BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 29: Gerard Deulofeu of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Lliga match between FC Barcelona and RCD mallorca at Camp Nou on October 29, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. FC Barcelona won 5-0. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
With one quasi match in the books and another on tap for Wednesday, Liverpool's long-awaited North American tour is suddenly on its way to wrapping up. They've got Roma in Boston in two days' time and Spurs in Baltimore on Saturday, and then, almost impossibly, they're off and running with the actual season five days later. Given the lack of actual transfer news and the relative dearth of rumors, it's exciting and unnerving all at the same time.
There's a constellation of names linked with the club that just won't go away, and Joe Allen and Clint Dempsey lead the charge. Neither have seemed to get any closer to making a move, with Michael Laudrup denying that Liverpool have made any sort of approach (but neither has Laudrup, apparently) and talk drying up after Brendan Rodgers acknowledged last week that he wouldn't be talking about their transfer targets by talking about how Joe Allen was a transfer target.
Dempsey's in a somewhat similar situation, although at least his club have seemingly been in contact with the player, made evident by their repeated denials that they're interested in selling. There was some discussion that Andy Carroll would somehow be involved in a move to West London as part of a move for Dempsey, but that's gone completely away now, with most of the player plus cash talk focusing on Charlie Adam moving to Craven Cottage.
So yes, obviously, that's a much better deal, and it would make seeing Dempsey in a Liverpool shirt almost exciting. Then again, Charlie Adam moving to Craven Cottage without Clint Dempsey coming to Liverpool would probably be exciting. Charlie Adam building cottages in the Craven district of North Yorkshire would also be a decent bit of business, as would Liverpool bankrolling a degree for the player at Craven College. All the moves would be good.
But anyhow, Fulham's adamant about not letting Dempsey go, which is either an indication that they're not letting Dempsey go, or they want far more than the player's actually worth. If the Gylfi Sigurðsson saga is actually indicative of the way Brendan Rodgers wants to do business, however, it's not likely that Liverpool will find themselves in a position where they're paying over the odds for an older player who'll be expected to provide more foundation than future.
As encouraging as it was to see Adam Morgan, Raheem Sterling, and Suso during the second half of Saturday's draw with Toronto, Liverpool's still very much in need of cover across the forward line. As it stands, Fabio Borini will be the only striker in the senior squad that has both experience and a solid future with the club as the season starts in full. Talk of a move for Andy Carroll has dried up across the board but could still be in the works, and over the weekend there was a brief panic about Juventus wanting to pair Robin van Persie with Luis Suarez in their attack.
Regardless of what happens there--I'd be stunned if Suarez left, less so (but disappointed) if Carroll did--Liverpool still need depth up front badly, and recently there's been an increased focus on Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu. The 18 year-old would very much be one for the future, as he's spent nearly all of his professional career with the Barcelona B squad in Liga Adelante, featuring only once as a substitute for the main squad this season.
Reports now have Barcelona looking for a loan deal rather than a permanent move, which doesn't necessarily match up very well with what Brendan Rodgers is trying to put together. The Express has Liverpool tabling a £7.5million for the player, while QPR is reportedly happy with a loan deal. We'll wait 24 hours and everything will be different, but for now it's encouraging that most of Liverpool's targets--Dempsey aside--have been skillful younger players that are, at least at this stage in their development, excellent fits for Rodgers' system and the club's future.
At the current moment, there's few other targets worth discussing, as the neverending Moussa Sissoko links continue and the club position themselves for an audacious swoop for a Brazilian they found on the internet. Or something. Of course, the names mentioned above might prove unworthy of discussion as well, with the club's dealings (or lack thereof) happening very much behind closed doors. As usual, that's endearing at best and wildly frustrating at worst, and we know just about as much now as we did before.
While you're waiting for something to happen, though, you can watch a compilation of Gerard Deulofeu, mostly because we have to run a compilation of him--he's young, talented, Spanish, and probably won't be coming to Liverpool.