Who says there is no value in the modern day transfer market? From Demba Ba, Gary McAllister and Sol Campbell to Andrea Pirlo, Esteban Cambiasso and Michael Ballack; history proves that some of the best transfers don’t always have to come with a fee at all.
It’s always a nervous time for clubs who have players with time ticking down on their contracts and unless tied down to long-term deals, clubs often lose their better players for a vastly reduced fee who had a year left on their deals, rather than risk losing them completely to a Bosman transfer.
However, as we approach the Winter Transfer Window, players who have expiring contracts in the summer of 2014 can start to flirt with other clubs and sign ‘Pre-contract agreements’ which would see them leave on the aforementioned Bosman transfer once the season ends, thus leaving their employers without a transfer fee.
While it is well documented that Liverpool do have sufficient funds to invest in the ‘right’ player, it is also just as well documented that the likes of Billionaire owned Manchester City and Chelsea could, if desired, offer a combination of higher wages, transfer fee and agent fees.
Therefore it is crucial that Liverpool are on the lookout for bargains that could aid their quest to bring Champions League football back to Anfield and at the time of writing, there are currently plenty of top-quality players who should be of interest to the Anfield outfit. Here are five players who are out of contract this summer who I believe Liverpool should be taking a look at:
5. Martin Montoya
Position: Defender, Right.
Current club: Barcelona.
Yet another product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, Martin Montoya is currently competing with one of the best right-backs in world football – Dani Alves – for a starting berth. Despite managing a total of 24 appearances for the Catalan club in 2012-13, new coach Gerardo Martino is seemingly reluctant to give the youngster a prolonged stint in the side, with the defender only managing a total of four appearances so far it could be time for him to leave and finally realise his vast potential. Liverpool could be an ideal destination with Brendan Rodgers aiming to play in a similar way to Barcelona and current right-back Glen Johnson starting to enter the final years of his career, Montoya could hold down a starting position for years to come.
4. Diego Ribas da Cunha
Position: Midfield, Attacking.
Current club: Wolfsburg.
The mixed career of this Brazilian playmaker has seen him have stints at major European clubs Porto, Juventus and Atletico Madrid. He currently plays in the Bundesliga for VfL Wolfsburg.
The fact that he was once signed by current Italian champions Juventus for a fee of €24.5m illustrates the potential he had, however it has not really worked out for him thus far. Arguably his best performances came on loan at Atletico Madrid and if Liverpool could pick up the playmaker for free and get his performance to the level he was achieving in Spain then they’d have done a smart piece of business. I believe it would be a no brainer to sign a player who averages 2.4 key passes a game this season while also completing an average of 5.6 dribbles per game.
3. Jeremy Menez
Position: Attacking, Centre/Left.
Current Club: PSG.
Signed by current club PSG from Roma in July 2011 for a fee of €8m, the flamboyant and versatile attacking midfielder has found himself watching from the sidelines more often than not so far this campaign with a total of seven appearance, four of which have come from the bench. This lack of game time makes it easy to see why the Frenchman is disgruntled with life in Paris.
Despite his limited amount of action this season, his talent is undeniable. He scored none goals and had 13 assists in his first season with the French side, followed by eight goals and 11 assists in the next season, which shows he could certainly be a useful weapon in Liverpool’s armoury.
Menez was linked with a £10m move to Anfield in the summer, and Liverpool could attempt to secure a pre-contract agreement or a cut price deal in January to bolster their midfield options and Menez’s versatility coupled with his current 85.6% pass completion will be looked upon favourably if they consider moving for him.
2. Fernando Reges
Position: Midfield, Defensive.
Current Club: FC Porto.
Yet another potential South American who could join the Anfield ranks, Fernando Rege (more commonly known as Fernando) is a tough-tackling holding midfielder who was an ever-present in Porto’s treble winning campaign in 2010/11 where he made a total of 41 appearances.
Boasting an average of 89.6% pass completion rate for his current side in this year’s Champions League, the underrated Brazilian could become a key component of a side with the intention of regaining Champions League status and would provide much needed competition for Lucas Leiva at the heart of Liverpool’s midfield.
1. Blaise Matuidi
Position: Midfield, Defensive.
Current Club: PSG.
Blaise Matuidi has been a key component of PSG’s side since signing from Saint Etienne in 2011 for €7.5m and his contribution in anchoring their midfield has been priceless.
Matuidi averages an impressive 92.7% of passes completed across his total 16 matches played in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season, and this, coupled with his athleticism and defensive contribution would be just as priceless to Liverpool as it has been to PSG.
Matuidi also had a very close relationship with Liverpool new-boy Mamadou Sakho although it would remain to be seen if he would follow his friend and fellow countryman out his country to Anfield. Personally of all the potential free agents that could be available this year, I believe signing Matudi would be the biggest coup for Liverpool and would solve multiple midfield issues.
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