Friday, November 26, 2010

Martin Broughton Insists Club Are In Good Hands For The Future

Departing Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton insists he will be leaving the club in good hands.

Broughton will hand over the reigns to New England Sports Ventures' Tom Werner next week, and he is confident Liverpool's new owners will take the club forward.

He told the club's official website: "They are really getting down to it in a very professional way.

"I have been impressed with that. It's the sort of thing I expected from them.

"They are taking their time, doing it carefully, thinking it through, not being rushed. They're the right people."

Broughton has had a rough ride at the helm but is pleased to have played his part at the club.

"I thought there would be a few more bidders at an earlier stage," he added.

"It took a little bit longer, and certainly in the end it turned out to be rather more complicated than I predicted.

"I think the low point was pretty early on, when we had a situation with unpopular owners, the manager [Rafael Benitez] going - so no manager - stories about Stevie [Gerrard] wanting to go, stories about Fernando [Torres] wanting to go.

"That looked a pretty uncomfortable position at the time.

"But the highlight is getting the deal done with the right people, no question; actually delivering what we promised - the right owners.

"I am very proud of it. It has been great to come in and deliver on a promise."

Broughton also paid tribute to the Liverpool fans, who have suffered more than most.

"This is a fantastic club with terrific supporters," he added.

"It's been an emotional time for them, it's been a difficult time - I've understood that - but they've kept the faith, and they need to keep the faith now.

"The team's going to come good from here."

Hodgson - Aurelio Important

Fabio Aurelio has a key role to play in the rest of Liverpool's season, according to manager Roy Hodgson.

The Brazilian left-back impressed his boss after making his comeback from an Achilles injury as a substitute in last Saturday's 3-0 victory over West Ham United.

Aurelio, who was released by the Reds in the summer before Hodgson re-signed the former Valencia player, came on to play on the left of midfield.

And the Anfield chief has told the 31-year-old he may be deployed in a more advanced position in the coming weeks.

"Fabio's had to work very hard because he's been dogged by bad luck for the last couple of years," he told The Liverpool Echo.

"It was nice to see him back on the field again and he played with great confidence.

"He can definitely play as a left midfielder.

"When we re-signed him we were thinking we needed two good left-backs at the club and that he'd be competing for one of those places in the team, but I saw him do very well in Trabzonspor when he moved up into midfield, and he tells me that when he was in Valencia he played in midfield very often.

"It's definitely an option. If he can stay fit then it could be a really good boost to our team.

"Already I've got him pencilled in for the game against Steaua Bucharest, so let's hope he can stay fit until then and I can see him in a 90-minute game."

Liverpool Tipped To Make Shock January Swoop For £11 Million Wing Wonder

Manchester City winger Adam Johnson is on allegedly Liverpool's radar.

The England speedster is reportedly weighing up his options at Eastlands after failing to hold onto a regular spot in Roberto Mancini's starting XI.

“Every footballer has to think about it when the time comes. It is still early but I definitely would consider [leaving],” Johnson told the Telegraph.

Johnson joined City from Middlesbrough last January for around £11 million and has since found himself become an increasingly influential player in the England set-up.

And now, according to Metro, Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is monitoring Johnson's situation at City with a view to making a move for the midfielder in January.

Liverpool owners NESV are keen to invest in young talent in the New Year and, at 23-years-old Johnson certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

Johnson would also provide Liverpool with some added potency going forward - something that Hodgson is keen to address having admitted that Liverpool rely too heavily on the contributions of Anfield heroes Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

Whether Liverpool will launch a bid for Johnson in the New Year remains to be seen, but it is sure to be a busy January at Anfield as Hodgson and NESV look to continue the rebuilding job on Merseyside.

Hodgson Set To Beat Fergie To £6 Million World Cup Ace

Liverpool are ready to take advantage of Manchester United’s faltering interest in Ghana World Cup star Anthony Annan and sign him for just £6 million, according to

Annan impressed in South Africa and looked certain for a move to the Premier League during the summer but no offers were forthcoming.

Manchester United was the most prevalent team interested in the 24-year-old and Annan admitted he would jump at the chance to move to Old Trafford.

However, now Sir Alex Ferguson’s interest has blown hot and cold, after the Scot revealed he did not want to bring any more new signings to Manchester United in January, plus the fact Annan is cup-tied for the Champions League matches, and Liverpool have moved into pole position.

The Anfield side has already drawn up a shortlist of potential targets for the forthcoming transfer window and Annan, along with Saint Etienne’s holding midfielder Yann M’Vila, is heading that list.

Roy Hodgson is now expected to fly to Norway and watch the Rosenborg ace as speculation of Annan being Christian Poulsen’s replacement at Anfield.

Liverpool’s new director of football strategy Damian Comolli is thought to have alerted Hodgson to Annan’s availability and the relatively low transfer fee would enable the club’s new owners to bring another, more expensive, world class player to Anfield as well.

Annan has previously announced his interest in a move to the Premier League, saying: "I think if I have opportunity to play there [England] I would be very grateful. If not Germany, Italy, Spain, everywhere. I think I will be ready to play over there."

Liverpool Scouts Czech Potential Torres Partner

Liverpool is reportedly preparing a January move for Czech international striker Tomas Necid.

The 21-year-old striker is being courted by the cream of Europe, with Real Madrid and AC Milan also thought to be interested in the player. Liverpool are thought to have reacted to the general interest, sending scouts to watch the player first-hand.

Necid started his career at Slavia Prague, making his debut as a teenager in 2007. 13 goals in 32 appearances for the Gambrinus liga club, plus a prolific loan stint at Jablonec led to interest from CSKA Moscow.

The Russian Premier League side signed the player in 2008, although the terms of the deal meant that Necid would stay with Prague for another season.

A powerful centre forward in the traditional No.9 mould, Necid is thought to fit the credentials set by Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson as the Merseyside outfit search for a striker.

New owners NESV are thought to have pledged a transfer war chest of £35 million at Anfield, and Hodgson is thought to have 'five or six' players shortlisted for potential signatures at Liverpool.

A foil for Fernando Torres is thought to be a priority, with Liverpool linked to a string of strikers in recent weeks.

Necid is believed to be on the shortlist, and the scouting activity reported by the Daily Mail suggests that Liverpool are considering a move in the opening month of 2011.

Napoli Eyeing Shock January Swoop For Liverpool Youngster

Napoli are lining up a shock January bid for Liverpool youngster Nathan Eccleston.

The Manchester-born striker, 19, came on in the 65th minute against Napoli in the Europa League earlier this season and the Serie A high-flyers are now interested in signing him.

According to reports in Italy, Napoli have made contact with Liverpool through Eccleston's agent and it is now up to manager Roy Hodgson to decide.

Eccleston, a regular for the Under-18s and reserves, has made five appearances for Liverpool so far this season but it is unclear whether Hodgson considers him a potential first-team regular.

And talkSPORT understands any sale might depend on Hodgson landing another striker in the January transfer window.

Chelsea Poised To Pip Liverpool For Palermo Midfield Star

Chelsea scouts have been keeping tabs on Palermo youngster Armin Bacinovic, according to reports in Italy.

The 21-year-old has impressed this season from his defensive midfield berth and his agent has admitted a list of clubs are now tracking his progress.

It has been reported Chelsea scouts were in attendance when he played 69 minutes for Palermo in their hard-fought 2-1 victory at Cesena at the weekend.

Earlier this month, talkSPORT revealed Liverpool were also considering a January bid for Bacinovic but it appears Chelsea have edged ahead in the race to sign the £12m ace.

Liverpool To Recall Aquilani From Loan In January

Liverpool is considering recalling Alberto Aquilani from his season-long loan to Juventus.

The Italian international has improved his form significantly since gaining regular first team football with the Turin giants, and has even returned to the national team fold.

He has developed a fine partnership with defensive midfielder Felipe Melo at Juve, and practically ran Juventus’ game against Genoa on Sunday with a constant delivery of excellent diagonal passes to the flanks from deep.

When Roy Hodgson let him go to Juventus, he stated that he wanted Aquilani to reach his potential, so he could be the player Liverpool watched before his injury trouble wrecked the beginning of his Anfield career.

“It would certainly be what he needs, it would certainly protect the value of the player and when he does return to Liverpool no doubt we will see the Aquilani that we signed before he came here injured last year,” said the Reds boss at the time.

Although the loan was set for the entire season, with the option for Juventus to buy for around £13m, Liverpool of course retain the option to keep the player – and it looks like they have elected to do so.

Many have felt that Aquilani has been unable to show his potential at Anfield just because he has never been given a proper chance by either Rafa Benitez or Roy Hodgson.

Finally he could be about to do so.