The window closes on Wednesday at midnight in England, and with Liverpool getting the bulk of their incomings sorted well before the season even started there may not be all that much room for the excitement of a last minute acquisition or three. Still, there are a few chunks of remaining deadwood the club would desperately love to be rid of at any cost. And it's still getting on towards the final day of the summer window, which means at least a little insanity is just about contractually obligated…
The thought that £7M plus Yossi Benayoun would get Meireles to Stamford bridge was always a laugh. Even were Chelsea to come back with a significantly improved offer after their quite frankly insulting proposal on Monday was flatly rejected—say £12M plus Benayoun—it's almost impossible to imagine it would be enough to get Liverpool to deal given that earlier in the summer Fiorentina reportedly offered £12M and were told to get lost. Meanwhile Benayoun is three years older and contributed far less to Liverpool in his final season with the club than Raul did in his first season in England, which would mean a squad downgrade for no rational reason when it's been confirmed over and over again that FSG and John Henry's only priority at the moment is strengthening it after years of neglect at the hands of the former owners.
Moreover, Liverpool bought the Portuguese midfielder for £11.5M in the final year of his contract. He may be a year older now, but he’s also got three years left on his current deal and has proven his ability to play in England—in fact, given he’s one of the club’s two fittest players and covered the most ground per match in the league last season, one would only expect his overall fitness levels to increase in his second season, and with it his overall level of play. Meanwhile, players who are on the proverbial chopping block have been frozen out of the matchday squad completely. Players like Aquilani, Cole, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, and NGog who are now all gone—or available—for next to nothing.
In short, Liverpool already turned down £12M from an Italian side that isn't a direct rival; it's the day before the end of the window; Meireles wasn't frozen out of the squad a la Aquilani, Cole, Poulsen, NGog, Kyrgiakos, or Jovanovic; the club has shown they don't need to sell to buy any more; and John Henry has talked about only making deals that improve the squad after the old owners bled it each summer.
All signs point to any smoke only coming from Chelsea's end, though with a few of those supposed Liverpool fans who earlier became invested in the idea of selling him hopping on board the bandwagon.
As the window winds down, so too does the always unlikely story of Bellamy's (right) return. Manchester City had offered to let the player go for free, but over the past week it's become clear that Bellamy will only go if City pays off a good chunk of his remaining year at £95,000 per week. City would, understandably, rather subsidize a smaller part of those wages while sending him back on loan at Cardiff.
In the end, it appears that Bellamy would rather take a payday than a chance at top flight football. Which makes him sound a lot like their version of Joe Cole, and quite possibly a washed up mercenary of a bullet missed from Liverpool's point of view.
Speaking of Cole, after weeks of whispers that the player could head to Tottenham or QPR, a late challenger has taken the poll position in the race to nab England's Messi on a partially subsidized one year loan. Lille of France's League 1 are your new frontrunners, reportedly willing to pay half of the washed up mercenary's wages over the next year while letting said mercenary talk about how he's joining a club for the chance to get some Champions League action. If it goes through, despite that it would see Cole change leagues and countries, it would also just about halve the time it takes to get into London from the training ground. So everybody's sort of happy in the end. Or at least as happy as could be expected given the circumstances left behind by Christian Purslow's summer spent playing real-life Football Manager.
FC Copenhagen was a possibility until it wasn't. Then Espanyol toyed with bringing him back to La Liga, where he had previously thrived with Sevilla, before deciding that even on a partially subsidized loan he wasn't worth the cost. And now Evian Thonon Gaillard FC, recently promoted to League 1 in France, have entered the frame as the seemingly last, best hope for Liverpool to get somebody else to pay a portion of their Danish deadwood's wages for the next year. So that leaves just about 24 more hours of finger-crossing that some deal can be worked, and another case of having to give thanks to Liverpool's former managing director for the mess he and Roy Hodgson left behind.
Alberto Aquilani & Emiliano Insua
Both seemed so promising at different times, yet in the end, when they did finally depart, it was hard to even think of them as the club's players any more given the time they'd spent firmly stuck out of the picture. In any case, both are officially gone, with the Italian heading back to Italy with AC Milan last week on yet another loan deal, though one that sees his new club paying a larger portion of his wages and committed to buy him for £7M should he participate in 25 matches across all competitions in the coming season. It's hardly a grand deal for Liverpool, of course, but one more move that confirms that for now at least, if a player isn't set to be part of the club's plans moving forward, the only real priority is getting them gone.
Joining Aquilani on the continent will be Insua (left), who has signed a five-year deal with Sporting Lisbon, the club simply happy to clear a player they didn't see a future for off the books. It's a been a long fall for the at one time promising fullback who seemed on the verge of developing into something special at Liverpool before overexposure, exhaustion, and eventually being loaned to a Galatasaray side in managerial turmoil stacked up one after the other and made a future in England seem highly unlikely. Unlike in the case of Aquilani, however, there was every sign that in a perfect world Insua would have much preferred things working out at Liverpool, and in his case at least one hopes that the permanent move to Portugal can kickstart his stalled career.
In the shock of the summer, Liverpool have bid £40M for Brazilian starlet Neymar, with Santos giving the club the opportunity to now discuss terms with the player's agent. Except that Liverpool haven't, Santos didn't, and they aren't. Because Neymar to Liverpool is an attempt to use Twitter to trick Sky Sports into running a story about Neymar to Liverpool being imminent. But hey, good times.
With a final day of the window to look forward to, we'll be back with any big news as it breaks. For now, though, before getting too worked up over the latest daft rumour on Twitter, try to remember that Liverpool's new owners have clearly signalled that their only priority is putting together the strongest squad possible, that Liverpool is no longer a club that has to sell to balance the books, and that those players that aren't wanted any more have been quite clearly identified by being frozen out of the first team. Then go and panic anyhow.