European Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: Villa tell Barry he can go, Barca eyes Adebayor and Nihat faces lengthy recovery


                                                                Photo by ISIphotos.com

At long last Liverpool fans can rejoice. Sort of.

In what seems like a mini-me version of the Cristiano Ronaldo debacle, word has come that Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neil will grant Gareth Barry’s wish to leave Villa Park. The catch? O’Neil isn’t going to budge on price. After rejecting Liverpool’s last bid of £15 million for the 27-year-old central mid, it is believed O’Neil is holding out for closer to his £18 million valuation.

What do I think? Gerrard and Barry have looked awful good when playing together for England and I think Rafa Benitez wants Barry too much to let him slip through his fingers. It’s still a stare-down between O’Neil and Benitez and £18 million is a slightly exaggerated price but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa blinks first.

Adebayor linked to Barca move

Which way is Emmanuel Adebayor going today? After reportedly asking for Thierry Henry-type money to stay at Arsenal, the latest news in the Adebayor merry-go-round has the Togolese striker linked with a possible move to Barcelona, where he would be reunited with the French captain.

After being strongly linked to AC Milan recently, news that Barcelona shares that interest and that Adebayor is interested in return doesn’t bode well for Arsenal fans.

By all accounts, it looks like Adebayor is embracing a move away from the Emirates, but the way this story has been going, you can’t rule out another flip-flop from the 24-year-old.

Thigh injury rules out Nihat up to four months

We’re all fans of the Yellow Submarines these days, right? Well, bad news for Villarreal supporters hoping to repeat last season’s shock second-place finish in La Liga as Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci has been ruled out for up to four months with a thigh injury.

The 28-year-old Nihat scored 23 goals in all competitions for Villarreal last season and had two crucial goals for the Turks in the final minutes of their 3-2 win over the Czech Republic, but injured the thigh in Turkey’s penalty-kick win over Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarterfinal.

What do you guys think? Will Rafa break the bank for Barry or will Martin O’Neil compromise on his price? Is Adebayor is a good fit on Pep Guardiola’s rebuilt Barca squad? How does Nihat’s injury affect Jozy Altidore’s situation, if at all?

Share your thoughts below…

  • hokiegooner

    I think Nihat’s injury will give Altidore some chances to make the Villarreal 18. Not as a starter, but he could definitely be making the subs bench and getting the odd chance off the bench until Nihat comes back.


  • BFBS

    I am a bit confused regarding the formation Liverpool intends to play. They already have Mascherano (for 18-19 million pounds). Unless Benitez would use Gerrard as the supporting striker throughout the Premiership season, as I believe Benitez already does in the Champions League, this seems a bit exorbinant even by Top Four standards.


  • RK

    4 months for a thigh injury??? Wow, I wonder what it was, exactly.

    Villarreal have added quite a few players up front this summer, though.


  • Collin


    As a Liverpool fan I’d like to see Rafa employ the 4-2-3-1 like this:





    I just think it better optimizes our personnel. Of course, with Rafa’s tinkering reputation, it will probably change from week to week anyway.

    I’m dreaming of adding David Silva to that lineup at one of the two wing positions.


  • mig22

    Well, I think that is crazy money for Barry but he’ll slot into the center midfield with Mascherano. The talk has been to move Gerrard outside for a couple of years as he is more flexible than most in his positioning. Plenty of room in that formation for Barry I think.

    Then again, I hate Liverpool so what do I care. 🙂



  • Ted


    Rafa is buying Barry to be a starter. He can start at left back, left midfield, and in either of the central midfield slots behind Gerrard. He can even play central defense in an emergency (Liverpool was forced to play Arbeloa there occasionally, and for all his good qualities, he just isn’t a central defender). The speculation has been if Barry is signed, Alonso is sold, and Lucas becomes the first central midfielder off the bench.

    If signed, you’ll likely see Barry and Mascherano in central midfield, Gerrard in front of them and behind Torres, and the Dutchmen on the flanks.


  • Hincha Tim

    Bummer about Nihat. I really like the way the guy plays. But the crafty wizard Pellegrini always seems to find an answer. It certainly may effect Villarreal’s choice on whether they loan Josey out or not.


  • EDB

    Makes me a bit sad that they are going to sell Barry. If they want to be a top 4 squad they need to keep quality and add to it. Its not like Lerner is a pauper.


  • kpugs

    Obviously I could be and probably will be completely wrong here. But I think Jozy is, even being optimistic, at least one season away from making an impact at Villareal despite Nihat’s injury. This is a damn good club. It will probably take more than a season for him to break out.

    But who knows?


  • Il Consigliere

    Since GB is Villa’s club captain, played 2 great seasons under o’neil, and put the England armband on this summer (even if only for a half against Trinidad), his value is just about right for the English market. What’s insane is Rafa’s 15 million pound price tag on Peter Crouch, who can barely get a game for Liverpool…


  • inkedAG

    Arsenal better open up them purse strings if they figure on getting replacements and winning some silverware for the upcoming season!


  • Jacob33

    Barry would be a great buy for Liverpool. I hope Rafa gets it done!

    Was this the new guy? It says ‘Carl Setterlund’ instead of Ives’ name at the bottom.


  • Bobo

    Here’s the pecking order for Nihat’s position:

    Nihat > Joseba Llorente > Guille Franco (more useful coming off the bench) > Jon Dahl Tomasson > …. > Altidore.

    Don’t expect to see Jozy Altidore start up front with Rossi anytime soon. He may be getting his debut in a Copa del Rey match soon, though.


  • Bobo

    No coach with half a brain would insert Altidore into the lineup because Nihat won’t be there. Pellegrini seems reasonably endowed in the mental department, so it’s not going to happen. If anything, Nihat’s injury is good for Joseba Llorente… but pretty bad for the club in general.


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