Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Torres Demands New Owners

Fernando Torres is desperate for Liverpool to find new owners in order to bring the glory days back to Anfield.

Reds co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks put the club up for sale in April and Barclays Capital was appointed to oversee the process.

But a buyer has yet to be found, with Hong Kong businessman Kenny Huang abandoning his interest and uncertainty surrounding a consortium fronted by Yahya Kirdi.

Star striker Torres, who ignored interest from Chelsea and Manchester City in the summer to voice his commitment to Roy Hodgson's new-look Liverpool, hopes a solution can be found quickly.

"It is fundamental new owners arrive that can make us a competitive side," he told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

"We're not that far behind. We had an appalling season last time around, but the year before we were just four points from Manchester United.

"Hopefully we can find a consortium that buys the club and can make Liverpool able to fight financially with Chelsea and United.

"Then let's see what we're capable of doing this season. Liverpool kept Steven Gerrard which is fundamental. It's still a great team.

"It's a delicate situation because we are not in the Champions League, but it is still the biggest club in England and to play at Anfield every week is a privilege.

"That's how I see it. I like to have targets, and to be able to help bring Liverpool back where they deserve is a beautiful target.

"It is always complicated when you start with a new manager and new players, but we'll see what we are capable of."

Torres has also revealed that Liverpool rejected bids for his services in the summer transfer market.

"The club received offers and decided to reject them," he said. "That's where it ends. Everyone thought I was leaving for Spain during the World Cup when there was nothing in it.

"I said the day I returned to train that my future was at Liverpool. I have a contract until 2013.

"This year our target has to be the top four. Like every team-mate, we all want to improve and win titles and for that it is fundamental we get new owners."

Babel - I'm Going Nowhere

Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel has dismissed rumours of a move to Tottenham or West Ham, saying he is 'going nowhere'.

The 23-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation on the final day of the transfer window, but insists he will be staying at Anfield for the foreseeable future.

Babel was reported to be flying south in a helicopter on Tuesday, headed for the capital with both Spurs and the Hammers possible destinations.

The speculation was fuelled further by the fact that Liverpool made an offer for West Ham striker Carlton Cole, with Babel mooted to be part of any potential deal.

However, the Dutchman has committed himself to the cause under new boss Roy Hodgdson.

He wrote on his Twitter account: "I'm going nowhere. LFC all the way. YNWA!!! (You'll Never Walk Alone)."

Babel moved to Liverpool back in 2007 from Ajax in a deal thought to be worth £14million, but has failed to make a real impact since his arrival.

Liverpool Midfielder Lucas To Reject Stoke City Loan Move

Lucas is set to stay at Liverpool and fight for his first team place rather than move to Stoke City on loan, according to the Daily Mail.

The 23-year-old has been pushed down the Anfield pecking order by the arrivals of central midfielders Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles.

After making 41 appearances and winning the club's Young Player of the Year award last season, the Brazilian was believed to be considering a move away.

Stoke made contact about a temporary switch to the Britannia Stadium, but Lucas has desired to stay and impress new manager Roy Hodgson.

West Ham United were also understood to have made an approach during negotiations to bring Carlton Cole to Liverpool.

Liverpool’s Nabil El Zhar Makes Loan Move To PAOK

Liverpool has confirmed that winger Nabil El Zhar has made a season-long loan move to Greek club PAOK.

The Morocco international had previously maintained that he wanted to leave the club owing to a lack of first-team football.

He was signed by former Reds boss Rafael Benitez in 2006, but has since struggled to make it into the first-team.

The 24-year-old midfielder has also been out-of-favour under current boss Roy Hodgson, as he has not featured for the Merseyside club since the former Fulham boss took charge at Anfield.

PAOK claim that they also have the option to make the temporary move permanent, if the player is found to be worthy.

A statement on the Greek club's website reads: "FC PAOK announced the acquisition of Nabil El Zhar. The Moroccan international footballer was given on loan for one year from Liverpool, with PAOK FC reserving the right to extend its cooperation with the footballer in the summer of 2011 and for the next three years."

Liverpool Lose Out In Bid To Sign West Ham Striker Carlton Cole

For the second successive season Liverpool have been left over-reliant on the form and fitness of Fernando Torres having failed to improve cover for a striker who has suffered two injury-plagued campaigns and, as Roy Hodgson conceded on Sunday, is not fully recovered from the knee problem that impacted on his World Cup. The Anfield club made a belated attempt to wrest Carlton Cole from West Ham United yesterday, having considered previous options over recent days, but several offers were unable to convince the Hammers to sell the England international.

Liverpool are believed to have offered Lucas Leiva, the Brazilian midfielder, and Ryan Babel, their Dutch international forward, in exchange for Cole but neither player wanted to leave Anfield for Upton Park. Babel reportedly travelled to London via helicopter in anticipation of a deal only to eventually Tweet that; "I'm going no where. LFC all the way. YNWA!!" as the clubs failed to agree on a valuation for Cole. With PSV Eindhoven's Ola Toivonen priced out of Liverpool's reach, and Bayern Munich refusing to release Mario Gómez even on loan, Hodgson will have to make do with Babel, David Ngog and Dirk Kuyt as cover for Torres until January.

The failure to sign a much-needed striker means Liverpool recouped more than they spent in this transfer window, another indication of the financial restrictions under the co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and this after convincing Torres and Steven Gerrard to resist any overtures for their signatures in the summer.

Hodgson did at least resolve Liverpool's deficiency at left-back with the signing of Paul Konchesky from Fulham, the manager's former club, in a £3.5m deal that also sent promising youngsters Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic in the opposite direction. The Liverpool left-back Emiliano Insua, who rejected a move to Fiorentina in the summer after a £5m deal had been agreed between the clubs, joined Galatasaray on a season's loan with a view to a permanent deal. The French midfielder Damien Plessis signed for Panathinaikos while Liverpool are still hopeful of releasing Nabil El Zhar and Charles Itandje on loan after the deadline.

Liverpool Fail In Last-Ditch Bid For Tottenham Striker

Liverpool has failed in an attempt to sign Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson is desperate to sign another striker before the transfer window closes and was hoping to finalize a deal for Pavlyuchenko, who has failed to settle at White Hart Lane.

The Russian international has a proven track record and Hodgson was hoping he could forge a lethal partnership with Fernando Torres in the Liverpool attack.

But Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was not prepared to let Pavlyuchenko leave the club and leave him short of strikers as they prepare to play in the Champions League group stages for the first time in the club's history.

Emiliano Insua Ends Liverpool Nightmare With Move To Galatasaray

Emiliano Insua has left Liverpool for Turkish giants Galatasaray on a season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent.

The 21-year-old full-back has been at Liverpool for the past four years, having joined as a youngster from Boca Juniors.

However, he struggled to break into the side and recent signing of Paul Konchesky by the Anfield club put another hurdle in his path.

"Galatasary announce that Argentinian Emiliano Insua has joined from Premier League club Liverpool on a one-year loan with a purchase option agreement," Galatasaray said on their website.

Insua made 44 appearances for Liverpool in total, the bulk of them coming last season. He scored his only goal for Liverpool in the League Cup against Arsenal last year.

Having been a regular at youth levels, Insua has two senior Argentina caps, both coming in World Cup qualifiers last summer.

He was strongly linked with Fiorentina earlier this summer.

Alexander Hleb: I Rejected Liverpool & Tottenham To Join Birmingham City

New Birmingham City signing Alexander Hleb has sensationally revealed he turned down Premier League rivals Liverpool and Tottenham to sign for the Blues.

The 29-year-old playmaker has joined the Premier League club from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal having spent last season with Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart.

Hleb – formerly of Arsenal, where he made 130 appearances in all competitions – has spoken for the first time since joining Birmingham and said he had rejected the sides of Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp this summer.

The Belarus international felt the Blues wanted to sign him more than anyone else and that made up his mind despite the lack of European football on offer with Alex McLeish’s side.

The player says Portuguese champions Benfica had also been chasing him.

"I had a few options - Liverpool, Tottenham and Benfica," Hleb revealed to ITV Sport. "It was necessary to explore each one.

"I wasn't able to come to an agreement with one of them.

"But Birmingham clearly wanted to do the deal more than the others, which is why I made my choice."

McLeish has said the signing of Hleb is like a ‘dream’ for his side, who has also signed defender Martin Jiranek on deadline day.