Though Gareth Barry was still waiting for news of any breakthrough on his move to Liverpool yesterday there is a feeling that the club's American owners are willing to provide the cash needed for his purchase. The Tom Hicks camp appears to be relaxed about the issue – perhaps too relaxed for Liverpool's liking – though Barry will be hoping that next week, rather than this, might deliver the moment he has been waiting for.
Hicks and Gillett may be waiting to discover how much cash Rafael Benitez may put towards the purchase of Barry through sales, though the prospect of Xabi Alonso reaping £18m looked less likely than ever yesterday after Steven Gerrard returned from Oslo having picked up a thigh injury in the 4-1 win over Valerenga, which may rule him out of next Wednesday's Champions League third qualifying round, first leg fixture away to Standard Liege.
If Gerrard is not fit for that match then Alonso will have to play, considering that fellow midfielders Javier Mascherano and Lucas are at the Olympics. Once Alonso becomes cup-tied in the Champions League, his value will drop significantly.
The £6m sale of Andrei Voronin remains a possibility, with several German clubs interested, as does Jermaine Pennant's £4m move, with Blackburn Rovers believed to be among those interested.
Liverpool declined to comment officially on the surprise ruling that allows clubs to withdraw their players from the Olympics after Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Schalke appealed.
l Luke Young is expected to join Aston Villa today in a deal that could bring Middlesbrough £5m, double what the Teessiders paid Charlton for Young just over a year ago. Martin O'Neill requires cover at full back and Young, 29, had a solid first season at Boro. Villa are also trying to sign a left back and Reading's Nicky Shorey is believed to be close to moving to Villa Park.Reuse content