Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Riera Moves To LiverpooL

Liverpool have signed Spain winger Albert Riera from Espanyol for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old has signed a four-year contract at Anfield after choosing Rafael Benitez's side over a host of other clubs including neighbours Everton.

Riera, who has been given the number 11 shirt at Anfield, has previously played in the Premier League in the 2005-06 season when he was on loan at Manchester City.

Vitor Flora Joins Liverpool FC

Liverpool have signed Brazilian striker Vitor Flora on a free transfer.

The 18-year-old spent last season playing in his homeland with Botafogo and has signed a contract until 2010.

He holds an Italian passport so he does not require a work permit, however, he will need to gain international clearance before playing for the Reds.

Flora joins fellow countrymen Lucas Leiva and Fabio Aurelio at Anfield and could make his debut for Liverpool reserves on Tuesday night.

The signings of pacey left-footed forward Flora and Gulacsi means manager Rafael Benitez has brought inv seven players this summer and the Spaniard is also hopeful of completing a deal for Espanyol winger Albert Riera, 26, before the end of the transfer window on Monday.

Reds Confirm Torres Injury

Liverpool have today confirmed Fernando Torres suffered a hamstring tear during the Reds' goalless draw at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Liverpool striker limped off during the first half of the match and has been forced to withdraw from the Spanish squad for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia.

"A scan this afternoon has confirmed a hamstring tear in Fernando's right leg. He is expected to be out for between two and three weeks," said a club spokesman.

Reds Sign Young Hungarian Keeper

Liverpool have completed the permanent transfer of Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi on a two-year contract.

The 18-year-old spent last season on loan with the Reds and was a part of the club's Treble-winning reserve side.

And Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has now opted to secure Gulacsi's services until 2010 as back-up to first-choice shot-stopper Jose Reina.

Gulacsi follows Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon in joining from MTK Hungaria and he is delighted to be staying on Merseyside.

"I am very proud to have signed for Liverpool," Gulacsi told Liverpool's official website.

"It's a dream for me to be working at such a great club, with expert trainers and alongside one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Jose Reina.

"After spending one year on loan I had no hesitation in agreeing to sign a permanent contract. To have signed for Liverpool is an unbelievable feeling."

Stuttgart Eye Reds Youngster

Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart are planning on making a move for Liverpool starlet Astrit Ajdarevic.

The former Sweden U17 playmaker moved to Anfield in December 2006, making his debut for the Reds youth team a month later.

He is held in high regard on Merseyside but may be allowed to leave the club on loan in order to pick up valuable first team experience.

The 18-year-old admits he would welcome the opportunity to test himself in Germany and hopes an agreement can be reached.

"I was down there for two days and trained with them (Stuttgart)," Ajdarevic told Swedish Eurosport.

"Then I met the president, the coaches and many others at the club. They are definitely interested."

Liverpool Boss Benitez Says Losing Gerrard & Torres Is A Problem

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is waiting to know the exact nature of Fernando Torres’ hamstring injury, while acknowledging that to lose the star striker close on the heels of captain Steven Gerrard’s groin surgery, is a problem.

The Spain international damaged his hamstring in the first half during Sunday’s stalemate at Aston Villa, and on first reports it appears that the 24-year-old could be out for a minimum of two weeks although a scan will determine the extent of the problem.

England midfielder Gerrard is recovering after an operation and is likely to be out for 15 days. As such, the influential Reds duo is doubtful for September 13 showdown with defending champions Manchester United at Anfield.

Benitez expressed optimism that the international break has come as a relief as that will give them time to work on the fitness.

He said in the Liverpool Echo: “He (Torres) will have a scan today. Clearly when you lose Steven Gerrard and then you lose Torres, it is always a problem.

“The only positive news is to have an international break now. At least they will have time to recover and we will see.

“It will be 10-15 days and Gerrard can maybe lose only one game. Torres could be more or less the same. It will be important to lose them for one game but not the worst situation.”

Voronin Seals Loan Switch

Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin has agreed a one-year loan deal with German side Hertha Berlin, the Anfield club have announced.

The Ukraine international signed for Liverpool on a Bosman free transfer last summer and scored six goals in 27 appearances.

However, the impact of Fernando Torres restricted his first-team opportunities and Robbie Keane's arrival this summer forced him further down the pecking order, prompting the forward to move back to the Bundesliga, where he previously played for Bayer Leverkusen, Cologne, Mainz and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Benitez: Alonso Will Stay

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has reiterated that he wants to keep Xabi Alonso at Anfield.

The midfielder has been linked with Juventus and Arsenal throughout the summer transfer window and it was thought he could leave to finance a move for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry.

However, with a deal for Barry having been ruled out last week, Benitez has confirmed he will not be allowing Alonso to leave in any deadline day deal.

The former Valencia boss has always maintained the stance that he did not want to sell Alonso and he does not expect the Spain international to leave Merseyside.

"I think that Alonso will be staying," Benitez told the Liverpool Echo.

Finnan Completes Espanyol Switch

Espanyol have signed Liverpool full-back Steve Finnan on a two-year contract, the Primera Liga club have announced.

The 32-year-old Republic of Ireland international, who has spent the last five seasons at Liverpool, will help provide defensive cover at Espanyol following the recent departure of right-back Pablo Zabaleta to Manchester City.

Finnan will be on international duty for the next week or so but Espanyol hope he will be available to make his debut for Bartolome Marquez's side in the home match against Getafe on September 21.