Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, was yesterday plotting last minute transfer signings to bolster his squad. Hodgson believes a couple more additions in midfield and in attack can strengthen his options sufficiently and make his team capable of breaking back into the top four this season.
Missing out on Champions League qualification last season led to Rafa Benitez being replaced by Hodgson, and the sale of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona last Friday has provided a significant injection of cash to spend. As the clock ticks down to the closing of the transfer window, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur look to be the busiest of the Premier League's bigger clubs. And it could be that the two clubs end up fighting each other for some of the same players.
Liverpool were busy over the weekend completing the £11 million (Dh40.4m) signing of Raul Meireles, the Porto midfielder, and yesterday they were hoping to complete the £3.5m move of Paul Konchesky, the left back at Fulham, Hodgson's previous club. They have also been strongly linked to West Ham United's Carlton Cole. It is believed West Ham have turned down a £7m bid for the striker. After beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Sunday, Hodgson said another striker was his main concern.
"If we can I'd like to bring in one more player and that would be excellent," he said. "We are short so we don't need to disguise the fact that it would be nice to get a striker but they are very hard to come by." A new front man is also the priority for Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager, especially after their toothless 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic on Saturday. Luis Fabiano, the Brazil international who plays for Seville in Spain, is his number one target, but so far the Spurs have not matched the club's £25m valuation.
So it could mean that Redknapp may take on Liverpool in a bid for West Ham's Cole. Towards the end of the transfer window last summer, Tottenham tried but failed to sign Cole. After their desperate start of three consecutive league defeats - the club's worst starts to a season in 33 years - West Ham know they need to bring in new players before the deadline. And it could be they will consider doing a part-exchange deal with Spurs over Cole with at least two Tottenham players who are surplus to requirements moving to Upton Park.
Robbie Keane, Jermain Jenas and David Bentley would all interest West Ham. One complicated deal that could eventually be resolved today is Arsenal finally securing the services of Mark Schwarzer, the Fulham goalkeeper. It is understood Manchester City may yet agree to allow Shay Given go on loan to Fulham, paving the way for Schwarzer's departure. firstname.lastname@example.org