With preseason training underway (and the smiles generated by seeing Lucas back out there), but no fixtures to talk about, and no internationals on, the only thing being discussed are transfers in and out. And finally at Melwood, there's a hotting up of discussions of nothing else.
-The big one is Brendan Rodgers's "coy" answering of a question about Andy Carroll's future. I will never pretend to know what a manager is trying to accomplish through quotes in the media. For all we know, he's trying to motivate Andy again just like Kenny did. But it sure sounded similar to Rafa Benitez's lukewarm endorsement of Michael Owen during his first preseason, which ended with Owen being flogged to Madrid shortly before the season. Some would have told you Rafa would have been just as happy if Gerrard went with him then too, but we know how that went down.It seems a waste that after all we went through with Andy, and finally seeing something promising shine through at the end of the season, Brendan Rodgers is just going to blow it all up. On the other side, we did say we struggle to see how a player like Carroll fits in to the manager's system. It doesn't really call for a battering ram of a striker, but one that's clever with movement and touch. Neither of those are Carroll's strength, other than when his work-rate is up but that's different.
On the other side, it's not like Liverpool have a lot of strikers. The departure of Kuyt, and then a proposed one of Carroll, would leave Luis Suarez and....Luis Suarez. Sure, there are a couple kids we'd like to see get a shot. But that's it, a shot.
The other aspect that doesn't make any sense is why Milan would be the destination. Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho, and Cassano are there already and where's the games between them? This is Milan collecting players again for the sake of it, and it's hard to see how Carroll wouldn't just be an option off the bench for the Rosseneri.
At the end of the day, Rodgers admitted he wanted to assess Carroll with his own eyes in training, which is still a couple weeks away. But it sounds like Carroll's got a lot of impressing to do, because he's not getting an unbiased start.
-There's more noise about Fabio Borini. Roma's sporting director has now come out and said Liverpool are chasing without telling them to take a hike, which sounds like a tactic to drive up fees and such. Borini is young and talented, and would be excellent support for Suarez but I don't know that he's automatic choice for the first 11 yet either. But the forward line needs strengthening, that can't be questioned.
-Speaking of which, last night some chatter started that Clint Dempsey was on his way. You know how I feel about that, and though Dempsey wouldn't be a long term solution, he would bolster all the positions Liverpool are weak and would be the type of player to help vault LFC back into the Champions League. They can't all be buys for five years down the line. And he'd probably keep Joe Cole out of our lives, which is the real goal here.