Saturday, October 23, 2010

NESV Pledge To Spend Heavily In The Next Year To Keep Liverpool Striker Fernando Torres

New England Sports Ventures have pledged to splash the cash in the next year to keep Liverpool striker Fernando Torres away from Manchester United, according to The Mirror.

Torres, 26, has emerged as a prime target for United if Wayne Rooney leaves the club in January. The Spaniard has cut a frustrated figure throughout Liverpool's poor start to the season and is believed to be willing to listen to offers.

Owner John W. Henry has reportedly already met Torres and told him his plans to invest heavily in new players in the next 12 months to make Liverpool competitive again.

They have no plans to cash in on the center forward who has four-and-a-half years left on his contract.

Roberto Donadoni Emerges As Candidate To Replace Roy Hodgson

Rumours have surfaced suggesting that Italian manager Roberto Donadoni is set to replace Roy Hodgson as manager of Liverpool.

Despite receiving public backing from Liverpool's new owners, defeat to Everton in the Merseyside derby last weekend has resulted in rumours that Hodgson could well be sacked if results do not improve quickly.

Unknown English sources have told that Roy Hodgson will be sacked soon and that contact has already been made between Liverpool's new owners and Donadoni's Israelian agent Oved Kraus.

Donadoni has been out of work since October 2009 when he was sacked as manager of Napoli following a 2-1 loss to rivals Roma.

A second string Liverpool side battled to a 0-0 draw with Napoli on Thursday in the Europe League and the two sides recent meeting will certainly help rumours surrounding Donadoni's possible interest in the Liverpool job to spread.

The former Italian international winger has also had a stint in charge the Italian national side. Donadoni was announced as the successor to Marcelo Lippi, who resigned immediately after Italy won the 2006 World Cup.

Despite a slow start, he led Italy through a successful qualifying campaign for Euro 2008. At the tournement itself, Italy recovered from a faltering start in their first two group games and beat France 2-0 to secure a quarter-final tie with Spain.

Italy held the eventual champions Spain to a 0-0 draw but lost 4-2 in the resulting penalty shoot-out. Only reaching the quarter-final stage was viewed as a failure by the Italian Football Federation and Donadoni's contract was terminated in June 2008.

Since leaving Turkish club Galatasary Dutch manager Frank Rijkaard has also been rumoured as a possible replacement for Hodgson, should Liverpool's new owners go back on their word and sack their manager.

However, say Donadoni's history as an international player and his ability to speak the English language well could push him to the head of the queue to replace Hodgson.

It is expected that more developments on this situation will be revealed after Liverpool's game with Blackburn Rovers this Sunday - as Donadoni has also been heavily linked with the Parma job following pressure on their manager Pasquale Marino.

Amid all the uncertainty, Roy Hodgson will know that the best way to quash such rumours about his future will be on the pitch on Sunday with a victory against Sam Allardyce's physical Blackburn team.

Liverpool Join In Race For Valter Birsa

Wigan and Blackpool are keen on Auxerre midfielder Valter Birsa.

The Slovenia international impressed in the World Cup and is out of contract in the summer.

Liverpool have also been alerted to the 24-year-old's availability and could make a cut-price offer in January.

Birsa has impressed in the Champions League and scored for Auxerre against Ajax this week.

Liverpool Plot £22m Trio Raid To Land Tottenham, Manchester City And Blackburn Targets

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has set his sights on three new additions to his Anfield squad in January as he hopes for a significant injection of transfer funds from the club’s new owners. The under-fire manager has earmarked moves for Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, Blackburn Rovers youngster Phil Jones and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-phillips.

Hodgson knows that his current squad simply isn’t functioning and he hopes that the players mentioned could help fill gaping holes in his side but will have to hope that by January his side is pulling away from the drop zone otherwise he may struggle to convince players of this calibre to move to the Merseyside club.

Roman Pavlyuchenko was targeted in the last transfer window but a last ditch attempt to land the Russian failed to materialise but the former Spartak Moscow man is still struggling to secure a regular starting spot at White Hart Lane despite netting five goals in six starts this season.

Phil Jones has impressed many with his mature performances at Ewood Park and the Blackburn Rovers man would help Hodgson to continue the club’s recent policy of bringing in young up and coming talents. Much like Pavlyuchenko, Shaun Wright-phillips finds it hard to claim a starting spot and at the age of 28 year he does not want to be wasting away on the bench and with the likes of Adam Johnson and David Silva at the club the England international will find it increasingly difficult to get on Roberto Mancini’s opening team sheet.

This trio of talent could be considered as realistic targets and would set the club back around £23m and Hodgson will hope that the club’s new owners would realise that such an investment is crucial to help get the club firing on all cylinders.

Liverpool All Set To Poach The £25M ‘Beast Of A Striker’ Utd Were Scouting

According to a variety of sources, Manchester United are keeping one eye on giant Spanish striker Fernando Llorente.

Llorente stands almost as tall as Peter Crouch, but doesn’t double for a beanstalk and with his frightening physique can out-muscle even the most steely of defenders.

Llorente has hit 50 goals in 173 appearances for Athletic Bilbao, and steadily maintained a goal tally in double figures for each season since 2007-08.

But Kopsource are directly contradicting this; and the NESV investment will enable Liverpool to press on with negotiations while United wait to sell Rooney. It is only this logical explanation which gives such an isolated source any credibility. Kopsource states:

“It is believed that the owners will signal their intent by providing the manager with funds, believed to be in the region of £17M, to sign the frontman.

“Llorente, who’s real name is Torres, has been identified as a perfect partner for his Spanish counterpart while simultaneously earning the new owners extra brownie points. However, the owners will first have to resolve the burning managerial issue before they can focus on bringing in new players.”

A battle between the North-West’s ailing top two could very likely emerge come January, and it would most certainly be in the interest of both clubs to sign such a talent in an effort to turn around respectively bad seasons so far.

PSV Statement Hints At January Sale

PSV Eindhoven star Ibrahim Afellay will not be signing an extension to his current contract which is due to expire at the end of the season, the Euredivisie side have confirmed.

The prodigious 24-year-old has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs most notably Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, and the Holland international recently suggested a move to either Anfield or Old Trafford would be favourable at this stage in his career, although Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid are also rumoured to be interested.

A statement on PSV’s official website read: “PSV and Ibrahim Afellay have reached the conclusion that a contract extension is no longer a realistic option for various reasons,

"PSV are disappointed that a successful collaboration will come to an end. However, the club is satisfied with the terms we've agreed with Ibrahim.

“He has promised the club that he'll do his utmost to make sure he doesn't leave the club without a reasonable compensation."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a long time admirer of the attacking midfielder having coveted the player as a teenager, while Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have also been mentioned as a potential suitor in recent weeks.

Despite plenty of options, Afellay recently revealed an admiration for Manchester United and Liverpool.

He said: “Playing in the Premier League would be best for my prestige. I'd like to play for Liverpool or Manchester United , the top-level prospect for any player.”

Spearing Sees Reds Springboard

Jay Spearing claims Liverpool have been boosted in confidence after Thursday's goalless draw with Napoli.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson elected to take a weakened squad to Italy for their Europa League tie and his young side managed to leave the San Paolo with a point to their name.

The likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva were all rested midweek ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Blackburn.

And Spearing believes the result in Naples could be a springboard for their domestic form to improve.

"It's a hostile place to play but we showed what we're capable of doing and it was a good point away from home," said the midfielder, whose club are languishing second-bottom in the table.

"Results haven't been going our way, but this can be the start and we can go into Sunday's game looking for three points at home."

Spearing was one of a number of youthful members of the side, which included 18-year-old Jonjo Shelvey and 20-year-old Martin Kelly.

"It's massive confidence boost straight away when the boss is going to play you in such a hostile place," said the 21-year-old former youth team captain.

"It shows we can play under pressure in these types of games and that the boss has confidence in us."

Experience midfielder Christian Poulsen was impressed by the performances of Shelvey, Spearing, Kelly and David Ngog who, although the club's leading scorer this season, is still only 21.

"Our young players battled well and you couldn't tell there was a lot of inexperience out there," said the 30-year-old.

"I think they had a really good game and it shows we have a strong squad at Liverpool."

Kenny Dalglish Should Be King Of Kop Again, Says Harry Gregg

Northern Ireland goalkeeping great Harry Gregg believes Kenny Dalglish should be the manager of Liverpool and not Roy Hodgson.

Winning pair: Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield stand with old strike partner Ian Rush no doubt wishing for a return to former glory days

While Gregg has been keeping a close eye on recent stunning developments at his old team Manchester United, telling Wayne Rooney in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph that “no one is bigger than the club”, another iconic side in the north west of England has also been occupying his thoughts.

And Gregg is appalled with events at Anfield on and off the pitch.

While Liverpool supporters have been cheering the departure of Tom Hicks and George Gillette and hailing the arrival of new owner John Henry, Gregg asks: “What association do the new people have with Liverpool Football Club? It’s only business for them. I have a feeling it may be a case of out of the pan and into the kettle.”

Liverpool were involved in Europa League action last night, but the major concern relates to their dreadful domestic form.

Embarrassingly knocked out of the Carling Cup by Northampton earlier in the season, the Anfield outfit now find themselves in 19th place in the Premier League.

Rather than fighting for the title or a Champions League spot, they are in the relegation zone with just one win from eight matches, the last of which was a dismal 2-0 defeat at derby rivals Everton last Sunday.

Reds manager Hodgson suggested that his side played well in that game. He was in a minority of one on that and is going through a difficult time persuading Liverpool fans that he is the man to take them onwards and more importantly upwards.

Gregg, forthright as ever, has never been convinced Hodgson, who is now dogged by rumours that he is about to be replaced by former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard, would cut it at Anfield.

“People ask how long Roy Hodgson should get at Liverpool. I would say he’s had too long already,” says Harry, who has been distinctly unimpressed by the form and attitude of Kop hero Fernando Torres.

“I know Roy Hodgson did well at Fulham, but I didn’t think he was the right man for Liverpool when he was appointed. I’m not being wise after the event, I told people that in the summer when he took over. I've never been a big admirer.

“At the time when Rafa Benitez was being replaced I felt Kenny Dalglish should have been given the job and I still hold that view. They really should bring him back to manage the club.”

Although Gregg’s beloved United and Liverpool have been fierce rivals down the years, Northern Ireland’s 1958 World Cup hero says he takes no pleasure whatsoever from the troubles the Anfield outfit have encountered in recent times.

In fact, he says he is saddened by developments on the red half of Merseyside.

“I do feel sad about what has happened at Liverpool and have sympathy for their fans,” states Harry. “I remember Liverpool when they were playing in the old second division.

“I played against them when I was at Doncaster Rovers and even then the atmosphere at Anfield was special, though it has fallen away recently.

“The great Bill Shankly came along and the club took off and then flourished through dear friends of mine like Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish. It’s sad to see Liverpool where they are now.”