Saturday, July 19, 2008

Liverpool To Enter Eto'o Frame

Samuel Eto'o could make a surprise move to Liverpool if the Premier League club fails in their bid to prise Robbie Keane away from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Cameroonian striker is being offered to Europe's major clubs and many have already previously made contact to ask about his annual salary and transfer fee.

While all those enquiries have failed to lead to a single concrete offer, Barça are determined to sell Eto'o this summer and may lower their demands in the coming weeks.

That would allow Liverpool to make their move and Rafa Benítez believes that the powerful 27-year-old could form an incredible partnership alongside Fernando Torres.

Finances at Anfield may be tight, but following the sale of Peter Crouch to Portsmouth, there maybe some room for negotiation with the Catalan giants.

Manager Rafa Benítez is said to want Keane, but Tottenham will not let their captain go cheaply and his asking price could even rise above the amount Barça are requesting for their striker.

Eto'o has flown back to Barcelona after a promotional trip to Uzbekistan and is due to return to pre-season training with the Blaugrana on Saturday.

Talks are set to be held between the player, his agent, José María Mesalles, and Barcelona and they are predicted to not be easy as the striker has done nothing himself to push for an exit.

Liverpool would be a destination that could attract Eto'o, however, and the promise of Champions League football is the key thing in his list of priorities of any would-be suitor.

Pep Guardiola has stated that if no deal can be done and the goalscorer remains then he will have no problems incorporating him into his squad for the new season.

Barcelona's board have said on various occasions that they want to off-load the forward, who joined the club four years ago from Real Mallorca, and buy a replacement.

Lee Ready For Liverpool Start

Liverpool assistant, Sammy Lee, is desperate for the new season to get underway so that his side can start competing.

Former Kop player and current coach Sammy Lee, 49, has revealed on the clubs official website that he is 'desperate' for the new campaign to get underway.

Lee has been impressed with what he has seen so far in training, and sees no reason if the squad continue in the manner they have started, why they cannot transmit this optimism and enthusiasm onto the pitch.

On their Switzerland training camp, Lee said: "The boys are applying themselves very well and the facilities are fantastic. The hotel is excellent, the playing surface is terrific... it's nice to change the environment and the players appreciate this."

On their current priorities concerning preparation, the former Bolton boss mentioned: "Pre-season is primarily to do with fitness but I think when you wear the Liverpool shirt, the result is always important. You don't want to go anywhere and get beaten. We have other objectives: working on fitness; tactical awareness; getting the understanding between players and ensuring the members of the squad all get playing minutes."

Speaking on his relationship with head coach Rafa Benitez, Lee spoke warmly: "We are trying to develop and hopefully that will evolve over the years. He is a great person to work with and I've said before that his attention to detail is fantastic. I feel privileged to be back at Liverpool."

He concluded by mentioning his ambitions for this squad: "We have to believe we can be better than the others top teams - not just as good as them. Liverpool Football Club doesn't accept second best. Everyone is working tirelessly to get where we believe we should be."

Liverpool face a friendly game in Poland on Saturday, against Wisla Krakow.

Adios Voronin, Hola Barry?

Newspaper speculation suggests Benitez is ready to sell Voronin in order to finance the Barry move.

The long-drawn out transfer story involving Gareth Barry has taken another twist today. Press focus has shifted back toward Liverpool, with the Daily Mirror suggesting that the Anfield club are ready to offload Voronin, in an effort to raise funds to meet Aston Villa's valuation of their captain.

The midlands club are holding out for £18million, and refuse to settle for anything less for their number 6 who has been with them since 1997.

The sale of Voronin is likely to bolster Benitez's kitty with an extra £3million. With Peter Crouch's Portsmouth move also granting Liverpool an added £11million, they may be able to land the man they deem perfect to partner Gerrard, in a three-man midfield anchored by Mascherano.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will be assessing his squad over the next few weeks as his side see through their pre-season regime.

On Saturday 19th July they face Wisla Krakow, in Poland.

Pellegrino Pleased With Anfield Return

Mauricio Pellegrino, who played at Anfield for a brief spell as a defender, has returned to Liverpool as a first team coach.

The Argentine had a brief and fairly forgettable experience on Merseyside in 2005 towards the end of an established career in which he played for an unbreakable Valencia side as well as Barcelona.

Having retired in 2006, he has been called upon by Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez for a third time. The tactician favoured him at Valencia, then brought him to Anfield and will now be requiring his services in a coaching role.

"I am really proud and pleased because for me it is a nice opportunity to work for this club again," Pellegrino told Liverpoolfctv.

"Rafa has shown his trust in me once again and I'll try to do the best for the club and do my best to repay him.

"It was a surprise to get the call because I was training with the youth team in Valencia and studying to finish my qualification to become a professional trainer.

"But when Rafa got in touch I knew I had to act quickly and after I had talked to my family and they told me they understood, it was a great opportunity that I could not turn down.

"I will try to do as much as I can for this club and I hope to enjoy working with the Liverpool players.

"It has changed a lot since I was last at Liverpool.

"There are maybe 15 new players but the medical staff and people who work in Melwood are the same.

"There's still the likes of Gerrard, Carra, Sami, Alonso and Finnan - but the rest are new faces.

"It's a different sensation for me. My work has changed completely, my role at the club is very different and every day I am thinking about how I can improve our team; whereas before, when I was player, I would just focus on what I was doing in the session."

Hammill Ties Up Blackpool Loan

Blackpool have completed the signing of Liverpool youngster Adam Hammill on a six-month loan deal. confirmed earlier on Friday that Hammill was set to move to Bloomfield Road following interest from a clutch of clubs.

The winger, who spent last season on loan at Southampton, had been keen to gain further experience away from Anfield.

Hammill admits that Blackpool had always been his preferred choice and he is looking forward to playing for Simon Grayson's side.

"We've known for the last few weeks that this is the club I wanted to join," Hammill told the club's official website.

"There's been a lot of interest, but I met Simon a few weeks back and he come across very pleasant - and we decided this was the best club for me.

"He told me about his plans for the season, his ambitions - and I was in them - that was enough for me.

"I'm just looking to have a successful season here and I can't wait til the season starts and gets the ball rolling."

Baggies Confim Carson Deal

West Brom have completed the £3.25million signing of England international Scott Carson from Liverpool.

As revealed by, Carson has signed a four-year deal at The Hawthorns with the club having the option of adding another year to the deal.

Carson has decided to leave Liverpool after dropping further down the pecking order at Anfield following the signing of Brazilian keeper Diego Cavaleri.

Stoke made the first move for the former Leeds man after agreeing a fee with Liverpool, but pulled out of a deal after learning that other clubs had also joined the race for Carson.

Carson is Baggies boss Tony Mowbray's seventh signing of the summer following the arrivals of Roman Bednar, Luke Moore, Do-heon Kim, Graham Dorrans, Gianni Zuiverloon and Marek Cech.

The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, will battle it out with Dean Kiely for the No.1 shirt at West Brom this season.

Pool Close To Keane Capture?

The Liverpool Echo reports that the Reds are close to landing Tottenham Hotspur vice-captain Robbie Keane.

The Reds have had a busy summer thus far and made few friends in their pursuit of Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry.

As that move looks to have broken down due to the Reds demanding too much from Juventus for Xabi Alonso - the man Barry was set to replace - their attentions have since diverted to bolstering their forward line, with Keane thought to be top of the billing.

The Irishman has become a fan-favourite at White Hart Lane - essentially captain due to Ledley King's constant string of injuries - and has been prolific in front of goal throughout his time in London, particularly alongside Dimitar Berbatov, who is also being chased by one of the Big Four - Manchester United.

The Echo reports that a deal for the player to move to Merseyside is just 48 hours away from completion, as Spurs coach Juande Ramos is resigned to losing a star player or two this summer in order to balance the books.

Keane, thought to be a boyhood fan of Liverpool, is said to be eager for the switch, which would likely bring the total value of his transfers throughout his career well over £50 million.