Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lucas Vows To Stay And Fight

Lucas Leiva is determined to fight for his place at Liverpool following the signing of fellow midfielders Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles.

The Brazil international, who featured regularly under former manager Rafa Benitez, has seen a rise in competition at Anfield since the arrival of new boss Roy Hodgson.

Despite impressing former Fulham manager Hodgson in pre-season, it appears Lucas, the club's young player of the season last year, will be third choice for his preferred central spot this campaign.

Speaking after Sunday's win over West Brom, Hodgson admitted selling the 23-year-old was a possibility if a significant bid was received, but added he was disinclined to lose a player so late in the transfer window.

And, despite being linked with a move to Premier League rivals Stoke, Lucas is prepared to stay on Merseyside and battle for a first-team spot this term.

"What is the situation? I don't know. I'm still playing," said Lucas.

"At the moment, I haven't had any offers. I don't know if the club wants to sell me. I just have to wait.

"I'm going away with the national team (on Thursday) and I can't say any more than that.

"We don't have any games so we will be training for a week in Barcelona.

"If the club wants to sell me, what can I do? I just have to wait and see what will happen.

"I need to be playing and I want to be playing but I believe that I am doing well.

"The manager will choose who plays. I have a contract here and if I don't get anything good for me or for the club, then I will stay."

Tottenham Swoop For Liverpool's Ryan Babel

Tottenham have made a swoop for Ryan Babel after moves for four big-name strikers have fallen through over the last 48 hours, Goal.com UK have revealed.

Spurs have turned to the Liverpool forward after their attempts to capture Luis Fabiano, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Emmanuel Adebayor and Guiseppe Rossi all hit dead ends.

The north London club has made an initial enquiry about taking Babel on a season-long loan, but it is understood that Liverpool would only consider letting the Dutch forward go on a permanent transfer.

The Merseysiders are keen to recoup the £11.5 million fee they paid for Babel, 23, when he moved from Ajax three years ago.

White Hart Lane manager Harry Redknapp has become increasingly frustrated in his attempts to capture the big-name striker that he believes is essential to make Tottenham an established Champions League club.

Chairman Daniel Levy has money to spend after Spurs qualified for the Champions League group stages, but Fabiano signed a new two-year Sevilla deal yesterday and Huntelaar is close to clinching a £10.5m move from AC Milan to Schalke.

Levy could not agree a fee with Villarreal for £8m-rated Rossi and enquired about taking Adebayor on a season-long loan yesterday but Manchester City do not want to offload players to rivals.

City confirmed this morning that Adebayor will not be leaving Eastlands during the current transfer window.

Babel has emerged as Spurs’ latest target because they feel he has more to offer than Robbie Keane, who the Londoners want to offload in the final hours of the window when a deal is done.

West Ham, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all potential suitors for the Irishman but the Hammers are viewed as the favourites to land his signature.

Hammers Consider Cole Offer

Sky Sports News understands that West Ham are considering an official offer from Liverpool for striker Carlton Cole.

It was revealed on Monday that the Anfield club had made an enquiry regarding the £10million-rated frontman, with manager Roy Hodgson repeatedly admitting that he wants to sign a forward.

Liverpool are now reported to have progressed in their attempts to capture former Chelsea player Cole and West Ham are giving thought to a fee tabled by their Premier League rivals.

Cole has been linked with the Reds since before Hodgson replaced Rafa Benitez earlier in the summer and the 26-year-old is said to be interested in a move to Merseyside.

Reports also suggest that Liverpool are prepared to offer Ryan Babel, who has been linked with Tottenham, in a part-exchange deal and they will now hope to push through an agreement before Tuesday's transfer deadline at 6pm.

Hodgson has renewed his attempts to sign Cole after he decided to end interest in PSV's Ola Toivonen prior to reaching a dead-end in a pursuit of Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez.

The shortcomings of Liverpool's squad were exposed in an extremely disappointing 2009/10 campaign when injuries to Fernando Torres left the club with only youngster David Ngog as a recognized striker.

Liverpool Complete Signing Of Fulham Left-Back Paul Konchesky

Fulham defender Paul Konchesky has completed his switch to Liverpool for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract.

Konchesky, 29, has been reunited with manager Roy Hodgson in a deal which sees youngsters Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic head to Craven Cottage.

The club had been in the market for a new left-back all summer after they attempted to sell Emiliano Insua.

With the Argentine now on his way to Galatasaray, Konchesky will compete with Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger for the position.

The Charlton Athletic youth product has racked up 317 Premier League appearances and won two England caps.

Reds Sign Young Duo

Liverpool has today confirmed a double deal for youngsters Suso and Adam Hajdu.

Spanish hot-shot Suso - full name Jesus Joaquin Fernandez Saenz De La Torre - completes his move from FC Cadiz on a scholarship agreement, subject to international clearance.

The 16-year-old forward impressed for the reserves during pre-season and even featured for Roy Hodgson's first-team as a late substitute in the friendly defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

His form prompted second-string boss John McMahon to say: "Suso is a class act, there's no doubt about it. He is a very clever player in the mould of Dani Pacheco and he is very exciting to watch."

Hajdu arrives from MTK Budapest on a temporary transfer until June 30, 2011. The deal is subject to international clearance.

The youngster is a Hungary U17 international and is teammates with the Reds' Academy starlets Patrik Poor and Krisztian Adorjan.

Insua Set For Gala Loan

Emiliano Insua looks set to leave Liverpool after statements on his Twitter page suggested he was moving to Galatasaray.

The Turkish giants are thought to be thrashing out a deal to bring the Argentine left-back to the club on a one-year loan after becoming surplus to requirements at Anfield.

Insua was thought to be joining Italian side Fiorentina this summer but despite the deal all but being done, the player's wage demands saw the transfer fell through.

The 21-year-old is unlikely to be a part of Roy Hodgson's plans following the imminent arrival of Fulham defender Paul Konchesky and the re-signing of Fabio Aurelio.

Insua is thought to be in Istanbul finalizing the details of the deal and undergoing a medical.

The player's page read: "Road to Istanbul, in search of continuity, I hope everything works out well!

"I am waiting for news about my future. Eager to play and keep dreaming big!"

Damien Plessis Arrives In Greece To Complete Panathinaikos Move

Damien Plessis has arrived in Greece to finalize his move to Panathinaikos.

The defensive midfielder was signed by Liverpool from French side Olympique Lyonnais in 2007 during Rafa Benitez’s reign.

The 22-year-old has only appeared eight times during his spell at Anfield and appears to be excluded from manager Roy Hodgson’s plans this season.

According to the News of the World, Plessis is set to complete his move to the Greek club today.

The Frenchman has not been handed a squad number this term and his previous No.28 was given to new arrival Christian Poulsen.

Barcelona Complete Javier Mascherano Signing From Liverpool On Four-Year Contract

Barcelona have confirmed on their official website that they have completed the signing of midfielder Javier Mascherano from Liverpool on a four-year deal but have not mentioned the transfer fee paid to the Premier League side.

The Argentine international successfully underwent his medical at the Camp Nou medical centre late Monday morning to seal his move from Anfield. Reports suggest that the amount paid to Liverpool is €21 million with an additional €2-3m in bonuses.

Barcelona though, has revealed that Mascherano's contract has a buy-out clause of €90 million.

Mascherano will join David Villa and Adriano as Barcelona's new signings for the 2010-11 campaign, bringing the Blaugrana's total spending in the summer transfer market to approximately €70.5 million.