Monday, September 06, 2010

Liverpool Set To Pounce For Mario Gomez In January

Liverpool will swoop for Bayern Munich's out of favour striker Mario Gomez in the January transfer window, according to News of the World.

Reds manager Roy Hodgson was unsuccessful in his bid to land a big-name striker as cover for Fernando Torres during the summer transfer window, reportedly missing out on four attacking targets.

Bayern’s Gomez was heading to Anfield on loan with a view to a potential £20m permanent deal in the summer but the deal fell through after the Bavarian giant's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute.

As a result, Hodgson had less than 48 hours to try and snap up Carlton Cole, Bobby Zamora or Kevin Doyle. All bids were rebuffed by the players’ respective clubs though.

Liverpool will now wait until the New Year to secure Gomez, using Hodgson's unspent money from the summer transfer kitty to conclude a deal.

Konchesky Ready For Reds Challenge

Paul Konchesky reflected on his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt and insisted: "I can't wait for the real action to begin."

The Liverpool defender, who completed his transfer from Fulham to Anfield on deadline day last week, enjoyed a second half run-out for the Reds in Jamie Carragher's testimonial on Saturday afternoon as Roy Hodgson's men cruised to a 4-1 victory.

But now he's focusing on the real action which lies ahead - starting next weekend when he could be in line for his full debut at Birmingham.

"I'm 29 and this is my last chance to play at the highest level," said the 29-year-old. "That is what Liverpool are and I am really looking forward to it.

"I'm looking forward to getting a new lease of life and playing at a very high standard.

"I can't wait to pull on a Liverpool shirt in the Premier League, it is a massive club and it is a big step for me. I just want to give it my all and go from there.

"I've had three or four days' training and although there have not been a lot of players there it has been a good week and I am hopefully going to enjoy it soon.

"It was good to be involved in Jamie's testimonial and put a Liverpool shirt on."

He added: "You look at the history they have got behind them it is unbelievable and there are some great players here," he added.

"If we can bring that back to the side this year in something like the Europa League then this team can go a long way.

"The testimonial was a bit slower than the Premier League but it was good for Jamie.

"I'm glad all the players came back for him; they obviously respect him a lot and he is well respected within the team. He looks fit and I think he has a few more years left in him - and hopefully it will be at Liverpool."

Kevin Doyle 'Was Transfer Deadline Day Target For Liverpool'

Hodgson made no secret of his desire to strengthen his frontline, but the expected last-minute signing failed to materialise.

According to the News of the World, the Reds made a trio of £9 million bids as the end of the transfer window approached, including one for Wolves striker Doyle.

They were told the Ireland international was not for sale at that price and received similar responses from West Ham United about Carlton Cole and Fulham about Bobby Zamora.

Liverpool saw a loan move for Bayern Munich's Germany international Mario Gomez collapse just days before the deadline, while they were reported to have made tentative enquiries about the availability of Tottenham's Peter Crouch earlier in the summer.

Hodgson is also believed to have rejected a late bid from Inter Milan for Lucas Leiva.

Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez wanted to take the midfielder to Italy on loan, but his successor at Anfield decided not to allow the Brazil international to leave, despite signing Raul Meireles and Christian Poulsen.

Former Liverpool Left-Back Andrea Dossena Relishing Return To Anfield With Napoli

Former Liverpool left-back Andrea Dossena is relishing the prospect of returning to Anfield with Napoli.

The two clubs have been drawn in the same UEFA Europa League group, and the 28-year-old hopes he can show the Kop his true ability.

"I cannot wait to return to play at Anfield," he told the Corriere Dello Sport.

"The first thing that came to my mind when the draw was made was that I'll be back at Anfield," he said.

"The second was that finally I would have the opportunity to show the Liverpool fans who the real Dossena is.

"I want to play in that stadium so much, not out of revenge or rancor, just to have a great game."

Dossena moved to Liverpool from Udinese in 2008 for €9 million but made just 27 appearances for the Reds, scoring two goals.

Jay Out To Repay Hodgson Faith

Jay Spearing has spoken of his determination to impress Roy Hodgson after being named in Liverpool's 21-man squad for the Barclays Premier League.

For the 2010-11 season, top-flight clubs must register a squad of up to 25 players for league games, which must include at least eight 'home grown' players and no more than 17 'non home grown' players.

Liverpool's No.26 is delighted to be in the list and he is more determined than ever to show what he is capable of and try and keep a regular place in the squad.

"I'm really enjoying working under the manager and he has been really good to me," Spearing told

"I have been working really hard in training and it's going very well so I've just got to keep it going.

"The manager has said he is pleased with what I have done so far and he just told me to keep it up and keep working hard.

"I've been involved in every squad this season, whether it be on the bench or 19th man and that has given me a lot of confidence.

"It's good to be around the squad and with the lads and hopefully I will get another chance to show what I can do.

"Every day is up to me. There is no-one else that can do it and I have to prove to myself, the boss and the fans that I am capable of playing in these games, and when that day comes I've got to grab it."

The Wirral born midfielder spent the second part of last season on loan in the Championship at Leicester City and he helped them reach the Play-off semi-finals when they lost on penalties to Cardiff City.

Spearing admits it was a spell that has given him a lot of belief.

"Playing for Leicester was a massive confidence boost for myself and I enjoyed the experience of playing in front of 30,000 people every week for their home games," he added.

"It's given me the fight to try and show I can step up to play for Liverpool."

Boss Pleased With Torres Double

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has spoken of his delight at seeing Fernando Torres back on the scoresheet after the Liverpool striker netted twice during Friday's 4-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein in Vaduz.

Torres had scored only once in the previous twelve months for his country, but just days after striking the winner for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion he was in the goalscoring mood again with two clinical finishes to help Spain to a comfortable opening game victory in the 2012 European Championships qualifying campaign.

Asked if he was happy to see Torres back on the mark, Del Bosque said: "Of course. He didn't score during the World Cup and these goals plus the one he got the other day for Liverpool are going to improve his moral and self-confidence.

"That's very good for him and the national team. Today (against Liechtenstein) he moved well close to the area."

Torres was replaced soon after netting his second goal after 54 minutes, but Del Bosque insists he could have continued.

"I don't think it was too draining a game for the players. Torres could have continued perfectly. We had people on the bench who ought to play, we had to give them the opportunity," he added.

"It (the substitutions) was for those we were on the bench than those that were on the pitch."

Spain play again on Tuesday when they travel to Buenos Aires to take on Argentina in a friendly.

Liverpool Confirm Friendly Against Atlético Madrid

Liverpool will begin their long build-up to the first Super League season with a visit to Atlético Madrid for a friendly on Saturday that will further strengthen the relationship between Anfield and the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

The men's teams have met several times during the past two seasons, with Liverpool having also signed Fernando Torres and Maxi Rodríguez from the Spanish club.

"The invitation to play the game came from Atlético," said the Liverpool manager, Robbie Johnson. "They seem keen to keep the good relations between the two clubs going and it gives us the chance to test ourselves against foreign opposition. Their league [Superliga Femenina] starts in a couple of weeks so this will probably be their last pre-season game and our first.

"We've put together a decent program of friendlies, including a trip to Dublin to play the Irish champions [St Francis] and to Glasgow to play [the Scottish champions] Glasgow City at the end of their season in November.

"But it's a strange time at the moment, with the Super League not starting until March and teams just training and getting what friendlies they can. It's giving us the opportunity to add to our playing squad, which I feel still needs strengthening to go into the Super League, but I don't think there'll be any real momentum until the early part of next year. So it's a bit frustrating all-round."

While the eight Super League clubs are kicking their heels the reconstituted Premier League is up and running, with Nottingham Forest becoming the first clear leaders with a 2-1 win against Millwall Lionesses today. Their captain, Beth Bailey, hit a late winner.

Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United are in joint second-place, two points adrift of Forest. Rovers won 2-1 at Reading while Leeds had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Barnet.

Watford held Sunderland to a 1-1 draw despite having their goalkeeper, Lauren Davey, sent off for the 32nd-minute foul which led to the penalty from which the midfielder Kelly McDougall scored the equaliser.