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Report: Goalkeeper Rejects Trial Offer

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Goalkeeping target Victor Valdes has reportedly rejected Liverpool's request to undergo a four-day "fitness check" trial to do a hands-on assessment of his health after a serious knee injury last season, putting his potential signing on the rocks.

David Ramos

For the last couple of months, there's been periodic-but-strong rumors that former Barcelona and Spanish international goalkeeper Victor Valdes would be signing for Liverpool on a free transfer. Recently, it seemed that those rumors would finally come to their conclusion, with Liverpool offering Valdes a trial-slash-fitness test ahead of officially bringing him in to the fold.

It makes sense that Liverpool would want to wait and take such a cautious step in this situation. After all, Valdes suffered a serious knee injury in March that not only has kept him sidelined since then, but also blew up a deal he had arranged with AS Monaco to sign for the French side after his contract with Barcelona expired in June. Liverpool would want to make sure that he's healthy enough to step up when called upon, and there's only so much they can see from a physical when you're talking about an injury like this. You need to see how he moves, how confident he is that his knee will hold when he pushes hard to dive for a shot.

Unfortunately, Liverpool won't get a chance to make that assessment: according to reports, Valdes has rejected the trial offer. With Valdes unwilling to accommodate a fairly reasonable request, that likely puts any potential for the signing on the rocks.

Given the newness of the report, it's difficult to see where Liverpool goes from here. It would be perfectly reasonable to walk away, given the risk factor or the deal at this point and some big ol' red flags. Who they'd move on to next is a mystery; there's just no other keepers who are on a free who are anywhere near Valdes' level, even with the decline he's been on the last few years.

Liverpool were likely hoping to use Valdes to push Simon Mignolet, a move that former Anfield netminder Jason McAteer said was a must because he feels that the Belgian has become "complacent." Whether or not that's true, it's hard to deny that Mignolet's form has fluctuated this season, though a number of issues with the defense in front of him haven't helped any.

Brad Jones, while a wonderful human being, just simply isn't a good enough backup goalkeeper to give Liverpool a backup option good enough to put heat on Mignolet and force him to be at his best. Valdes would have given Liverpool that and then some, but now it looks like that's not going to happen. Time to move on to plan B. Or C. Or whichever we're on by now.