It looks like Benitez has worked around the financial constraints imposed upon him to find his man to fill Liverpool’s apparent need for a new center back, and he’s not the Premier League manager adding (or trying to add) quality depth to his squad.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have finally managed to offload one of their surplus strikers, but are they trying to bring in a new one just as quickly?
Chelsea Sign Matic
Chelsea have signed Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic from MFK Kosice for a fee of 1.5m. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Not too many first-team opportunities await him immediately, but hopefully he’ll be able to see more pitch time than his compatriot Branislav Ivanovic did in his first season at Chelsea. Of course, Ivanovic has now taken on a regular role for the club, so that wound up working out pretty well, didn’t it?
Liverpool Close On Kyrgiakos
Liverpool have agreed a 2.5m fee with AEK Athens for center back Sotiris Kyrgiakos, (Sky Sports)
Analysis: With little left in the transfer kitty, Liverpool have to go the inexpensive route to sign a new center back, but cheap doesn’t mean lacking quality. At 6’5”, Kyrgiakos has the physical presence to hold his own in the Premier League, and he’ll provide quality, experienced depth in a position of need for Liverpool.
Everton Move For Tottenham Duo
Everton have opened talks with Tottenham over a 12m double swoop for David Bentley and Alan Hutton. (The Mirror)
Analysis: It took until the end of last summer for Everton to start spending, and that worked out well for them (with Fellaini), so maybe it’ll be another case of patience bringing a big reward. Hutton would be an upgrade over Tony Hibbert if he can stay clear of injuries, while Bentley would bring another creative midfield presence and provider for Yakubu when he returns.
Fulham Land Duff
Fulham have completed the 4m signing of Newcastle winger Damien Duff. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Provided Duff remains injury-free, this should be a profitable move for Fulham. Duff’s still very much got the skills to play a key role for Fulham, and he should help create quite a few goalscoring opportunities for the men up front, along with chipping in with a few goals himself.
Blackburn Sign Salgado
Blackburn have signed former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado on a free transfer, with the veteran right back penning a two-year deal. (Times Online)
Analysis: It’ll be interesting to see how Sam Allardyce plans to use Salgado. Summer signing Lars Jacobsen has staked his claim to be first-choice right back, so he won’t have to rely on Salgado to start straight away or every time out.
Stoke Miss Out On Collins
Stoke look set to miss out on West Ham defender James Collins, as the Wales international walked out of contract talks yesterday without the two sides being able to reach a deal. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Unfortunate for Stoke, but maybe they can still work the deal out.
Hull To Move For Young?
Hull could be set to make a move for Aston Villa right back Luke Young. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Condolences go out to Young, who recently lost his younger brother, and with him currently dealing with that tragedy, any move might not come too quickly. But there is a good chance that it does happen, as the arrival of Habib Beye from Newcastle looks to significantly cut down on Young’s opportunities at right back.
Werder Sign Pizarro
Werder have sealed a permanent deal for Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Not a moment too soon for Werder, who’ve started the new Bundesliga season with only one point from their first two matches.