Hodgson in dark over transfer budget

BY foxsports • September 11, 2010

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is hoping for a January transfer budget but unsure how much to expect given the club's financial situation.

The 62-year-old had hoped to use the surplus to bring in a striker but there was not the time with Mascherano's move to the Spanish champions not completed until a couple of days before the deadline.

With the club still up for sale and uncertainty surrounding what might happen early next month when owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have to refinance or repay their £237million-plus loan to the Royal Bank of Scotland, Hodgson does not know whether that money will still be available in four months' time.

Asked whether he would still be able to spend the money which he did not use in August the Liverpool manager said: "I would hope so but I don't know. I don't know what funds I have for January.

"I don't know quite how much [was available in August] - but with the limited amount of time at our disposal and the very limited market it wouldn't have been possible for me to find the striker I wanted anyway.

"The situation with the club's funds is extremely complicated and it would be very foolish for me to start making statements on that front.

"Perhaps by January the club will be under new ownership and I'll have to see what the new ownership has in mind."

Hodgson knows the squad still needs improvement but he has had to tailor his transfer dealings to solve specific problems rather than being able to strengthen across the board.

By bringing in the likes of Joe Cole, Paul Konchesky and Danny Wilson he boosted the English/home-grown quota, while Denmark international Christian Poulsen and Portugal's Raul Meireles were brought in to fill holes left by Mascherano and Alberto Aquilani, now on loan at Juventus.

All the new arrivals are set to be included in the squad for tomorrow's match at Birmingham.

"[Buying] home-grown is nice and we have to think more about it because of the new rules that came into effect on September 2 with the 25-man squad," said the Reds boss.

"If you want to get the full benefit of your squad you have to fill your quota of eight, if you're talking about seniors.

"What is important when you are looking to bring in very high-profile players is realising there is a definite place for them in the team and they are not going to clash with another high-profile player.

"Otherwise you find yourself having two wonderful players but you can't find a place for them in your team because they clash.

"The same goes for Meireles who, alongside Poulsen, is one of the midfield players replacing Mascherano and Aquilani.

"Cole, Poulsen, Meireles and Konchesky: each of those players fit very much into the profile of what we were looking for at the club.

"We thought we needed that type of player in that position and I am very pleased to welcome those.

"In our ideal world we may have had one or two other positions pencilled in to improve our squad but I am still pretty satisfied with the ones we got."

At St Andrew's on Sunday, Liverpool will seek to end a run of just one win in their last 10 Premier League away matches.

The two clubs have drawn their last six encounters and Hodgson is expecting another tough test from Alex McLeish's side.

"Birmingham will be similarly strong as last season, when they showed what a good team they were and how dangerous they were and their home form was very good.

"We know Sunday's match will provide a very stern test."

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