The transfer window still doesn't officially opens across Europe until July first. In England it actually opened at midnight on the day the domestic season ended. Either way, there are always pre-agreements to be made and fees agreed, and all because most players a club might be after couldn't officially be transfered for another month doesn't mean nothing can happen. So, yeah: Excitement! Screaming! Loud noises! Crushing Disappointment!
In any case, since last week's initial bit of rumour mongering, nothing has really happened. Which is pretty much par for the course but hasn't stopped G*al.com and CaughtOffside from pumping out 357 breathless articles a day on all the exciting (and not so exciting) names that may or may not actually be linked to Liverpool anywhere outside their fevered minds. This is some of the stuff that's changed, then. Or sort of changed. Or that I just didn't get to last time around...
Stewart Downing & Ashley Young:
Aston Villa is a club known for getting more for their players than they're probably worth. Part of it is that they always seem to have a handful of moderately not horrible English players lying around, and everybody knows a moderately not horrible English player is worth more than a genuinely good not English player—in all seriousness, it's part of why it's so important for Liverpool's academy, so promising of late, to actually come good and start supplying the club with at least serviceable squad players on a regular basis.
In any case, everybody with an eye on Liverpool will remember the Gareth Barry saga. He had two years left on his contract when Martin O'Neill strung Liverpool along, in the end turning down Liverpool's £15M final offer. When he later went to Manchester City for £12M he only had a year left. Villa then managed to get £16M and Stephen Ireland (who was then rated at £10M) from City for James Milner. Now they want £15M for Ashley Young, who himself only has one year left on his contract. Stewart Downing has two years left and seems hardly likely to cost less—potentially up to £20M, if rumours are to be believed.
Still, all the buzz continues to have Liverpool in the thick of it for both players, and while depth is something this Liverpool side sorely lacks, £30M+ seems rather a lot to potentially spend on a duo who wouldn't meaningfully improve the starting eleven. Then again, with Young at least it's been about two days now since he was totally signing for Liverpool after a stretch where he was totally signing for Manchester United that followed a stretch where he was totally signing for Liverpool. So it's probably almost time for him to be totally signing for Manchester United again.
The newest wide-man to have his name entered in the perpetual bullshit machine, the right-footed Argentinean winger (pictured above) currently plays for Sevilla, though he is more two-footed than most and usually sets up on the left. He's 22 years old, rocketed through the ranks to displace former rumoured Liverpool target Diego Capel, and internationally just got his first cap at the senior level. Along with Liverpool, the most frequently mentioned destination is Juventus. Which all sounds vaguely promising, except that Sevilla is the Spanish Aston Villa—the club that always leaves you scratching your head wondering quite how they consistently seem to get more for the players they sell than they're probably worth.
Piers Morgan's favourite criminal mastermind has one year left with Newcastle, they aren't planning on negotiating an extension or new contract, and Liverpool were briefly rumoured to be interested in January. Also, Liverpool bought Andy Carroll from them if you hadn't heard and are supposedly totally interested in Jose Enrique, so it all makes perfect sense. Or not. Probably not. But the machine needs feeding.
Most are probably at least vaguely aware of the aforementioned players, but who the hell is Scott Dann? Well, apparently he's just-relegated Birmingham City's best defender, and they lost a lot of points when he had some injury troubles and might not have got relegated if he hadn't. Still, it's not as though Liverpool's lacking for options at center back—it's more that they're lacking clearly top class options whenever Daniel Agger is injured. Dann might reshuffle those options, but it's hard to see him greatly improving them. Potential squad players: catch the excitement.
Moving over to potential outgoings, the Serb is actively searching for a home and willing to take a pay cut. Presumably he'll go somewhere other than Liverpool before next season starts, then, which is more than can be said for Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen (left), and Paul Konchesky. Seeing as he came in on a free, if the club can get in the £3-5M range for him they'll at least have come out equal on the gamble after wages and a signing-on fee. Which, again, is more than they'll likely be able to say for any of the others even if they do manage to sell them.
Prepare for some moderate clarity, as apparently "Aquilani is on loan at Juventus from Liverpool until 30th June" according to his agent Franco Zavaglia. At least if the quote is real and translated properly and not just made up, since it only seems to have a single, solitary source on all the world wide internets. Although I suppose it now has two, which is probably some kind of confirmation of its validity. In any case, after all the rumblings about passing deadlines and possible returns to Liverpool and all the rest, this is about the only way it makes any sense for no real new news to have leaked out on the Italian midfielder since the season ended.
Fully back in who the hell knows loan-watch territory, Insua has in fact officially ended his time at Galatasary. That much we know. It's still not clear if his contract with Liverpool ends on June thirtieth of this year like everybody's pretty sure it does or if it's maybe actually next year because if he really only had a year left it would have taken somebody functionally retarded to loan him out. And so continues the weird time-vortex of insanity that has existed around the Argentine prospect ever since Christian Purslow rode into town and started shipping out scapegoats to make way for his glorious revolution. Presumably we'll get some solid news on him sooner or later. Or we won't and he'll continue to exist in some kind of unresolved void waiting for the vial of hydrocyanic acid to break. One way or the other.
The club says he can go for £8M, which is probably just a negotiating tactic. Then again, he didn't cost much and is on low wages, so if the club doesn't feel it's getting a decent fee for him it may not make sense to sell. Meanwhile, Arsenal has publicly set Bendtner's value at £9M. And Aston Villa has set Ashley Young with one year on his contract at £15M. And Blackpool wanted (and still may want) £15M for Charlie Adam. And Newcastle supposedly want about the same for Jose Enrique, who also has a single year remaining. So. Yeah. Why exactly half of Twitter1 is having a good old fashioned bitch session over Liverpool maybe setting his value too high is puzzling, though rest assured the same people would be the first to moan if the club went and sold him for what they felt was too little.
There are some other names floating around, but none of them seem even as solidly linked as the not especially solidly linked names going in or out that are mentioned above. As for the likes of Mata, first-name-only Diego, Jose Enrique, and all the rest, things are pretty much exactly where they were last week as far as anybody knows. So why not have an every touch compilation of Digeo Perotti going up against Real Madrid. Apologies in advance for the soundtrack...
1And I haven't mentioned lately that you should really be following our Twitter account. Because you really should be following it. Sometimes it's even vaguely entertaining, and you can always ask us questions that we'll pretend to know the answers to.