Date: 20th August 2008 at 7:52am
Written by:

Now that it looks like the Gareth Barry deal has virtually collapsed, Rafa has to look for other options before the transfer window closes on the 31st of August. One name that has come back into the picture is Albert Riera. I will be the first to say that I do not think Riera is the right man for the job. They say he has improved a lot since the days he played for Manchester City but I think he is still a way back from being a top class player. And now I hear that Espanyol will only sell Riera for £16m when in fact, Rafa values him at only £9m. So yet again, if Rafa does seriously want Reina, there is going to be a problem in negotiating the fee.

One thing I am not understanding is that Rafa wants to strengthen the left hand side of midfield. Now I do not see how the signing of Barry was going to do this. Yes, Barry can play on the left side of midfield but that is not his best position. Barry is more at home in the centre of the park. It would be like a team buying Stevie G and saying he is going to be our right winger. I would not have been too impressed if Barry was signed and he spent 80% of the time playing down our left midfield.

I had previously thought that Rafa may go for Joe Cole to fill the position down the left. Signing Joe Cole would have made much more sense than signing Barry or Riera, but I doubt Joe Cole will leave Chelsea now especially since Robhino is unlikely to join Chelsea. How about Stewart Downing? I would prefer him over Riera any day.