Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Liverpool In Race To Sign Roy Hodgson Before England Are Tempted

Liverpool hope to agree a deal with Roy Hodgson to become their new manager before England's make-or-break game against Slovenia tomorrow, despite concerns the appointment will prompt Kenny Dalglish to reconsider his future at the club.

Anfield officials had been confident of appointing the Fulham manager as successor to Rafael Benítez by the end of this week, only for the uncertainty over Fabio Capello's position should England fail to qualify from their World Cup group to hasten their approach. Hodgson is considered a strong candidate for the England job should Capello quit.

Mindful of a potential rival for their first choice to replace Benítez, the Liverpool board is now looking to secure an agreement from Hodgson before England's fate in Group C is determined. The 62-year-old is well aware of Liverpool's interest and his likely transfer budget at Anfield but may prefer to delay a decision on his future until after the game in Port Elizabeth.

An added complication for the Liverpool hierarchy, and particularly the managing director, Christian Purslow, is Dalglish's opposition to Hodgson's appointment and his disillusionment with how the process of identifying the new manager has unfolded.

In a statement confirming Benítez's departure this month, Liverpool announced that Dalglish would work alongside Purslow in the search for the club's next manager. Since then, however, Dalglish has made it known that he wants the job due to what he perceives as a lack of better qualified and available candidates.

He is a long-time friend of Hodgson but feels his recommendations to the board have been ignored and that the Fulham manager is not the right man to take Liverpool forward at a critical juncture in their history. The Scot is likely to reconsider his role at Liverpool, which is officially that of a club ambassador with input into the club's youth academy, should Hodgson be installed as manager this week.

New Liverpool FC Manager Will Decide On Who Stays Or Goes

Nobody will be leaving Liverpool until the club has appointed a new manager, according to Christian Purslow.

The Anfield managing director has responded to speculation linking Emiliano Insua with a move to Fiorentina.

The Serie A club are pursuing the youngster but Purslow insists decisions on any departures will be made by Rafael Benitez’s successor as and when he is installed.

“At this moment the only objective of the club is to find a new coach and then to evaluate the whole roster of players with him,” said Purlsow, who is leading the club’s search for a new manager.

“I cannot confirm the interest of Fiorentina for Insua, even if in Italy he is highly regarded, for example at Lazio who often came to see him in person last season.

“I don’t think the player wants to leave Liverpool.

“When and where he’ll do this request, regardless of the difficulties of the club, we’ll talk.”

Purslow knows that Liverpool have more chance of attracting their top managerial targets with the current playing staff in place.

That means moves for the likes of Chelsea target Yossi Benayoun and midfielder Javier Mascherano, who is being linked with Barcelona as well as Inter Milan, will not be sanctioned while the manager’s office remains vacant.

However, Liverpool could be faced with a battle to appoint Roy Hodgson should England fail to make the last 16 at the World Cup tomorrow.

Odds have been slashed for the Fulham manager to replace Fabio Capello, who is expected to be sacked or resign as England manager if his team slip up against Slovenia.

Hodgson heads Liverpool’s shortlist but the 62-year-old is said to have told friends he would accept the England role over any club job in the twilight of his career.

Royal Bank of Scotland Turn Up The Heat On Liverpool FC Owners

The Royal Bank of Scotland are ready to turn up the heat on George Gillett and Tom Hicks to pursue a quick sale of Liverpool Football Club.

Liverpool supporters bombarded RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester with an email campaign recently, aimed at getting the bank to reconsider the financing deal they have in place with the Reds’ co-owners.

A substantial part of Liverpool’s £237m debt is owed to the government-owned RBS and Hicks and Gillett were forced to re-negotiate an extension on the terms of the deal back in spring.

The RBS have made it clear they are prepared to be patient to maximise Liverpool’s hopes of obtaining a successful sale of the club but they do not want it dragging on unnecessarily – as they want to see the Reds flourishing.

An email to one Reds’ fan from Roger Lowry, the RBS’ head of public affairs, read: “We are confident that the Chairman and the Board will be mindful of the need to avoid any unnecessary delay in concluding a sale, as it is in no one’s interest to risk deterioration in the performance of the Club prior to it being sold.

“Our common goal is the long-term success of Liverpool Football Club and the Bank’s primary objective is to ensure financial stability, so that the Club can continue to perform both on and off the football pitch.

“There is little more I can add at this juncture, only to reiterate we are supportive of the steps that have been taken and we hope to have the opportunity to continue our financial support for the Club under its new ownership, once determined.”

Liverpool Set To Appoint Roy Hodgson As Manager On Wednesday, Kenny Dalglish Ponders Exit

Liverpool are desperate to tie up a deal to bring Fulham manager Roy Hodgson to the club as their new manager before England's key World Cup game against Slovenia on Wednesday, according to a report from The Guardian.

However, that move may signal the end of Kenny Dalglish's involvement with the club, as the Scot apparently does not see Hodgson as the man to take the Reds forward at a vital point in their history.

Dalglish, who apparently enjoys a friendly relationship with Hodgson, is known to want the Anfield manager's job himself as he does not believe that there are any better qualified candidates around.

Currently employed as a club ambassador, in a role which also allows him input into the club's youth academy, it is felt Dalglish may decide to leave the club altogether should Hodgson be appointed.

Hodgson himself is aware of his likely transfer budget at Anfield but is also a reported priority target for England should the Three Lions fail to reach the second round the World Cup and current coach Fabio Capello resign from his post.

With England's make or break game against Slovenia on Wednesday, Hodgson is understood to want to wait and see what transpires with the national side before making a firm commitment to Liverpool.

Purslow - Insua Wants To Stay

Liverpool general director Christian Purslow has revealed that Emiliano Insua does not want to leave the club, despite speculation over his future.

The 21-year-old left-back has not had the best of times since moving to Anfield in 2007, and has an uncertain future at the club now that Rafa Benitez has left.

A new Reds manager has yet to be unveiled, and Purslow insists that any discussions on Insua's future will have to wait.

"At this moment the only objective of the club is to find a new coach and then evaluate the whole roster of players with him," he told

"I cannot confirm the interest of Fiorentina for Insua, even if in Italy he is highly regarded, for example at Lazio who last season often came to view him in person.

"I don't think the player wants to leave Liverpool. When and where he'll do this request, regardless of the difficulties of the club, we'll talk.

"I exclude at the moment that everything can be resolved within a few days."

Insua, an Argentina international, moved to Liverpool from Boca Juniors but has not set the Premier League alight since his transfer.

Liverpool Hierarchy Confident They Can Keep Fernando Torres At Club

Liverpool chiefs remain confident that star striker Fernando Torres will spurn Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City to stay at the crisis club for one more season.

The Spain international striker has been at the centre of transfer rumours since the Anfield outfit laboured to a seventh placed Champions League finish last term. With no Champions League football on offer and debt of £351.4 million, a sale had been reported to be on the cards.

According to the News of the World, Torres has been in regular contact with the Reds hierarchy and is happy to welcome expected new manager Roy Hodgson next week. The 26-year old loves life on Merseyside and wants to give Liverpool one more year to sort out their troubles before he seriously considers his future.

Birmingham City Prepare Fresh Bid For Liverpool Winger Ryan Babel

Birmingham City are set to return to the negotiating table to bring Liverpool winger Ryan Babel to the club, according to

Alex McLeish has had a long-term interest in the Holland World Cup 2010 star and had a £9 million move rejected in the New Year. With first team opportunities at a premium at Anfield, a fresh push for the player is now on the cards.

The Blues have been frustrated in their attempt to land Wigan Athletic's Charles N'Zogbia and are seemingly set to switch targets.

Liverpool are understood to be ready to sanction Babel's exit to raise funds for their incoming manager after the Dutchman failed to push on from a promising first season at the club.

Reds Aid South African Charity

A team of 12 UK police officers took time out of their duties at the World Cup to support a local charity.

The group visited the TLC orphanage in Eikenhof, a town 20 kilometres from Johannesberg, to provide the local children with gifts donated by the likes of Liverpool, Stoke City, Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers, Newcastle United and Shrewsbury Town.

UKFPU coordinator Tony Conniford said: "I had the honour of meeting people associated with the TLC orphanage last year when we were working out logistics during the Confederation Cup.

"Through the FA and the UK Football Supporters Federation we were able to link up with two English volunteers who were working at the centre. I knew when we came back for the World Cup that we needed to do something for these kids.

"Most of them have been abandoned, some left in fields and the work done here to care for them and get them adopted is just amazing. Doing this is just a world away from the work we've been doing here around the World Cup and it really just brings you back down to earth."

Chief Superintendent Dave Lewis, from Merseyside Police said: "It was a privilege to visit and bring some happiness to some lovely children who we all hope have a successful future. Their carers do a fantastic job and we wish them well.

"Football is an international game and the children here, like those in Merseyside, love it. They were absolutely delighted with the football gifts that were donated from our local clubs. I've no doubt that they will be wearing the shirts for months to come."

The TLC orphanage was set up over 17 years ago and cares for 70 children; from the day of their birth right through to the age of 17. It is one of the few orphanages in South Africa that takes on children with disabilities and more than 10 per cent of its children are HIV positive. It is run by a small team of volunteers, many of whom have adopted children themselves.