Monday, August 30, 2010

Liverpool Switch Attention To £12m Spanish International Forward

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is keen on Atletico Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente and is ready to make a big money offer to bring the Spanish international to Anfield. The giant 6ft 5in striker has been a consistent attacking force for the past three La Liga seasons and is now part of Vicente Del Bosque’s all conquering World Cup winning side and could well be ready for a new challenge.

Llorente has been at the Basque club since the age of 11 and has proven a solid performer in recent seasons netting 53 times in the past three years but has seen Bilbao fail to make a move towards the European spots in the La Liga table.

Hodgson may feel that Llorente could complement Fernando Torres in a front pairing and now that the club has sold Javier Mascherano they should have funds to make an offer for the 25 year old. Having already offloaded Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera the Liverpool boss would hope to have money to further reinvest in his squad after bringing in Raul Meireles from Porto.

The fact that the Merseyside outfit has two prominent members of Spanish international side may well act as further temptation for the Pamplona born forward.

Liverpool Set Sights On £4.5m Monaco Playmaker Eidur Gudjohnsen

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has set his sights on snapping up out of favour Monaco midfielder Eidur Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic international is set to be offloaded by the Ligue 1 club who appears surplus to requirements at the Stade Louis II and the Anfield boss is looking to bring in the vastly experienced campaigner to give him added strength in depth.

Having completed a successful loan spell at White Hart Lane last term many believed the former Barcelona and Chelsea man would complete a permanent move to north London but a deal fell through leaving the 31 year old to wonder what his next move would be.

The adaptable performer, who was very successful as an out and out forward in his Stamford Bridge days, can now play across the midfield and behind the strikers in a number of positions and could be a very useful addition to Hodgson’s squad as they look for success on a number of fronts.

A move for Gudjohnsen would cost around £4.5m and the Monaco man would surely jump at the chance of a return to the English top tier where he has netted 106 goals in 349 appearances and is of course a double Premier League winner during his time at Chelsea.

Roy Hodgson Expecting To Complete Signing Of Paul Konchesky From Fulham By Tuesday

Paul Konchesky looks to be heading from Fulham to Liverpool with Reds boss Roy Hodgson confident the left-back will be arriving before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

Asked if he expected the deal, which sees Liverpool youth player Lauri Dalla Valle go the other way, completed before Tuesday, Hodgson told reporters: "I hope so.

"One of our young players, a very talented young lad that Fulham have fancied for a long time, is going in the other direction and that's holding it up a little because he has to have a medical.

"I'm sincerely hoping it's just a technical hitch and that Paul will sign in the next couple of days."

"I didn't have a strong opinion on him [Dalla Valle] one way or another but Malcolm Elias [from Fulham's academy] did. The lad's got the quality to go into a first-team contingent."

Mario Gomez Wishes To Leave Bayern Munich For Liverpool

Germany international Mario Gomez has expressed his desire to leave Bayern Munich, if reports from Kicker are to be believed. In recent days, rumours of a potential move to Liverpool have gained momentum, reaching their apex today.

"When a club like Liverpool inquires, their interest cannot be pushed off the table," his advisor, Uli Ferber allegedly told Kicker.

Gomez is out of favour in Bavaria, and would "just like to play football again", according to Ferber. Liverpool allegedly would like to sign Gomez on a year-long loan spell, and are willing to pay the player's salary.

Gomez, 25, moved to Bavaria last summer for a record fee estimated to be between €30-35m He struggled in his first year in Munich, scoring just 10 goals in 31 appearances.

Hidgson Cool Over Lucas Exit Link

Roy Hodgson is not ruling out selling Lucas Leiva, but is not planning to let anyone leave Liverpool before Tuesday's transfer deadline.

The Reds boss has confirmed the club would entertain a significant bid for the Brazil international, whose first-team place is under threat after Raul Meireles' £11.5 million switch to Anfield over the weekend.

The rumour mill has linked Lucas with a shock move to Liverpool's Premier League rivals Stoke, who are keen to bolster their first-team squad before the transfer window closes

But Hodgson insists he is not planning to offload the 23-year-old midfielder, who struggled to get a foothold in Sunday's 1-0 victory over West Brom.

"If someone came in and offered us £20million for him and he wants to go we would consider it but it is a bit late in the day, that's for sure," said the Reds boss, who is understood to have made an enquiry for West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Hodgson added on the club's official website: "I'm not anxious to be getting rid of any players this late in the day.

"I'm certainly not looking to move anyone out now because if they are moved out now the chances are they won't be replaced because the transfer window is nearly closed."

Agger: We Need The Competition

Daniel Agger today welcomed the imminent arrival of a new left-back - and insisted he would battle to hold onto his place in Roy Hodgson's team.

The Danish international has been operating on the left side of the Reds' defence in the early weeks of the season as the manager continues to look to strengthen that area of his squad.

With Hodgson admitting he is hopeful a deal to sign Paul Konchesky can be completed before the transfer window slams shut, Agger knows he could soon have a fight on his hands to remain in the starting eleven - especially given the excellent early season form of Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel in the heart of the defence.

"I've done the job but it's not really my place in the team," said Agger. "The boss knows it and I know it. But as long as the boss wants me to play there, I will do it.

"I won't complain. I will do the job for the team. If he thinks that I am the best man for that role, I will keep doing it.

"It will be good if and when he (Konchesky) comes in. He is a specialized left-back and I'm not. It all means that it is good for the team.

"We need the competition. It has always been there and it always will be. It will be good for going forward."

The Reds got their first win of the league season on the board on Sunday thanks to Fernando Torres' volleyed Kop end winner against West Brom.

"It was important to get the win and it was a great goal from Fernando," added Agger. "He will only get better and better from now.

"It was a hard day but a good day. We knew it would be tough as West Brom are a good team; luckily we got the three points."

Roy Hodgson: I Hope Spain Rest Fernando Torres In Upcoming Euro 2012 Qualifier Against Liechtenstein

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has sent out a plea to his Spain counterpart Vicente del Bosque, asking him to rest Fernando Torres during the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein.

Spain open their qualifying campaign against Hans-Peter Zaugg's men on Friday, and have an international friendly against Argentina next Tuesday.

The hitman has only just returned to competitive football as he continues to recover from a knee problem.

Torres had not scored for either club or country for almost 500 minutes before an excellent volley owing to an assist from Dirk Kuyt saw him open his account in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, the former Inter boss believes that it would be wise to leave the 26-year-old out of the national squad for the moment, to allow him to continue training on Merseyside and regain full fitness.

"We hope Spain will not call upon his services and give him the chance to continue his pre-season because he needs training more than matches," Hodgson said, according to The Mirror.

"It would be very nice if Del Bosque would look kindly on us because there's no doubt that he would prosper from two weeks of serious training, hard training, to continue his pre-season work.

"If he's going to go away with them and play matches, that's quite a different kind of training and preparation. That's not what he requires at this moment in time and he requires a much more rigorous training program.

"We also want to keep an eye on the knee, which caused him so many problems in the build-up to the World Cup.

"We can't say he's unfit to play football because we've just seen him play 85 minutes of football [against West Bromwich Albion]."

Hodgson added: "I will speak to the manager of the Spain team, although I don't know if it will be Del Bosque himself. We can only propose this for the player that this is the best thing, but we don't have the right."