still up for grabs and the club not yet having made that signing that signals to the football world that Liverpool is unquestionably gunning for the top. Well, with all that in mind it's really no surprise that people have begun to whisper about the possibility of Aguero heading to Liverpool again.
Over the last few days, some have even claimed that Manchester City and Liverpool have had bids accepted by Atletico Madrid and subsequently offered terms to Aguero, leaving it up to the player to decide over the next few days where he wants to play football next season. While many would love it to be true—at least assuming he ended up picking Liverpool and not making the mercenary move to replace Tevez at City on eleventy-billion pounds a week—every half-way reliable source seems to suggest Aguero still has his heart set on an odious cross-city transfer to Real Madrid and that this is nothing but rumour mongers doing what rumour mongers do. Namely putting two and two together and getting bullshit. After all, if Tevez actually manages to force a move away from City this time around, they're going to need a big name, big money replacement, and none come bigger this year than the want-away Aguero. Meanwhile Liverpool has been linked in the past and there was that one time the player said he liked the club, plus John Henry and FSG are throwing around buckets of money these days.
The story nearly writes itself, and you're more likely to catch pigs ice dancing on a frozen-over hell by the time the season starts than you are to see Aguero in Liverpool red. But unless something new comes along to take its place—or until Aguero actually completes a move somewhere—this is likely the rumour that will become the new Mata to Liverpool in the coming weeks now that pretty much everybody has forgotten that at one point Juan Mata was a lock to head to Liverpool on July 1st.
Elsewhere in resurfacing links, the 17-year-old winger and attacking midfielder is back on the radar after spending six months all but signed for Arsenal before their interest fizzled and it began to appear as though he'd be staying with Southampton for the coming season. Now the player himself is agitating for a move, with anywhere in the Premier League seemingly the only prerequisite:
"Southampton, and especially the fans, have been brilliant to me ever since I broke into the first team. It has been fantastic helping them to get promoted. But now I feel I’m ready to play in the Premier League."
It's rumoured that he'll cost £12M—a gargantuan fee given his age—and that Liverpool and Manchester City are again the two clubs in the running to sign him.
With Gael Clichy publicly shunning Liverpool for City's six-figure wages and interest in Jose Enrique cooling over the summer, 23-year-old Cissokho has been linked almost constantly with Liverpool in July. Depending on the source, the inconsistent but physically gifted left back could cost anywhere between £8M and £18M and is either about to sign or not even on Liverpool's radar, while Lyon is either actively seeking to cash in on him, actively looking to sell him because they don't think he's good enough, or definitely not even dreaming of letting him go.
So something's definitely happening. Unless it isn't. And in this case the split in opinion seems to fall right along the English Channel, with media in France reporting the deal as being various stages of done for the past week or two as though he was their version of the Charlie Adam saga while the English media has consistently thrown cold water on the rumours.
Those with their hearts set on Cissokho will likely point to how little English outlets have known about Liverpool's dealings and intentions under the current owners and management, but while it seems plausible that French sources might be better placed to receive information from Lyon it's also harder for those on the outside to judge their reliability. And so everybody's left just about where they began when it comes to Cissokho: He's either about to sign or Liverpool haven't even asked about him. Or something in between.
Liverpool doesn't have cover at the defensive midfield position. Liverpool has been linked to just about every English player with a pulse under the age of 27. Lee Cattermole is a defensive midfielder, he's English, he may have a pulse, and all of a sudden he's being linked to Liverpool. Said Sunderland manager Steve Bruce of the suddenly rampant rumours:
I don't know where that has come from. It's news to me. I have not even thought about this situation, to be honest. I have had bigger things on my plate to worry about.
We have been dealing with Liverpool for the past five weeks over the Jordan Henderson deal and there was never a mention that they wanted Lee.
Right, so that's that settled: Cattermole's staying put. Everybody can breathe a sigh of relief.
Peter Gulacsi & Chris Mavinga
Wrapping things up with some actual news in the outgoings department, the club confirmed today that keeper prospect Gulacsi is heading to Hull City on a season-long loan. It is expected that he will be Hull's starting keeper for their coming season in the Championship, and there is a good chance he will be in action for them on Satruday against Liverpool when the two clubs meet in preseason action. For those who earlier argued that a preseason friendly against Valencia meant a move for Mata because clubs only play friendlies against those they've done or are preparing to do deals with (yeah, not really), this may be enough to stoke those dying embers of the Juan Mata rumours.
And in more permanent outgoings, left back prospect Chris Mavinga appears set to move to Rennes for £1M after a year of first team football on loan at Genk last season failed to convince Liverpool he had a future with the club. With Gerardo Bruno confirmed gone yesterday, it means that three of Liverpool's youngsters have been shipped out either on loan or more permanently in recent days. With only Paul Konchesky amongst the senior players confirmed departed so far—while Milan Jovanovic exists in a strange limbo where he may or may not have been released but is definitely not practicing with the club—to date it's hardly been a summer filled with the outgoings that many expected.
That about does it for this week in Liverpool rumours, and it looks as though things are ready to blow up once again with excitement and player swoops and buying and selling and etcetera and so forth. Or nothing at all is going to happen and Liverpool's just about done its dealings in the transfer market. It's a good thing all these people in the media and with inside sources who know what's going on are keeping us informed, otherwise we'd just have to pick player names out of a hat to figure out what the club is doing.
Right. So while I try to track down a proper names-picked-out-of-a-hat hat to see if I can manage a better record over the rest of the window than CaughtOffside, have an Aly Cissokho every-touch compilation to help pass the time...