Friday, May 29, 2009

Liverpool Legend Delighted With Torres' Dedication To Anfield

The reactions of delighted fans and pundits alike have begun to circulate as Fernando Torres committed his footballing prowess to Liverpool FC until the summer of 2014.

One such fan included in the swarms of those thrilled by the news is former Reds striker David Fairclough. Playing his football for the Anfield outfit during the late seventies, Fairclough has achieved something of a legendary status at the club, and the star was quick to voice his opinion on the re-signing of 'Pool's Spanish diamond.

"I'm absolutely delighted, as I think all Liverpool fans will be," Fairclough told Setanta Sports.

"It’s fantastic for Liverpool as a club, and it shows they’re going in the right place. Big players of the likes of Steven Gerrard and now Fernando Torres are willing to commit their futures to Liverpool.

"I think it can only be a good sign to other players who perhaps look at Liverpool as maybe a team that they might be interested in joining."

Following in footsteps of Steven Gerrard, Fairclough feels that Torres' commitment to the club has sent out a message to opposing teams and potential future signings alike that Liverpool are getting stronger, and that a lot should be expected from the club in the near future.

"[Torres'] first year was incredible and we all thought he was going to emulate that in his second season. The fact he was so involved in the European Championships with Spain maybe worked against him slightly, and he’s had a stop-start second season," the retired star went on.

"But we’re all hoping he’ll get the necessary rest that he needs to recharge the batteries, and come back as good as ever.

"He has that pace, drive, and is the type of player that can get the fans out of their seats. He can pull off the spectacular and Liverpool fans took him to their hearts almost immediately.

"He’s exactly the type of player Liverpool were looking for."

Torres Signs New Contract At Liverpool FC

Fernando Torres has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new contract at Anfield.

The Spanish striker, who penned a six-year deal on his arrival in 2007, has agreed improved terms and an extended deal which ties him to the club for a further year until 2014.

Torres’ fresh package is a reward for the impressive start he has made to his time in England, having netted 50 goals in his first two seasons for Liverpool.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said: “Fernando is one of the best strikers in the game today and, at his age, can only get better.

“Every major side would want him in their team, but he has shown how much he wants to achieve success at Liverpool by committing his future to the club.

“He’s a special talent, but still has the hunger to improve his game.”

Torres joins Dirk Kuyt, Daniel Agger, Steven Gerrard and Benitez in agreeing new deals at Anfield over the past two months.

Benitez added: “We’ve made huge progress this season and now we need to take the next step. We are building something special here and securing such important players on long-term deals means we can move forward with confidence.

“This sends out a very positive message to everyone connected with the club.”

Meanwhile, Benitez has revealed how Sami Hyypia’s departure this summer could open the first-team door for one of the club’s young defenders.

England youth international Martin Kelly and Spanish-U21 Mikel San Jose are among a clutch of budding centre-backs.

While Benitez is refusing to rule out adding to his defensive ranks this summer, the Spaniard is set to include several youngsters in his pre-season plans.

He said: “We will see the young players in pre-season and we can work on different scenarios. We will see all of them and after decide. They are young players with a great future here.”

Liverpool Target Villa Could Stay At Valencia

Valencia striker David Villa says he could snub a big-money move even though his team failed to reach the Champions League.

The Spain striker has been tipped to join Liverpool or Real Madrid and had previously indicated he was desperate to play in the Champions League next campaign.

But the £25million-rated hitman said: 'I believe it lacks respect to discredit the Europa League.

'One of the things that made this club great was winning the UEFA Cup,'

'The offers that will arrive are going to arrive at the club, not to me,' he added.

'I am contracted for five years with Valencia and even if they choose to sell me, it is still my decision whether or not to leave.'

Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez Welcomes Liverpool Interest

Javi Martinez has welcomed Liverpool's interest in his services but is refusing to let the rumours and speculation affect him as he focuses on Athletic Club's last game of the season.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez is reported to be lining up a move for the 20-year-old midfielder as he aims to bolster his squad in a bid to go one better next term and lift the Premier League title.

Liverpool have yet to make any formal move for Martinez and he is not allowing himself to consider a transfer. He has, however, admitted that any player would have to consider joining the English outfit.

"I am absolutely calm, the rumours do not disturb me," he told reporters in Bilbao.

"If I receive an offer, I will deal with it with the club.

"Liverpool are a great team with a great history and any player would like to go there."

Martinez has been touted as a possible replacement for Xabi Alonso, but he could also be a player signed to bolster the midfield’s depth if the Spanish international remains at Anfield.

Ryan Babel Not Ready To Leave Liverpool

The agent of Ryan Babel has moved to quash recent reports claiming that he could be on his way out of Liverpool during the close-season.

It was alleged on Wednesday that the 22-year-old had been informed by Reds manager Rafa Benitez that he can move on this summer as he cannot guarantee him regular football in the starting eleven next season.

It was claimed earlier on Thursday that the 30-time capped Netherlands international could complete a switch to either the Primera Division or Serie A in time for the start of the 2009/10 campaign, while Tottenham Hotspur were mentioned as a possible destination should he wish to stay in England.

However, the former Ajax star's representative Winnie Haatrecht inists that the versatile forward has no plans to head for the exit doors at Anfield until he has left his mark on the club.

"We'll get around the table with Mr. Benitez soon to evaluate the season," Haatrecht told Sportwereld.

"He has not had the time to establish himself.

"Ryan left Ajax for Liverpool because he wanted to win trophies and, so far, he hasn't succeeded.

"Ryan wants to leave Liverpool as a first-team player with a prize in his pocket. He is not ready to go."

Juventus Pushing For Liverpool Stopper Andrea Dossena

Juventus are pushing ahead with plans to strengthen their defence and they are looking at Liverpool's Andrea Dossena for the left flank, according to Il Corriere Dello Sport.

The report suggests directors at Vinovo have highlighted the Italian international as their next priority. Dossena has not enjoyed the best of seasons at Anfield after moving there from Udinese last year. His appearances have been limited under Rafael Benitez, leading to speculation that his future there is in doubt.

Juve are monitoring the situation carefully as they plan to strengthen their back line further. Having already signed Fabio Cannavaro, Juve would like to add some muscle on the left. Paolo De Ceglie's lack of experience and Cristian Molinaro's inconsistency has led to a decision being made in Turin that a hardened, more experienced stopper is needed.

If the Old Lady fail to land Dossena, they have Lyon's Fabio Grosso and Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov in mind. The latter two could be hard to sign. Grosso has claimed he is happy in France, while the Aquilotti are likely to play hard ball over Kolarov.

Liverpool's Fernando Torres Marries Childhood Sweetheart In Front Of Just Two Guests

According to a report in the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, Liverpool' striker Fernando Torres has married his childhood sweetheart, Olalla Dominguez.

Apparently, the 24-year-old Spain international and 23-year-old Olalla, who is seven months pregnant, travelled to a small town called El Escorial north of Madrid last Wednesday where the low-key wedding was played out.

So secret was the ceremony that the couple, who have been together for eight years, wed in front of only two guests.

"It was hardly a ceremony fit for a superstar. It was small and romantic, but there was nothing glam about the day at all," an inside source is quoted as saying.

Olalla, who studies the equivalent of an Open University course, last year described Torres as, "[a] very shy and a very good person. He is the man of my life."

It is claimed that the pair may throw a much larger celebration at a later date.

"Fans expect something lavish from a local hero. They may be planning a bigger public do," the inside source added.

It was announce on Thursday that Torres had agreed a new four-year deal with Liverpool, keeping him at Anfield until 2013 with an option to extend the contract by a further year.

Danijel Pranjic Confirms Interest In Potential Liverpool Move

Danijel Pranjic, the Hereenveen winger who scored 16 goals for the Eredivisie club this season, helping them win the Dutch Cup in the process, has reacted favourably to the rumours linking him with with a potential move to join up with Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

Despite his keenness on swapping the Netherlands for England, Pranjic claims that he would prefer a move to Spain, because of the slower pace of the game and the sunshine. Still, should Benitez get in touch, he could not turn a club like the Merseyside giants down.

"For me it is really, really incredible if I imagine I can play for Liverpool," Pranjic told Sky Sports News.

"It is a dream for every player; it is the biggest club in England.

"I am very fast - I can run a lot and I think that is what you need in England.

"If I can choose between England, or maybe Spain, I would choose Spain because I like that kind of football, that kind of life.

"I like good weather and in England it is always raining, which is what I don't like about England.

"But if Liverpool come for me, of course, I could not say no."

Liverpool Midfielder Javier Mascherano Denies Barcelona Link

Liverpool's midfield monster, Javier Mascherano, has once again reaffirmed his intent to stay at Anfield, brushing off any claims that a move to Barcelona was a strong possibility.

Honouring his five-year contract with the Reds, the Argentine claims that he only has eyes for Liverpool - especially since becoming an integral part of Rafa Benitez's well-drilled midfield.

Reports stating that Mascherano is leaving Anfield has the 24-year-old slightly miffed after making it obvious on several occasions that his heart lies with Liverpool - even if the link is with the reigning Champions League title holders.

"I still have three years on my contract with Liverpool and I am happy there," the Argentina captain told TyC Sports.

"I am comfortable and thinking only of Liverpool. I don't know anything about an approach from Barcelona or any other club."

The beginning of May brought some uncertainty regarding Mascherano's future, but it is clear at this point - by his own admissions - that he is happy where he is.