Thursday, July 15, 2010

Liverpool Bid For Standard Liege Star Steven Defour

Liverpool are being linked with a move for Standard Liege captain Steven Defour, according to several reports in the Belgian press.

The versatile midfielder is thought to be on the verge of leaving the Belgian outfit, despite recently extending his contract with the club.

Defour, who was out injured for much of last season but is still highly-rated in European football circles, is expected to command a fee of around £10 million (€12m).

The player has been linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United as well as the Reds.

Should he move to Anfield he will link up with his former team-mate in Belgium, Milan Jovanovic, who joined the Reds this month.

James Beattie Lined Up For Liverpool Transfer By New Boss Roy Hodgson

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is set to make his first foray into the transfer market by enquiring about the availability of out-of-favour Stoke striker James Beattie.

After initial talks with the Reds money men, Hodgson is said to have been told money is tight and he should not expect to receive the £40million transfer war-chest that has been reported in the media recently.

The former Fulham boss has already identified his strikers as an area of concern, with few options behind injury-prone star man Fernando Torres.

Apart from the largely underwhelming David Ngog and new signing Milan Jovanovic, the Reds have only a few youngsters on their books with little or no first-team experience.

As a result, Hodgson is hoping to bring in an experienced head who can add something different in attack - and believes Beattie fits the bill.

The powerful target man, 32, played under Hodgson at Blackburn Rovers in the late 1990s after coming through the club's youth system.

And Hodgson highly rates the player, believing he will also represent value for money this summer because of his age and his well-publicized bust-up with Stoke City manager Tony Pulis last season.

Beattie is not seen as a long-term option, but the new Reds manager is thought to be prepared to risk the ire of the Anfield faithful by signing a player he believes will have an instant impact on the squad.

The Potters are thought to be keen to cash in on the striker, especially after reports Pulis has left the £3million signing out of his side's pre-season tour of Austria.

Gervinho Rejects Prospect Of Leaving Lille For Liverpool

Lille winger Gervinho is set to be the subject of an approach from Premier League side Liverpool, who are keen to add to their wide options after losing Yossi Benayoun to Chelsea, according to L’Equipe, though the player has already moved to quash such a move.

The Reds have already approached Gervinho’s representatives, according to the daily sportspaper, and they are ready to make the Ivorian, who starred at the World Cup for the Elephants, their primary target in the current transfer window.

Les Dogues apparently hope for an offer of €15 million to prise one of their best players away, yet Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool are only prepared to table a bid of €12m, which could bring about a premature end to negotiations.

Gervinho has enjoyed a tremendous rise in his standing since signing for LOSC from Le Mans 12 months ago. He helped the Nord club into the Europa League once again last season, missing out on the Champions League on the last day of Ligue 1 action, and the 23-year-old contributed an impressive 13 goals over the course of the Championnat campaign.

Bayern Munich and Malaga have also been associated with the former Beveren player.

Liverpool Consider £6m Bid For South Korean Striker

New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is weighing up a move for South Korean World Cup star Park Chu-Young.

The 25-year-old is an enormously popular figure in South Korea, having originally starred for the national under-20 side, during which time he was named Asian Young Footballer of the Year. The striker moved from FC Seoul to Monaco in 2008 and has not disappointed. His intelligent style means that he adds much more than merely goals to the team.

Park made a solitary appearance for South Korea in the 2006 World Cup, but played a prominent role in South Africa, scoring a goal against Nigeria.

According to the Sun, Liverpool is considering making a £6million bid to bring Park to Anfield. Hodgson is understood to have some money available for signings and with Yossi Benayoun having been sold last week to Chelsea, the Liverpool boss should have enough available cash to make an offer for Park.

Park scored eight goals and contributed two assists for Monaco last season and has netted fourteen times in 39 international matches.

Lecce Bid For Liverpool Forward Krisztian Nemeth

Liverpool forward Krisztian Nemeth is being linked with a £1 million move to Italian side Lecce, the price covering a 50% ownership of the player’s rights, according to the Mail Online.

The 21-year-old signed for Liverpool from MTK during the summer of 2007 for an undisclosed fee, thought to be a basic compensation package, but failed to break into the senior squad during Rafael Benitez’s time at the club.

Nemeth spent last season on loan at Greek side AEK Athens where his promising start failed to evolve into consistent showings throughout the season, but Lecce reportedly feel the youngster has enough quality to bolster their newly promoted Serie A forward line.

Nemeth has yet to make a single first team appearance for Liverpool, although he has spent loan spells at Blackpool and AEK, as well as making his debut for the Hungarian national side in a friendly against Germany on May 29.

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is likely to appraise the player during the coming weeks before making a decision on his future.

Hodgson Welcomes Torres Sign

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes that the sight of Fernando Torres celebrating winning the World Cup by wearing a scarf in the club's colours has given everyone at Anfield a boost.

Chelsea is reportedly waiting in the wings for a possible transfer request from the Spain international when he returns from his post-finals summer holiday.

Torres' future has been the subject of constant speculation and the billionaires at Manchester City are also thought to be monitoring the situation, with boss Roberto Mancini known to be an admirer.

But Hodgson has implied that pictures of the striker wearing a Liverpool scarf as he celebrated winning the World Cup alongside compatriot Jose Reina, after an extra-time win over the Holland of Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel, are a sign of commitment.

The new boss told his club's official website: "As Liverpool manager, I take great pride in the fact that two of our players can call themselves World Cup winners this summer.

"I think it's safe to say the pictures of Fernando in the dressing room with the World Cup certainly went down well with our fans, but the club can be proud of all the players who went away to the World Cup.

"To have four players reach the final is an incredible achievement and I look forward to working with them when they return to Melwood after their holidays."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have announced that young duo Francisco Duran and Nikolay Mihaylov have been released after failing to make an impact at Anfield.

The foreign pair joined the Premier League club in 2007 with bright reputations, however, they could not force a regular place in the first team.

Midfielder Duran, 22, signed from Malaga in the January transfer window, but the former Spain Under 19 international's career with Liverpool was disrupted by injuries and his contract expired earlier this summer.

Goalkeeper Mihaylov arrived from Levski Sofia, but he found his chances limited behind Jose Reina and spent last season on loan at FC Twente, who he has now joined on a permanent basis.

Fernando Torres Has Ruptured Thigh Muscle, Say Spain

Spain's Football Federation says the Liverpool and World Cup-winning Spain striker Fernando Torres has ruptured a muscle in his left thigh.

In a statement on its website the federation said Torres had a magnetic resonance scan yesterday at the Centro de Madrid Clinic and evidence was found of "a grade one muscle fibre rupture in the left thigh".

Torres struggled to make the World Cup after missing the end of Liverpool's season with injuries to his right knee and looked sluggish in South Africa.

He pulled up shortly after coming on during extra-time of Sunday's 1-0 win over Holland in the final.

The scan results are now being sent to Liverpool, and it is unlikely Torres will feature before the new season starts.

Roy Hodgson Assures Lucas Leiva He Has A Future At Liverpool

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has told midfielder Lucas Leiva that he does have a future as a player at Anfield, according to a report from The Daily Mail.

The Brazilian has already reportedly been the subject of a £3 million bid from Serie A side Palermo, who have indicated a willingness to go higher with the fee if necessary.

But Hodgson apparently believes that the midfielder's improved form last season has earned him the right to be in the squad for the campaign ahead.

Meanwhile, another Brazilian at Anfield who is attracting interest from elsewhere - specifically his homeland - is reserve goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, with Flamengo, Santos and Corinthians believed to be interested.

Reds Head For Training Camp

Liverpool's pre-season preparations step up a gear today when the squad flies out to Switzerland for a ten-day training camp.

Based at a resort in the Alps near to the Austrian border, the Reds' squad will combine intense daily training sessions with a series of warm-up matches as they start to work towards the big kick-off next month.

There will be a youthful look to the Liverpool squad over the next couple of weeks, with the club's World Cup players given extra time off to recuperate and rest after their exploits in South Africa.

Saudi Arabian champions Al-Hilal will provide Roy Hodgson with his first opponents as Liverpool manager when the two sides meet in Austria on Saturday night.

A clash in Switzerland against Grasshoppers follows next Wednesday, while newly promoted Bundesliga outfit will be the opposition in Germany for the final friendly before the Reds return home to prepare for the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.