Monday, May 31, 2010

Fernando Torres Should Sign For Tottenham, Says Reds Fan Charlotte Jackson

Sky Sports News babe Charlotte Jackson may be a Liverpool fan - but her views on Fernando Torres are unlikely to go down well at Anfield.

In an interview for the Mail On Sunday's Live magazine, the presenter admits even Tottenham Hotspur might be a better place for the Spain striker than on Merseyside.

Revealing a recent conversation with Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton, Jackson hardly got the feeling that Torres was untouchable as the club have been at pains to point out.

'I saw Martin Broughton at Chelsea's Player of the Year dinner, and he refused to tell me we weren't going to sell Torres, said the 30-year-old.

'He said: "We'll let him go to the World Cup. At the moment he's still on board, but it's going to take three years to turn the club around, and at his age..." If it's going to take three years to turn the club around, that's going to coincide with the peak of his career, and he'll want to be playing in Europe. So he should probably go and join Tottenham.'

Sportsmail have already revealed that Chelsea - the team Broughton supports - are lining up a £70million bid for Torres, while Manchester City's interest was all-but-scuppered by their failure to qualify for Champions League football.

The former Setanta presenter also admitted it was difficult to be a calm impartial broadcaster when her team were in the news.

'It's hard not to react when your team is doing well,' she said. Celebrating on-air would not go down well. When Liverpool scored against Man Utd I couldn't resist a quick celebration - off the air - but I was warned not to, just in case I did it on-air by mistake.

'I mean, everyone supports a team and looks for them to win - the problem is that Liverpool are very high profile. If I supported Tranmere I could probably get away with it.'

However, she can be excused for cheering on England in South Africa this summer and will is optimistic about the country's chances.

''I think we will win the World Cup,' she said. 'Everyone always says we fall victim to the hype and the tension, but Fabio Capello has instilled a massive sense of confidence and self-belief.

'We've got a really good draw, although I am a bit worried about the game against the United States, purely because of first-match nerves.'

Reds Urged To Up Wilson Bid

Rangers are waiting for Liverpool to make an improved bid for highly-rated teenager Danny Wilson after they rejected a £2million offer from the Reds.

The Scottish champions confirmed the Anfield club was interested in signing the 18-year-old around two months ago.

Gers manager Walter Smith has revealed the club has recently turned down an offer for the promising youngster.

"We are currently waiting to hear back from Liverpool after we rejected their original £2million offer," he told The Sunday Post.

Left-sided centre-half Wilson has refused his club's attempts to extend his contract - which has just one year remaining.

Rangers would receive just several hundred thousands of pounds in compensation should he leave Ibrox next summer.

Livingston-born Wilson made 25 first-team appearances last season and with his club resigned to losing the hot prospect, they will try and hold out for as much money as the Scottish Football Writers' Young Player of the Year could attract.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain admitted the club had rejected approaches from two English Premier League clubs back in January, with Tottenham strongly linked with a move.

Hicks And Gillett Leave Benitez's Uncertain Future To Liverpool Board

Unpopular Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett will let the Anfield board decide on the future of Rafa Benitez, according to the News of the World.

There has been constant speculation over the future of Benitez, with Inter Milan the latest side linked with the Spaniard. Benitez himself recently said that he wants to stay at Anfield.

He commented last week, “I am very happy here in Liverpool.

“I have always been happy and I want to stay here for a long time – if it is possible.”

However, it appears that managing director Christian Purslow has been unable to give Benitez the financial guarantees that he wants over both transfer budget and the retention of star players.

According to the News of the World, the Liverpool board is questioning Benitez's performance in the last four transfer windows.

It is the board itself that will decide Benitez's future, as Hicks and Gillett have reportedly decided not to take matters into their own hands, given that they have put the club up for sale.

The American pair are joined by Purslow, finance director Phil Nash and commercial director Ian Ayre on the board.

Carragher - Focus On Fourth

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says the club will be concentrating on regaining their place in the top four next season.

The Reds finished the last campaign in a disappointing seventh place after facing strong challenges from the likes of Aston Villa, Manchester City and Tottenham for the final the Champions League spot.

Spurs eventually grabbed the sought after place to break the once dominant hold Liverpool had at the top of the Premier League, alongside Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

But off-the-field turbulence at Anfield has continued to rumble throughout the week and manager Rafa Benitez is unlikely to have the funds he desires to bolster his squad.

And Carragher says his side will focus on climbing back up the table - rather than mounting a strong title challenge - because of the shortage of cash available to their Spanish manager to strengthen.

The England stopper said in The People: "Clubs like Real Madrid and Inter Milan can just throw £100million at new players if they don't win the title.

"But Liverpool can't do that. We have to build. We can't just raid the transfer market.

"Next season, rather than thinking too much about the title, we have to concentrate on getting back in the top four."

Skrtel World Cup Boost

Martin Skrtel handed Slovakia a major boost ahead of the World Cup finals after the Liverpool centre-back completed 90 minutes in an international friendly draw with Cameroon on Saturday evening.

The Reds star turned in a commanding display for the Slovaks as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in Austria - but he did receive a 64th minute yellow card.

Skrtel saw his domestic season with the Reds ended when he sustained a broken metatarsal against Unirea Urziceni in late February.

Slovakia begin their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 15.

Jamie Carragher Fouls Up Signing

Recalled England star Jamie Carragher launched a tirade of abuse as he signed autographs for six-year-olds.

He repeatedly “screamed the F-word” in front of young fans after photographers tried to take a picture of him.

Following a complaint from a devastated mum, the defender was forced to apologize.

Carragher, 32, said he was “mortified” to have upset his young fans.

The Liverpool vice-captain, who himself has a seven-year-old son and six-year-old daughter, told mum Mary Murray: “I’m sorry that your children were distressed.”

But the apology cut little ice with Mrs. Murray. The mum of two said: “I will be encouraging my children to distance themselves from the example set by professional footballers in future. Clearly they don’t know how to behave.”

Carragher’s outburst happened outside a new restaurant in Southport, owned by team-mate Steven Gerrard.

Mrs. Murray, 42, who had waited for two hours with her children Kieran, six, and Jordan, 12, outside the Warehouse Brasserie for the star to arrive, said: “I was absolutely shocked and disgusted.

“He is in a very privileged position as an England football player and many youngsters look up to him.

“But as he walked towards the children he began pointing and shouting at some men further down the street.

“He was just a few feet in front of my youngest, screaming the F word. He looked very aggressive.”

Liverpool FC’s press officer Paul Tyrell apologized to Mrs. Murray in a letter, saying: “On behalf of everybody at the football club, Jamie included, I am sorry that your children were distressed by the player’s behavior. He is mortified that your children were upset.

“It was not something we would expect of Jamie, who has always conducted himself with great dignity.”

Liverpool Trio Figure In England Win

Liverpool trio Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all figured for England in a 2-1 victory over Japan in Austria on Sunday afternoon.

Johnson was handed a starting berth before being substituted at half-time in the Three Lions' final warm-up game ahead of the World Cup finals.

Gerrard and Carragher, meanwhile, played the second half at the UPC Arena.

Marcus Tanaka gave Japan a sixth-minute lead in Graz, but put through his own net after the break. A further own goal by Yuji Nakazawa secured an unconvincing win for England.

Coach Fabio Capello will announce his final 23-man squad for South Africa on Tuesday.

McMahon Ready For Fresh Faces

Reserves boss John McMahon admits he is relishing the prospect of having Academy star Tom Ince at his disposal next season.

The livewire winger, who was in scintillating form for Rodolfo Borrell's U18s side throughout 2009-10, could make the step up to the Reds second string in the new campaign - and McMahon is confident Ince has a bright future ahead of him.

"Ince might be one of the lads who make the progression into the Reserves," McMahon told

"He's been terrific for the U18s and scored lots of goals. He is developing all the time and looks a good prospect."

McMahon believes the arrival of new faces into his squad from the Academy can provide his charges with fresh impetus.

As well as Ince, the Reserves boss expects to see youngsters Conor Coady, Jack Robinson and John Flanagan feature more regularly for his side in 2010-11 after the trio all turned out for the second string last term.

He added: "You might see a bit more of the likes of Conor Coady and Jack Robinson, as well as John Flanagan who has stepped up, done really well and made a positive impression.

"The enthusiasm (of new Academy graduates) is good. It gives us more bodies and another challenge to see how they fit in and go on to progress. It always freshen things up.

"It's good for them to make the step up and it's good for us to get fresh faces and see how they react to what we're trying to teach them."