Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fans Still Hope To Buy Liverpool

ShareLiverpoolFC founder Rogan Taylor has not given up hope of buying Liverpool in a joint venture with fans' group the Spirit of Shankly.

Liverpool's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett received a 12-month extension on £350m worth of bank loans secured against the club last week.

But Taylor told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It's another season and it will have to be restructured again.

"It costs you a lot of money when banks do this for you."

Taylor, a football academic at the University of Liverpool, is not convinced the renegotiation of debt between the American owners, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia is a good thing.

"Debt is being added to debt and that's a deeply depressing situation for Liverpool fans," said Taylor.

Taylor believes the concept of ShareLiverpoolFC, where fans would pay £500 for one share and run the club along the lines of FC Barcelona, is a viable alternative.

"The ShareLiverpoolFC - Spirit of Shankly proposal offers an opportunity to get the club on a firm basis.

"If the club was considerably less in debt and had a firm, long-term basis for paying back what debt there was in it, borrowing the money to build the stadium wouldn't be a particularly difficult issue."

Taylor's initial proposal sought Liverpool fans willing to pay £5,000 for a single share, which has since been reduced to 10% of that figure.

Questions have been raised about the viability of a fans' takeover on such a large scale but despite the doubters, Taylor is adamant it can be done.

"It's a one-off piece of Liverpool FC through ShareLiverpoolFC," he said.

"Nobody will ever own more of it than you do, now that's got intrinsic value hasn't it?

"Because these are not simple issues it's sometimes difficult for people to grasp," said Taylor.

Liverpool Look To Cattermole & Turner As Xabi Alonso Nears Real Madrid

Reports from the UK indicate that Real Madrid are nearer than ever to realising their ambition of signing Xabi Alonso from Liverpool, who in turn have already singled out the midfielder's potential replacement.

The Reds and the Blancos have refused to budge from their respective valuations of the Basque star all summer, but it is thought that a middle-ground figure of around €34 million could be agreed by the weekend.

Alonso's departure would leave a sizeable hole in Liverpool's midfield, given the enormous impact he had last season, and recent reports have suggested that Roma's Alberto Aquilani could fill the void.

However, it would seem that Rafael Benitez - who has stated that he wants Xabi to stay put - will turn to English alternatives if his prized playmaker returns to his homeland.

The Reds were briefly linked with Lee Cattermole in the not-too-distant past, and now The Daily Mail claims that they could use part of Alonso's transfer fee to fund a £12m bid for the Wigan Athletic youngster.

Furthermore, the newspaper suggests that Benitez will attempt to bolster his back line by offering Hull City £5.5m for their star centre-back, Michael Turner.

The Latics have already knocked back an approach for Cattermole from Steve Bruce's Sunderland, while Tigers boss Phil Brown has stated that the club won't consider anything less than a "ridiculous bid" for Turner.

Liverpool In Negotiations With Roma For Alberto Aquilani

Liverpool are in negotiations with Roma concerning the potential switch of Alberto Aquilani to Anfield, adding further fuel to the speculation that Xabi Alonso is set to depart the club soon.

Reds manager Rafa Bentiez has reportedly told Alonso, who continues to be linked with Real Madrid, that he must get his future sorted out by the end of the week, but it seems a possible replacement for the Basque has already been lined up.

British broadsheet newspaper The Guardian claims that Liverpool are in talks regarding bringing Aquilani to England, as Benitez is under pressure to find a replacement for Alonso quickly, as the English season begins on August 15.

A possible price tag of £16 million for the 25-year-old has been mooted in some quarters, with Roma hinting last week that they would be prepared to sell the player should the right offer come in.

Dossena Move On Hold

Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena's proposed move to Napoli has been delayed due to the player's wage demands.

The Reds have accepted a £4million offer for the Italy international, who failed to make an impact in his debut campaign in England.

Napoli sporting director Pierpaolo Marino insists there will be further talks with the full-back, but his £2million-a-year salary at Anfield is a problem.

Marino said: "Dossena? We have taken a break in order to reflect on this. The move is therefore on hold.

"There are no immediate prospects. The president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] has spoken to [Rafa] Benitez, but there is some distance with the player."

Liverpool FC Teenager Victor Palsson’s Shock And Awe To Play Alongside Steven Gerrard

Icelandic teenager Victor Palsson was so overawed to be playing alongside Steven Gerrard last week he had to ask the Liverpool star if he minded him being captain of the reserves.

Palsson, 18, only joined Liverpool in January from Danish side Aarhus and looks set to be installed as the skipper of the Anfield club’s second string this season. He held on to the armband on Tuesday night when he captained the side to a 1-0 pre-season friendly victory at Cambridge United.

But when Gerrard turned up last week at short notice following his court case to play in the second string’s 2-2 draw at Tranmere, Palsson was not sure how to react.

The Iceland under-19 said: “It was all a bit of a surprise, we were all excited. But when Steven Gerrard turned up in the dressing room I felt I had to ask him whether he minded that I was to have the captain’s armband and not him.

“(Reserve team manager) John McMahon wanted me to do the job, and Steven was very good about it and told me to get on with it.”

The midfielder added: “Playing alongside him was a great experience, he was talking to me and helping me all the time.”

Palsson is rated highly at Liverpool, as is Argentinean starlet Gerardo Bruna, the former Real Madrid player scoring the winner at Cambridge.

The reserves’ next game is a friendly away to Notts County tomorrow.

Albert Riera Determined To Improve At Liverpool This Season

Liverpool winger Albert Riera is looking to build on his impressive displays at the club last season, and to improve once more over the forthcoming season, now that he has fully acclimatised to English football.

Riera played 40 games for the Reds last season, scoring five goals, and the 27-year-old is hoping to help the Merseysiders go one better than their runners-up spot last season, and end the long wait for a league title, with the team's results against the 'big four' last season showing that they were capable of doing so.

"I always think I can be better, but I think for my first season at Anfield I did okay," the Balearic Islander told 'Pool's official website.

"It's never easy for a player moving to a new club. Adapting wasn't as difficult for me because I'd been in England before. I can improve and I have to. I know that and I will be trying to do that in the new season.

"The Champions League and Premier League are massive and I enjoy taking part in them. The fact that we had some terrific results against good opponents obviously helps. We did well against United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid, home and away.

"The only real disappointment in those big games came when we faced Chelsea at home in the European Cup. Apart from that, the other results show that we are a good team and are ready to fight for the title. We were able to go away from home against top sides and do well. That's what you need."

Riera also asserted that he feels Rafa Benitez's side do have the mentality to handle the pressure of a title challenge, despite many observers feeling that they choked slightly when the heat rose in last season's race for the Premier League crown.

"I realised straight away when I came here that the mentality was different to what I'd experienced. It is a winning attitude and that means pressure is no problem for us," he add.

"I think you always have to improve, all of us. You do that by working harder. I'm sure we will all be doing exactly that."

Krisztian Nemeth Hoping For Liverpool Breakthrough This Season

Liverpool striker Krisztian Nemeth is optimistic that his good showing in the Reds' pre-season tour of Asia is an indicator that he is set to make an impression on the Anfield first team this year.

Nemeth has attracted plaudits for his performances in the Reds' pre-season fixtures, and capped his tour of Asia by bagging a brace in the side's 5-0 drubbing of Singapore.

After spending much of last season on the sidelines following good performances in the title-winning Liverpool reserve team in 2007-08, the 20-year-old now hopes he can move things up a level in the season to come.

"Last year I was injured - I hope this year will be better," the player told the Reds' official website.

"I am young and I have been learning every day out here. The Singapore game was very good after two weeks' hard work. Every day we've had two training sessions - it's been really hard.

"But we showed in this game that we are getting fit. We enjoyed it.

"Dirk [Kuyt] gave me two very good passes and I was happy to score. I'm happy, I've enjoyed myself and the fans in Asia have been unbelievable."

Real Madrid Complete Alvaro Arbeloa Transfer From Liverpool

Real Madrid have confirmed on their official website that they have reached an agreement with Liverpool for the transfer of Alvaro Arbeloa.

The full-back will sign a five-year contract after successfully passing his medicals on Wednesday.

Dr. Carlos Diez, who administered the examinations which included blood and urine tests as well as electrocardiogram, radiology and musculoskeletal scans, said, “He’s been subjected to a standard examination.

“The results of every test are very satisfactory. He’s delighted about playing for Real Madrid. It’s always been his dream and he can’t wait to join his team-mates.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool released a statement on their own website confirming that Madrid will pay ₤3.5 million, or €4m, for Arbeloa, but did not elaborate on how the payment will be made, considering it was the only stumbling block prior to the agreement.

The 26-year-old is the third player from the Madrid youth academy to be brought back to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, after Alvaro Negredo and Esteban Granero.