Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, said last night that he would be willing to investigate bringing in Didier Drogba or Michael Owen as emergency reinforcements, after admitting that he would not have let Andy Carroll leave on loan to West Ham United on Thursday had he known his club would deny him £7m Clint Dempsey from Fulham.
After yesterday's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at Anfield, Rodgers also insisted he will recall Carroll from his loan spell at West Ham in January if he cannot bolster his striking options.
Owen, 32, a free agent since his release by Manchester United, has been offered a £30,000-a-week, two-year deal by Stoke City but is likely to jump at the chance of a return to the spiritual home he left eight years ago. Yet after only 31 appearances in three years at Old Trafford there are serious questions about whether he can overcome injuries.
Though Drogba is two years older than Owen, he would be by far the more exciting prospect, if he could be persuaded to take a vast reduction in the £200,000-a-week deal on which he joined Shanghai Shenhua – where a boardroom struggle has cast his future in doubt. But sources close to Drogba last night suggested a move back to the Premier League was not viable and he would begin the Chinese league season in November.
Rodgers said: "We have got a very small group here. There were 19 players training [on Saturday] with some very young players among them. I cannot say no to anything. We need a reinforcement, that's obvious."
On Carroll, he added: "There is no doubt that the finances here had to be changed. We have lost nine players. We have brought in three. From the business side, the club has done well. What we need to look after now is the football side."Reuse content