Date: 17th August 2006 at 3:53pm
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Long term target, Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt, has gone to Liverpool for a reported £11m, when all Shepherd was prepared to put up was £5m. Which must have left poor Roeder rather embarrassed.

Officially it comes down to the price of the player, but was Roeder totally satisfied with what he saw? If he was going to make a move, it had to be straight after the World Cup, because the Dutchman had a poor competition and his price was at rock bottom.

Since then his form has improved, but as Roeder became more impressed by what he saw, the price went through the roof. Liverpool, too, weren’t too keen back in June when he was struggling to find form in Germany. And even last week, they seemed well short of 100% commitment to the deal. As for Fat Fred and Roeder, there was even talk that Kuyt was coming back to Tyneside on United’s private plane – and some television stations planned to be at Newcastle airport when it landed just before midnight.

But this was never going to be the case, as Liverpool finally made a move and Kuyt insisted Liverpool was his dream move.

Liverpool have taken a risk on him, but with four class strikers already at the club, it is a risk they can afford. Unlike Newcastle, who don’t have the financial clout of the Scousers, and the next man they bring in MUST be worth the money.

Is Kuyt worth the money? Who knows. But I’ll tell you one thing … Craig Bellamy is the bargain of the close-season. Mark my words!