Gerrard to Madrid as Johnson seeks Palace exit
One football site has reported that the Spanish press are in a mass of speculation linking Steven Gerrard to a move to Real Madrid for £30m plus three of Madrid's B team members - centre back Alvaro Arbeloa, midfielder Javi Garcia and striker Ruben de la Red. The site mentioned only one Spanish sports site, Diario AS, whose pages do state the Galacticos' interest in Gerrard, but isn't everyone interested in Gerrard, were he to be offered for sale?
We are to believe Rafael Benitez is content to sell Gerrard after how much he valued the player after the Champions League final, much less in exchange for three unknowns, two of whom have only had a single debut appearance? And to add more hype to this speculation, Gerrard's agent company, SFX, was stated to have good relations with Madrid, having negotiated the arrival of fellow Brits at the Bernabeu, Michael Owen, David Beckham and Jonathan Woodgate.
The sooner Liverpool FC and Gerrard get down to signing an extension the much better. Gerrard's current contract ends 2007. The way Madrid have performed this season we would be looking at Helguera, Zidane and Raul than anyone from their second fiddle. It would be an insult otherwise. Madrid can have Djimi Traore if they wish to grab anyone from Anfield.
Andy Johnson is possibly seeking a move from Crystal Palace as being in the Championship is said to be detrimental to one's hopes of playing for the national team. Johnson clearly has good potential to play for England since his season at the top has shown but to me it's a shame that one cannot be considered for England if they are playing here but not in the top flight. I suspect Palace fans will not be happy to hear this, Johnson is or would be key for their aims to rise back to the Premiership, especially after resigning to losing Wayne Routledge. Johnson could follow the same way to North London, Spurs seem to be busy in bringing new faces to White Hart Lane.
But what if Johnson was to continue scoring well in the Championship, regardless if it leads to Palace's promotion or not? Does that mean he still wouldn't be selected, even for the subs' bench? Personally, if one is good enough in their position they should be open to selection, whether they may play. The Championship and further below use a number of home grown players in their squads, notably because the equivalent players abroad cost more but a number of prospective players who have been bought into the Premiership emerge from Championship level. Danny Murphy, Ian Rush, Ian Wright, Alan Smith (Arsenal forward). Particularly if, like Johnson, a player has come into the Premiership, has shown his potential and is subsequently relegated with his team. Such a player has to rely on bought by a Premiership team to remain within a chance fo playing for England.