The news yesterday seemed very positive in our attempts to sign the 6’3″ Czech Republic International David Rozehnal. Let’s take a look at that situation and other moves we can make for center-backs. We’ll also take a look at the current situation at left back.
We hope that the transfer of Rozehnal from PSG completes within the next day or so – certainly this week.
This transfer saga seems to have been going on for months â€“ but itâ€™s only a few weeks. The news on this one is good â€“ potentially very good. After Sam bid â‚¤2M for the Czech we have upped our bid to close to â‚¤3M and thatâ€™s too much for Burussia Dortmund â€“ who are reported to have pulled out (the second time that has been reported).
However we need someone to be a starter with Steven Taylor and Rozehnal â€“ at 6â€™ 3â€ – looks the part and can add that extra height we need at the back. He has appeared 26 times for the Czech Republic.
We need one more center-back to make up four counting Rozehnal, Taylor and Ramage â€“ and that could be someone like Sam Hyypia. Sam would not be a starter but his experience will be a great help to our youngsters â€“ for that reason alone we think he would be a good free signing for a couple of years. Of course Sam Hyypia is the perfect player that Allardyce could get the best out of â€“ so he could also play quite a few games for us â€“ his pace being one of the concerns here – but at 6’5″ he also has the height.
We would have preferred Sol Campbell to be honest â€“ who could have also started regularly â€“ but Portsmouth will not let him go â€“ although his contract does run out next summer â€“ and of course we know his girlfriend is from our area.
Curtis Davis has also been mentioned â€“ and while he’s a good player the fee of between â‚¤8M and â‚¤10M seems very high compared with the value of Rozehnal at â‚¤3M. So we think we will mount a bid for Davis only if we cannot get Rozehnal.
We had expected the left back we would go after is Leighton Baines â€“ but a couple of things have happened in the last two weeks. He seems too short at 5’7″ to plug a weakness in our defense â€“ which is a lack of height. Although Nicky Shorey is only a couple of inches taller that Leighton â€“ he seems the one Sam is focusing on. Nicky would be a great buy for us â€“ and we need to ensure we have some back up also â€“ with Babayaro looking to leave the club.
The transfer fee of â‚¤5M seems reasonable for a player who looked comfortable playing for England against Brazil – and Nicky seems an honest player who does a lot of work at the back. We like Nicky a lot and hope that Sam goes after him very shortly. Shorey has played for Reading 231 times and scored 10 goals and is 5â€²9â€³ tall.