Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keith harris Claims Mysterious £500M Buyer For Liverpool

Keith Harris the Premier League’s top deal-maker, claims a mystery buyer is close to making a bid of up to £500million for Liverpool.

Harris, who has assisted in the sales of West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City, says he is representing a potential overseas buyer for the club who has already cleared the first hurdle of completing due diligence.

Moreover, he said it was different to any of the names that have already been bandied around, with current co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett making no secret of their need for outside investment.

The move comes just a week after Hong Kong businessman Kenny Huang pulled out of a bidding war.

However, Harris, who fronted an approach from Kuwaiti Nasser Al Khorafi two years ago before his client pulled out at the last minute, warned that this latest venture is also in danger of collapsing.

“The overseas buyer we represent has completed due diligence. A huge amount of work has been done,” he said. It is none of the groups mentioned in the press. The ball is now in our client’s court to make an offer. If the name of the prospective buyer comes out before the deal is done then probably it is never going to be done.

“In any takeover situation, when people resort to announcing it to the media, you have to question the seriousness of the offer.” Harris was in meetings yesterday afternoon and unable to comment on why, given the publicity-sensitive nature of negotiations, he had brought the possibility of a fresh bid to the attention of the wider world in the first place.

One suggestion is that it suits Liverpool that an authority such as Harris is hinting at a figure waiting in the wings just as the list of possible suitors has dried up. Huang was denied the chance to speak to the board exclusively about a deal and is understood to be holding on to negotiate in the absence of competition. Yahya Kirdi’s high-profile interest has been treated with scepticism from the outset.

But Harris pointed out that time is running out for Liverpool’s American owners. “I don’t think the deal will be done before the transfer window closes this month but the next pressure point is October, when some of the Royal Bank of Scotland loan of £237m has to be repaid,” he said. “It may happen then. But in the present climate these things are impossible to predict.”

Liverpool FC Targeting Loan Swoop For Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez

Liverpool has approached Bayern Munich about a possible loan for striker Mario Gomez.

Despite featuring in the Germany squad that finished third in this summer's World Cup, the 25-year-old finds himself behind compatriots Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose as well as Ivica Olic in the pecking order at the Allianz Arena.

After PSV Eindhoven ended his pursuit of Ola Toivonen, Roy Hodgson is planning a move for Gomez and is hopeful of a move despite the player publicly ruling out any move away from the Bundesliga champions as he bids to prove his worth to Louis van Gaal.

He said: "I have made my position clear - there will be no transfer.

"I want to convince the coach that he will soon field me in his starting XI.

"Hard work will be rewarded, I am sure about that."

Reds Move For Konchesky understands Liverpool is closing in on the signing of Fulham defender Paul Konchesky.

Reds bos Roy Hodgson has openly admitted bringing a new left-back is one of his top priorities this summer and it is believed he wants Konchesky to solve the problematic position.

Hodgson is a big admirer of Konchesy having worked with the 29-year-old for two-and-a-half-years prior to his switch to Anfield.

Liverpool is keen to bring in a new left-back before the close of the transfer window and had been linked with a move for PSV Eindhoven's Carlos Salicido.

However, it appears Liverpool have opted to go for Konchesky with the player having just a year to run on his contract at Fulham.

Konchesky's future at Fulham has been the subject of speculation all summer with Birmingham having seen one bid turned down eartlier this summer.

New Fulham boss Mark Hughes was keen to keep hold of the former Charlton man, but Konchesky is thought to have informed the Cottagers chief of his desire to be reunited with Hodgson at Anfield.

Liverpool are believed to be prepared to pay up to £3.5million to land Konchesky as Hodgson looks to finalise his rebuilding plans at the club.

Liverpool Make Shock Bid For England Striker

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has made a shock move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole - offering £6 million up front for the hit man.

The Kop chief has reacted swiftly to the meek and mediocre defeat by Manchester City by slapping in an offer for target man Cole that has surprised the Hammers.

The Anfield club is willing to pay a big chunk in one payment for Cole and odd up to another £6 million after games and achievements in the odd package.

Hodgson and Liverpool's money men are concerned about Cole's injury-hit past and would like to protect themselves with the offer, but also come up with a figure that will eventually suit the Hammers.

West Ham have already turned down bigger deals from Stoke and warned them off, but they may reluctantly let Cole go before the window shuts to give Avram Grant cash for other players.

In Liverpool's favour as the talks over figures begin Cole will be interested in joining them rather than the Potters - or potential rivals Sunderland.

Stoke still want Cole despite landing Kenwyne Jones but their chances are slim while Liverpool are heading the hunt for the England international.

Sunderland are in the same boat.

Cole could become a hero on Merseyside if he fills the striker's jersey, ideally beside Fernando Torres but possibly as his replacement if a massive bid comes in any time soon.

Hodgson wants to wheel and deal after a mixed start to the campaign.

Torres cannot be relied on to run the front line on his own again and some of the other options look short.

Kop Target New Mascherano

Liverpool will move for French ace Hatem Ben Arfa if Barcelona stump up £20m for Javier Mascherano.

Roy Hodgson would want to replace the Argentine before the transfer window closes and Marseille’s £7m-rated midfielder Ben Arfa is his top target. The new Anfield boss and his backroom staff are seething with Mascherano over his behaviour.

And they are prepared to tough it out if the Spanish champs do not meet their valuation. But Mascherano is believed to have already agreed a £5m-a-year wages deal with Barcelona president Sandro Rossell, who, according to reports, has spoken directly to the midfielder.

Werder Bremen has already made an offer for Ben Arfa, who Newcastle tried to nab on loan earlier this summer. And the midfielder said last night: “I want to play in the Premier League because my time in the French Ligue has passed.”

If Liverpool can get Barca to up their bid for Mascherano from £16m to £20m, then they could move swiftly for the 23-year-old Marseille star.

However, Hodgson would prefer to keep hold of Mascherano, despite the Argentine ace refusing to play in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Monday.

An Anfield insider said: “He is clearly determined to join Barca, but Liverpool does not want to let him go on the cheap as the Spanish side want.”

Hodgson is certainly in no mood to be forced into selling, saying: “The fee we are being offered and the fee we think is the correct fee are very, very far apart.”

Liverpool Defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos Linked With Juventus

Liverpool defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos is the latest defender who's being linked with a move to Serie A side Juventus. A report in Corriere dello Sport claims that La Vecchia Signora are considering making a move for the Greek international before the end of the transfer window.

Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri is eager to add some more depth to his defence and the Turin side has been linked with players such as Andrea Barzagli, Salvatore Bocchetti and Thomas Manfredini in the past couple of weeks.

However, Juve have now apparently turned their attention to the relatively cheap Kyrgiakos. The 31-year-old defender joined Liverpool from AEK Athens in the summer of 2009, but has so far failed to secure regular first team action at the English side.

Kyrgiakos' current contract with Liverpool runs until the summer of 2011 and the Reds are supposedly ready to cash in on the defender during this transfer window in order to prevent him from leaving on a free transfer next year.

Barcelona Prepare Improved Bid For Liverpool's Javier Mascherano

Barcelona were preparing a renewed bid for Javier Mascherano after the coach Pep Guardiola admitted that he wanted to sign a defensive midfielder. The comment comes in light of Mascherano's refusal to play for Liverpool at Manchester City.

Barcelona's initial bid of €15m (£12.3m) with €5m more in add-ons was rejected by Liverpool. The Anfield club is understood to be holding out for a fee closer to €26m. That is a valuation Barcelona are reluctant to match but they remain hopeful of concluding a deal by offering players in return, and because of the determination of Mascherano who has made his position abundantly clear to leave.

Although Guardiola refused to name the Argentinian directly, he did admit: "If a defensive midfielder arrives the needs of the team will be resolved. If one arrives I will be satisfied. I will only speak about [Mascherano] when he's here, if he comes."

Barcelona believes that is likely despite the fact that they are not in the best of financial health. The signing of David Villa for €40m was carried out by the former president Joan Laporta, amid criticism from the new president Sandro Rosell at what he described as the club's "stratospheric" debt – which he calculated at more than €400m.

Rosell's first act when he was elected in July was to seek a bank loan for €150m to cover players' salaries. He also admitted defeat in the pursuit of Arsenal's Cesc Fábregas, unable to offer a fee much in excess of €40m, and forced through the sale of Dimitro Chygrynskiy, even though Guardiola wanted to keep him.

Barcelona is prepared to offer Liverpool Alexander Hleb and Martin Cáceres in part exchange, to increase the bid beyond the current €20m. Pressure is building on the new president and sporting director from Guardiola to get the deal done.

Politically, they cannot be seen to have failed to provide reinforcements. Barcelona also believes they have a huge advantage because of Mascherano's willingness to fight for a move. Their hand is stronger, certainly, than during the attempts to sign Fábregas, when their bullish confidence, both from the former regime and the current one, turned out to be misplaced. arcelona did not count on such stubborn resistance from Arsène Wenger and could not raise sufficient funds to persuade Arsenal to sell and although Fabregas told the Arsenal manager that he wanted to leave, he was unprepared to publicly rebel.

Mascherano has asked not to play for Liverpool, while his agent has openly spoken about his desire to depart England for Spain. Some are criticizing the club for letting Yaya Touré go and effectively replacing him with the same type of player for much the same price. Touré fetched £24m. In total, the fee for Mascherano looks like settling at a similar level.

The situation, though, has changed: when Barcelona sold Touré, the Ivorian's agent had repeatedly spoken out in public about his client's dissatisfaction at being a substituted and contract renewal talks had also stalled. Barcelona also sold him in the hope of raising the funds for a bid for Fabregas.

Having failed to secure the Arsenal captain they now have a vacant slot in central midfield that Guardiola believes has to be filled.

Barcelona may have one problem, though, with sources suggesting that a late bid from Internazionale should not be ruled out.

Sky Sports Pundit Slams Mascherano

Former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp has slammed the behaviour of Javier Mascherano, claiming the Argentine should not forget where he was prior to his move to Anfield.

The 26-year-old allegedly refused to play against Premier League rivals Manchester City on Monday night in an effort to engineer his move to Barcelona, but Redknapp believes the midfielder owes Liverpool, and not the other way round.

Mascherano was brought to Anfield in 2007 despite suffering an underwhelming spell at West Ham United that at times resulted in him playing for the Hammers’ reserves, and Redknapp believes the Argentina captain would do well to remember what Liverpool have done for him.

The Sky Sports pundit told the Daily Mail: “Maybe Javier Macherano must have forgotten where he was when Liverpool came to sign him - in West Ham's reserves.

“They salvaged his career. How does he repay them? By refusing to play on Monday night.

“He's a good player, not a great one, but he's certainly not a good man.”

The latest reports suggest Mascherano has already agree personal terms with Barcelona, over an £85,000 a week deal even though the two clubs remain someway apart in their respective valuations of the tough tackling star.