4 Feb 2014

'Things were advancing' - La Liga star admits he held transfer 'talks' with LFC.

Two days before the January transfer window closed, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insisted that he would not sign any more 'support' players to supplement LFC's squad, and claimed that first-teamers are the transfer priority for the club. In an article at the time, I suggested that Rodgers would still try and bring in a squad player or two before the deadline, and it appears that's exactly what he tried to do.

Last-Ditch Transfer: BR tried to sign Barca hero who called LFC a 'great team'. Loss...?

According to former Barcelona star Seydou Keita, who signed for Valencia this week, Liverpool tried to sign him on transfer deadline day.

During his unveiling last night, the Mali international - often one of Barca's unsung heroes - told reporters:

"I didn't think twice [about Valencia]. Things were advancing with Liverpool. I was in very advanced talks with Liverpool, but Valencia came and I have more chances to play.

"At Liverpool, I wasn't sure what would happen. When you speak to managers and directors you sense confidence, that's why I chose Valencia."

Liverpool have been linked with Keita several times in the past, and prior to his move to China in the summer of 2012, the midfielder was very complimentary about the Reds. He told reporters:

"A challenge elsewhere would appeal to me, and Liverpool are a great team with great players"

So, as well as repeatedly losing out on top class 'marquee' signings, Liverpool can't even persuade a fading, 34-year midfielder - formerly playing in the Chinese League - to come to Anfield (!)

The following two issues are clear from Keita's comments:

* Despite his protestations to the contrary, Rodgers tried to bring yet another squad player to LFC. To be fair, though, given Lucas's injury, it's an understandable move, though Rodgers shouldn't try and hide the fact that he's shopping in the bargain-basement market. After all, Keita is the very definition of a 'support player', is he not?

* Ian Ayre and LFC's negotiating team failed again to convince a player to sign for Liverpool. Keita hints that he didn't feel 'confidence' coming from LFC's hierarchy, and when a player doesn't feel wanted, he'll invariably choose another option (if one is available).

It's a little disturbing that LFC repeatedly seem to have problems attracting players to the club. Having said that, Keita is not great loss to Liverpool, though it sounds like a bit of a desperate, last-ditch attempt to bring someone in.

How would Keita fare at Liverpool? By all accounts, he's still extremely fit, and his excellent appearance record throughout his career shows that he takes care of himself. Plus, there's nothing like four years of regular football at Barcelona to hone a player's technical and tactical skills.

I'm not sure how Joe Allen would've felt about the deal, though. Bringing in a 34 year old to cover Lucas when Allen is there to do the job is (IMO) a massive slap in the face for the Welsh international. Given the continued fight for first-team places, Allen is probably a happy man right now.



  1. and if we dont get at least 4th, who will be to blame, ayre or fsg?
    i believe its out of rodgers hands, i feel for him.
    best chance to get 4th in as many years and we didnt take a gamble on reinforcements, and left it so late on it was impossible.
    but hey if we can get champs league spot and finish the season playing well like we can, will it be called genius??
    course it wont, only on rodgers behalf

  2. very good player. reckon his abilities will light up the PL. unfortunate we couldnt get him. the club really need to get out the money and sign some players. weve got world class players Sturridge and Suarez and we must increase the quality in the squad. i want the club to hand at least 70M to BR

  3. Sounds like a fading player who fancied a better deal in an easier league in a warmer climate but who feels the need to big-up his new club.

  4. Michael Laudrup sacked!

  5. Can't see a way back for him, Rodgers should sell both him AND Mignolet, there's much better keepers than those two. Mignolet will never be the keeper Reina was, and neither will Reina.

  6. I was highlighting Migs poor distribution and the resulting pressure on the defence in the very first few weeks, but was shouted down by the majority.

    And yet, low and behold, half a season in, and Migs has not improved and still putting pressure on the defence. I counted 6 poor kicks to the half-way line all aimed at Cissoko, all which missed their target against West Brom.

    Don't get me wrong, he is an excellent shot stopper. So it could be argued he has on many occasions kept us in the game. However, with his poor flapping on crosses and corners, our general lack of height across the team, I would still rate Reina over Migs at this moment in time. Especially, as BR is right to continue his philosophy to play out from the back.

  7. I completely agree with what you say, my only problem is the 1% with Pepe, when he decides to take on Kun in a foot race, pepe, lord knows i got love for him, makes mire costly blunders than Mig, or maybe its just me who sees that

  8. Exactly my opinion Jaime. I hope he returns and there is a battle for the GK position. Can only be good for the club. May the best man win.

  9. We need a better goalkeeper's coach

  10. That is Rodgers fault for insisting on the system where our defence and keeper fanny about at the back putting themselves under unnecessary pressure. Injuries to the back four have made it difficult for Simon to form a solid relationship with any particular configuration. Personally I think the defence and keepers need to be taken aside and focus on building bonds between them, communication is key and it would seem that there is not enough of this going on. Personally I don't think we need a designated Number one, Jones won't provide adequate competition for Simon, and while training with the SAS will sharpen his shot stopping, the lack of a stable, comfortable defence will expose him. As a leader I think Reina is an important player for the team, and should be retained.

  11. Sounds like laudrup and huw Jenkins had some issues with each other

  12. I think people are overplaying it wayyyy too much. First of all, Paul was Tom's actual football team manager; can you not blame him for being in his ear?
    Second of all- Paul has thus far given Tom the right football advice, as any father with a lot of football knowledge would give to his professional son.

  13. I really missed Reina's distribution from the back. Most of Mignolet's distribution ended up with with the opposition. No doubt his shot stopping is better than Reina's but part of our play is to play from the back and Reina looks more comfortable doing that than Mignolet (whom I hope can improve).

  14. Now I'd be the first to criticise our transfer dealings and policy but in this case I don't think there is much that could have been done. Keita will have realised that he would only be a backup in case Gerrard doesn't work out and Lucas's injury would be worse than expected. A 34 year old player wants to play and his chances of doing so are a lot better at Valencia. What does make me hopeful though is that it seemed like we were looking for a stop gap DM like De Jong or Keita which probably means we will see a long term solution arriving in the summer. I only fear it won't be the Fernando Reges type quality we are all hoping for.

  15. Who cares how many clubs scouted Courtois? He went to Chelsea for the same money we paid for Mignolet. In 2011. When Reina was 29 and we knew he wouldn't be around forever. Money wise, we could have competed. And with us he could have played right away. It was the same summer we spent 20 million on Stewart Downing. I agree Benteke is a journeyman but leaving Liverpool is not as easy as leaving Genk, Standard or Villa. Especially not if you're in a team with Courtois in goal, Gerrard, DeBruyne and Coutinho in midfield and Suarez and Sturridge to play up front with.

  16. Maybe Oyston, who by all accounts seems quite difficult, decided Ince didn't deserve respect because he showed the club none when he prioritised his son's future over that of Blackpool.

  17. Fair enough.
    I don't know enough about their relationship for it to bother me a great deal, I was just trying to articulate other people's misgivings, as I understand them.

  18. Anyone know how Reina is doing at the mo? His old form returned?