Monday, January 31, 2011

Suarez Passes Liverpool Medical

Luis Suarez is on the brink of joining Liverpool from Ajax for £22.8 million after passing a medical with the Anfield club.

The 24-year-old striker, who has scored 111 goals in 159 games for Ajax, will become Kenny Dalglish's first signing since taking over from Roy Hodgson.

"Luis Suarez has successfully passed his medical and personal terms with the player have been agreed," Liverpool said in a statement. "We expect to complete the remainder of the paperwork tomorrow."

It remains to be seen whether Fernando Torres will be around to partner Suarez, with Chelsea thought to be preparing another bid before the transfer window slams shut on Monday evening. Carlo Ancelotti's side has already seen one offer rebuffed by the Reds.

Torres has handed in a transfer request at Anfield and, although the club insists they will resist any bids for the striker, reports have suggested a fee of £50m could seal the deal.

Liverpool Want Newcastle United Forward Andy Carroll

Liverpool are believed to be interested in acquiring the services of Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll as a replacement for Fernando Torres, who has been widely reported to be on the verge of joining Chelsea.

According to The Sun, the Reds will move in on the young forward with a £30 million bid and a triple-your-wages offer to prise him away from the clutches of the Tyneside outfit.

Carroll has made a seamless transition from the Championship to the Premier League, scoring 11 goals in the process. And the 22-year-old also made his debut for the senior England squad in an international friendly.

Liverpool has also been linked with deadline day moves for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young and Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam.

Liverpool Plan Improved Offers For Ashley Young And Charlie Adam

Liverpool is beginning to plan for life without Fernando Torres as they look to spend the money generated from the World Cup winner's departure.

Liverpool’s softening stance on Torres’ departure has alerted Chelsea, who look set to increase their bid of £35million on Monday.

The west London club are still not willing to pay the £50m that Liverpool seem to be after but they are hopeful of finding a resolution after the Red’s indicated they would be favourable towards a cash plus Nicolas Anelka deal.

The Frenchman is not keen on the move to Liverpool, according to Sky Sports, but Chelsea have been encouraged by Liverpool’s supposed willingness to negotiate on Torres’ transfer.

According to the Guardian, Liverpool will increase their bid for Blackpool’s want-away captain, Charlie Adam, on Monday. The Merseyside club have had a £4m bid rejected by the Lancashire club but are willing to bid up to £10m to get their man.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has indicated previously that an offer of £10m would be considered by the club who paid 20 times less than the proposed selling fee.

Liverpool is also looking into the possibility of signing Aston Villa’s England international Ashley Young. The winger’s contract runs out at the end of next season and has thus far refused to sign a new deal which may force Villa’s hand if they receive a suitable offer.

The Reds are reportedly ready to offer £18m for the player to test the resolve of Gerard Houllier and Villa owner Randy Lerner.

Jose Enrique Targeted For Anfield Summer Swoop

Liverpool are expected to bid for Newcastle defender Jose Enrique in the summer, according to reports.

The Spanish full back has impressed in the Barclays Premier League this season, and the Sunday Mirror reports that Liverpool will launch a summer bid to bring the player to Anfield.

Manchester United are also thought to be interested in bringing the player to Old Trafford, and the pair could start a bidding war at the end of the season.

Liverpool are thought to be in the market for a full back after Paul Konchesky failed to settle on Anfied. The former Fulham defender is being heavily linked with a return to Craven Cottage, leaving the Reds to search for a replacement.

Glen Johnson is currently covering in the position on Merseyside, but manager Kenny Dalglish is thought to see this as a short term solution and will look to invest some of the Liverpool owners’ cash in a new player.

NESV have already shown their willingness to invest with the accepted bid for Luis Suarez, although Dalglish will have to wait until the summer if he wishes to bring Enrique to Liverpool.

25-year-old Enrique is yet to sign a new deal at St James' Park, with his current contract set to expire next summer. Manchester United have also sensed an opportunity to sign the player, and are also thought to be looking for a left back.

Patrice Evra has been heavily linked with an Old Trafford exit, although Manchester United have strenuously denied reports of the Frenchman's exit. Real Madrid have been linked with the player, and Enrique would be an ideal replacement for the player should he leave.

The Toon will almost certainly try and persuade the player to sign a long-term deal at the club, but that is unlikely to prevent either Liverpool or Manchester United making an offer for the player should the opportunity arise.

A former Valencia and Villarreal player, Enrique won Spanish international honours at U21 level and would be an ideal addition for Liverpool should the opportunity arise.

Torres Trains Alone As Kop Board Cave To Striker's Sulk

It is a sentence every reporter is loathe to write, but yesterday on the lonely expanse of Liverpool’s training ground, a picture really did paint a thousand words.

As Fernando Torres trailed forlornly around the Melwood pitch, alone except for the shadow of one of the coaching staff, the image perfectly summed up his last few months at the club and his last day in the historic red shirt.

He has cut an increasingly isolated figure as this disappointing season has unfolded, his frustration and anger eventually settling into a petulant sulk that was framed in body language screaming of discontent and a desire to be elsewhere.

It is that image that stuck with Liverpool’s American owners over the weekend, as they pondered their options in the face of Chelsea’s continuing interest in the Spain forward.

They had a choice, take the money on offer, or make Torres stay until at least the end of the season. The prospect of keeping such a visibly unhappy, potentially disruptive influence makes that a simple decision in the end.

Torres has a clause in his contract that will kick in at the end of the season allowing him to join any club tabling an offer of £50million. It is that, combined with his attitude, which made the Anfield owners realize there was no value in forcing him to stay, even if morally, they must have been tempted to do so.

Put simply, Liverpool cannot get more than £50m for him in the summer, and if that figure is offered now, they have to take it, because to refuse would leave them open to the risk that they could miss out on the money at the end of the season if Torres gets a bad injury in the meantime.

A massive financial gamble for no gain. Keeping him for the next three and a half months provides no benefit either, given his shocking form in all but a handful of matches this term.

He would almost certainly simply sulk further, possibly damaging team morale.

That is why Torres was forced to train alone at the Melwood ground yesterday, because manager Kenny Dalglish does not want any poison to seep into the minds of the players committed to the future of the club.

Torres was told to report for training after the main session involving the first-team squad. That session dragged on longer than expected, and he was made to wait alone until every player had left, being kept completely apart from his team-mates.

With reports coming in around the same time yesterday afternoon that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had sanctioned the offer for Torres to go ultimately to the £50m that will land the player, it was essentially a done deal, barring the usual last-minute formalities.

Torres may well have known that when he trundled around Melwood.

That he can look forward to signing a £150,000 a week contract with Chelsea – £7.5m a year – and have a shot at winning the Champions League this season would no doubt have softened the blow of his enforced isolation.

His behaviour over the past few days and weeks, and particularly in playing so badly and still having putting in a transfer request will rankle with Liverpool fans.

They will not mourn his passing, not least because of the suspicions aroused by one of the few ­performances – perhaps the only real one – he put in this season just happening to be against Chelsea.

There is also talk among some supporters that Torres picked up his form a little in recent weeks only because he was proving to the London club he still retained the ability that once made him the world’s best striker.

That will cause nothing but anger from a fanbase that believed Torres’ claims that he loved Liverpool, and was steeped in the club’s history.

Paul Konchesky To Move To Nottingham Forest On Loan

Liverpool full-back Paul Konchesky looks set to move to Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan after a proposed move to his old club Fulham fell through.

Konchesky had looked set to move back to west London, but they were unable to offload Carlos Salcido who has failed to settle in England since his summer move from PSV Eindhoven, which could see the left back move to Forest for the rest of the season, according to The Times.

The Englishman was bought by previous manager Roy Hodgson and was the focus of much criticism during the early part of the season.

He has however not figured for Liverpool since Kenny Dalglish took over the reins with the Scot favouring even Glen Johnson to play out of position rather than Konchesky.

Fifa rules stipulate that no player can play for three different clubs in a single season and Konchesky has already played for both Fulham and Liverpool.

However Konchesky’s move would be treated as an emergency loan and as such the rules do not come into force, much to the relief of the defender who has been out in the cold for a number of weeks now.

A three month loan deal is expected to be confirmed on Monday however there is no suggestion as yet that the move will include an agreement for the player to join permanently at the end of the season.

Liverpool Player Describes Fernando Torres' Efforts This Season As Laughable

A Liverpool player has labelled the Prozone stats of Chelsea target Fernando Torres as “laughable” and accused the want-away striker of playing for himself, according to the Daily Mail.

In a week in which Torres demanded the route be cleared for his Anfield exit, the un-named player also said the personality of the World Cup winner sometimes raised eyebrows at the training ground.

The source told the paper: “His efforts for the team this season under Roy Hodgson made everyone notice.

“His Prozone stats for some games were laughable for a Premier League striker.”

Torres, who reached the 50 goal mark in just 72 games for Liverpool, was forgiven for his selfishness as a result of his undoubted ability, according to the source.

“On the pitch he'd definitely play for himself rather than the team," the source said.

“Even the real pros like Stevie Gerrard and Jamie Carragher noticed it but when Torres is on top form you'd forgive him anything.”

The report goes on to say that Torres is self-absorbed and not loved by his team-mates in the same way compatriot Pepe Reina is.

“He has always been a complex character," the unnamed player added. "He is so naturally gifted he's always been totally self-absorbed.

“For the first year we'd put his quietness down to a lack of fluent English, but then he'd come out with something word perfect, which made you realize he understood what was going on all the time.

“He has always been admired by his team-mates, but not loved. He hasn't endeared himself in the way that Pepe Reina has, for example.”

The 26-year-old submitted a transfer request on Friday evening and is expected to complete a move away from Anfield by Monday if the Reds can thrash out a deal with Chelsea.

Hansen Reveals How Kenny Trains

Alan Hansen has lifted the lid on the training methods which may be responsible for Liverpool's resurgence.

The Reds rose to seventh in the Barclays Premier League this week following victories over Wolves and Fulham.

Fans have noted a greater willingness to commit men into opposition territory under temporary gaffer Kenny Dalglish.

The attractive football Dalglish likes his sides to play manifested itself in a 31-pass move which culminated in Fernando Torres's ninth strike of the season in the dying moments at Molineux last weekend.

The last few games have prompted Hansen to recall his own days playing under our greatest ever No.7.

"As soon as Kenny went in there he wanted his Liverpool team to move better," the former centre-back told LFC Weekly magazine.

"He told Steve Clarke what he wants to see and that's a return to the traditional pass and move Liverpool values.

"We used to do this function at Liverpool, one of the few training functions we ever did, where the man in possession had to move after passing the ball.

"If he didn't move a foul was awarded and the team he was playing for lost possession.

"You wouldn't believe how many times players got caught out for not moving, but it became a natural thing for us to do after passing the ball.

"It was drilled into us that when a man is in possession, if people are moving then it is easier for him to play a pass. That is exactly what has been missing from Liverpool, especially away from home, and it's what Kenny is trying to restore."

One player who is crucial to the implementation of Dalglish's ideas is Portugal international midfielder Raul Meireles, according to Hansen.

"At Wolves, Meireles in particular showed what a class player he is," said the 55-year-old.

"I've always said that if Liverpool can get some impetus and momentum we will see the true value of Meireles because he really is a good player who has needed a bit of time to adjust.

"His passing, movement and attacking play at Wolves were excellent and Torres benefited from him, Kuyt and Rodriguez being given the freedom to go and play."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Liverpool Negotiating With Chelsea Over £50m Fernando Torres Bid

Liverpool have asked for Nicolas Anelka to be included in Chelsea's £50 million bid for Fernando Torres as a stunning deal before the transfer window closes grows more likely, UK can reveal.

Contrary to Liverpool's public stance that Torres is not for sale, the club is willing to negotiate with the Londoners as they fear the negative consequences of keeping a player who has publicly revealed his desire to move on.

Torres submitted a written transfer request on Friday night which was rejected by Liverpool, but that has not deterred Chelsea from making a second offer for the Spaniard of £40m in cash plus Daniel Sturridge, the England Under-21 striker.

With Torres, 26, pushing both clubs to negotiate over a move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, Liverpool have asked for Frenchman Anelka, not Sturridge, to be included in the deal to meet their £50m valuation.

Anelka is considered a proven goalscorer who can slot into the Liverpool side immediately and a more suitable partner for Luis Suarez, who is on Merseyside to complete a £22.8m switch from Ajax.

Anelka spent a loan spell at Anfield in the 2001-02 season and could be open to a return as Torres' arrival would cast doubt over the 31-year-old's future at Stamford Bridge. He played the full 90 minutes for the Londoners in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Everton in the FA Cup fourth round but has played for eight different clubs in his career, including Liverpool on loan in 2002.

Chelsea would still prefer to offload Sturridge, who has failed to spark since joining from Manchester City in 2009 and attracted interest from Liverpool last month but is considered as a prospect for the future rather than someone who is ready to deliver now.

Liverpool turned down an opening £35m offer from Chelsea for Torres on Thursday and are determined that their star striker will only leave under their terms, despite the player's desire to leave Anfield.

“Fernando is under long-term contract and the club expect him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool FC and its supporters when he signed the agreement,” said the club in a statement on Friday night.

There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Torres' contract, which expires in summer 2013, includes a buyout clause that will allow him to leave if a club offers £50m after the end of the season. UK revealed on Friday that he has made up his mind that he will not be playing for Liverpool by the start of next season.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is determined to complete a deal for the World Cup winner, who he also tried to sign last summer but was rebuffed by the Merseyside club.

When contacted by UK, a Liverpool spokesman said: "We don't comment on transfer speculation."

Liverpool Target €8m French Defensive Midfielder Amidst Lucas Exit Talks

Liverpool are once again being linked with a move for French international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

The Times reported last week that the St Etienne player was being targeted as Liverpool struggle to agree a fee for Charlie Adam, with an €8 million move mooted.

Director of Football strategy at Anfield, Damien Comolli, is a known admirer of the player after holding a similar position at the Ligue 1 club. His connection with the player is thought to hold the key with regards to a Liverpool bid.

Matuidi started his senior career at Troyes in 2004, but moved to his current employees at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in 2007. His impressive recent form has also led to international recognition, with Laurent Blanc handing the player his first Les Bleus cap against Bosnia.

Lucas Leiva joined the Reds in 2007, and after a tough couple of seasons at the Merseyside outfit the Brazilian has established himself in the Liverpool midfield with some fine displays this season.

However, Villarreal striker Nilmar has said that his compatriot was interested in a move to the Yellow Submarine and has encouraged him to consider a switch to La Liga, as reported by talkSPORT.

"Lucas was interested in the club," said Nilmar.

"He would be a great player for our team. He plays very well, and he would fit in well with our style at Villarreal."

Matuidi would occupy a similar role to Lucas should he move to Liverpool, with the defensive midfielder adding some bite for the club in the centre of the pitch and allowing skipper Steven Gerrard to push forward.

Kenny Dalglish is thought to have been advised by Comolli to make a move for the player, although Liverpool would have to move fast if they are to add to the addition of Luis Suarez.

Carlo Ancelotti In Dark About Chelsea's Fernando Torres Transfer Bid

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he has no idea whether Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will become a Chelsea player this month.

The Blues had a £35 million bid for the World Cup winner rejected earlier in the week, but are now said to be preparing an improved offer after Torres submitted a written transfer request at Anfield.

Liverpool's public stance remains that the former Atletico Madrid man is not for sale and Ancelotti revealed he had not heard anything to the contrary, when quizzed about the proposed transfer after Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday.

'I don't know, we will have to wait,' said the Italian.

Ancelotti could have been forgiven for having his mind on other things after his side produced another poor performance in the FA Cup fourth round tie at Goodison Park.

The holders looked to be on their way out when Louis Saha gave Everton a deserved lead shortly after the hour mark, but they secured a replay thanks to a 75th-minute Salomon Kalou goal.

Ancelotti admitted the Toffees had been the better team, but insisted he was pleased with his players.

'Everton have a special kind of football, play a lot of long balls and they like to fight in the box on set-pieces,' he said.

'But we showed a good attitude and spirit even though we did not play well.'

Charlie Adam's Father Brands Blackpool 'Cheap-Skates'

In the wake of Blackpool's rejection of Liverpool's second official bid for midfielder Charlie Adam, the player's father, also called Charlie, has branded his son's team "cheap-skates" for saying no to the bid.

Liverpool's second offer is believed to be around the £6.5 million mark, around £2.5m more than the initial bid.

Charlie senior was enraged at the decision and made his thoughts known to the Seasiders and their chairman Karl Oyston, claiming it was rejected as a "revenge attack" due to the bad blood between player and club.

He said: "Blackpool are such a cheap-skate club.

"I don’t even think this is about money. It’s because Charlie took them to a tribunal over the bonus they owed him. This is their pay-back. They are saying ‘you won’t make anything out of this, we have got you under contract’. "Liverpool’s offer is THIRTEEN times what Blackpool paid for Charles. And they are turning it down? They have been more than compensated for him already.

"Mr. Oyston has got to realize it is somebody’s life and future that he is dealing with here. I think it is petty. This should be a time for common sense to prevail."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish improved the offer in an attempt to bring in the Scottish international before Monday's deadline closes in, but it is believed that Blackpool want a deal starting at around £12m.

Adam has already handed in a transfer request that was dismissed by his club, but the midfielder is demanding that Blackpool and their manager Ian Holloway sell him on and claims he is being 'blanked'.

Adam senior claimed Holloway had told his son that Liverpool was an ‘exception’ to his rule about where he could go.

He added: “Blackpool have been looking at other players. They could do without Charlie and be safe."

Liverpool See £6.5m Bid Rebuffed For New Gerrard Partner

Blackpool have reportedly rejected Liverpool’s latest bid for their captain, Charlie Adam.

The Reds had an initial offer of £4 million for the 25-year-old and, according to, they have been rebuffed in their latest attempts to sign the Scotland international.

Tangerines boss Ian Holloway said last week that it would take over £10 million for Liverpool to sign his prized asset; hence a reported bid of £6.5 million was dismissed by the club last night.

Blackpool’s reluctance to let Adam leave for Liverpool after handing in a transfer request last Monday has led to a sense of ill-feeling to grow between the camps involved.

Tommy Smith: Meireles Now Adding Liverpool FC Goals To All His Rich Promise

The more I see of Raul Meireles, the more I like.

He is a player used to playing at a slower tempo in Portugal and who is having to come to grips with the hustle of the Premier League.

But he is quickly figuring it out and is getting better for us by the week.

Most encouragingly, he has just added a couple of important, not to say spectacular, goals to his game. That’s one thing Liverpool has been missing in recent seasons from midfield, Steven Gerrard apart.

Xabi Alonso might have been good for a few goals but Javier Mascherano hardly hit the net at all and Lucas Leiva doesn’t either.

The best teams, including winning Liverpool sides of the past, saw goals coming from all areas. The likes of Ian Callaghan, Steve Heighway, Ray Kennedy, Jimmy Case etc were all good for their fair share of goals.

Even full backs Chris Lawler and Phil Neal scored a tremendous amount for Liverpool.

But unless it’s Gerrard or Torres, maybe Dirk Kuyt, there hasn’t been much of a threat coming from elsewhere for too long.

That may be changing now with Meireles getting forward and in on the act of hitting the target.

He’s still got to toughen up in the tackle a bit for me. But like his new found appetite for goals, that too may well come soon.

Skrtel Hails Young Defender

Martin Skrtel believes Liverpool's defensive problems are on the mend thanks in no small part to the presence of Martin Kelly.

Caretaker boss Kenny Dalglish had to wait until his fourth game back in charge for a victory due to a clutch of rearguard lapses.

Successive clean sheets have helped Liverpool collect six points from their last two fixtures - evidence that work on the training ground is paying off, according to Skrtel.

One man he believes can take a bow is 20-year-old Kelly, who has started all five of Dalglish's matches to date.

"I am positive about the fact that we didn’t concede on Wednesday," said Skrtel. "It was a lucky goal for us but I think we deserved to win. We must beat Stoke City now and we will see what happens with Chelsea. I would like to win these games as well.

"I think Martin Kelly is doing really well for us. I remember when he played against Chelsea at Anfield this season and was one of our best players.

"He did extremely well playing against their big stars and he competed very well with them.

"He is working really hard and I am happy for him because he is a nice guy and a great player."

Another player responsible for Liverpool's upturn in form is Raul Meireles, who took his goals tally since joining from Porto in the summer to two with hits against Everton and Wolves.

Skrtel added: "He's a great player with a lot of quality and he showed this when he played for Porto and he is doing the same now at Liverpool.

"It was an unbelievable goal he scored against Wolves and I saw it very clear because I was right behind him.

"It was one of the best goals I have seen this season."

Agger: I Like Kenny's Style

Daniel Agger believes Kenny Dalglish is attempting to install a positive mentality into Liverpool's playing style - and it's one he's relishing.

The Dane feels the training methods Dalglish has implemented at Melwood have had the desired effect so far, with the Reds winning their last two matches in the Barclays Premier League to move up to seventh in the table.

Agger told Liverpool's official matchday programme: "He's (Dalglish) such a big personality and his name is so big around this club and this city, it's unbelievable. He's been here for a few weeks now and I can say that I like his style of football.

"I think every day, he is so positive in what he does - trying to get the team to go forward by playing football. I believe he can be really good for us.

"In the team meetings and in training you can hear and by the different things we're working on that he really wants us to play positive football and how important it is to keep possession, not giving it away so easily.

"He understands that long-term success happens with teams and not individuals so there has been a big emphasis on team spirit."

Shortly after the confirmation of his appointment, Dalglish drafted in Steve Clarke to assist with the coaching of the squad at Melwood.

Agger has been impressed with the manner in which the pair have worked together so far, and he's hopeful they will both have decisive roles to play in Liverpool's future.

"Already you can see that he (Steve Clarke) is, and will hopefully in the future be, a positive influence on this club," he said.

"He and Kenny look like a really good team and together I hope they can play a huge part in the club's future - not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as well. It is clear that they suit this club.

"Obviously we need results but that's up to the players in the squad to make that happen too.

"We have that spirit back under the new manager and that counts for a lot because if you have confidence, it's easier to achieve success.

"You have seen in the past what some of the players here can do - there's no reason why we can't do it again."

Since recovering from injury, Agger has started all five of Liverpool's games since Dalglish took over at the helm - and he remains adamant he sees his future at Anfield.

The defender added: "I don't see why I shouldn't see my immediate future here because I have three or so years left on my contract and I intend to fulfil that.

"I believe in the club and like the city, so why should I look anywhere else?"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fernando Torres Demands To Leave Liverpool Despite Luis Suárez Arrival

Chelsea will return with an improved £40m offer for Fernando Torres with the Premier League champions hopeful of closing the deal before Monday's deadline after the striker last night confirmed his desire to quit Liverpool by submitting a transfer request.

Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, is prepared to add the young striker Daniel Sturridge as a makeweight in the new bid, which will follow the £35m that was rejected by Liverpool yesterday. Chelsea intend to push hard for what would be a stunning coup and have been encouraged both by Torres's actions – although Liverpool have rejected his transfer request – and by his employers agreeing a £22.8m deal with Ajax for Luis Suárez this afternoon.

The Suárez fee, which will place him second to Torres as the most expensive signing in Liverpool's history, represents a £10m increase on the offer that Ajax rejected earlier this week.

Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, hope the signing of the Uruguay international, who has still to complete a medical and agree personal terms, will convince Torres of their ambitions and they remain adamant that their leading goalscorer is not for sale. Liverpool said in a statement last night: "Fernando Torres tonight submitted a written transfer request, which has been rejected by Liverpool. Fernando is under long-term contract and the club expects him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool FC and its supporters when he signed the agreement."

However, the 26-year-old has reached the point where he believes a departure from Anfield is the right move for his career and does not want to miss a second opportunity to join Chelsea. He has urged FSG to broker an agreement that is good for both himself and the club.

Chelsea's move carries an opportunistic edge. They tried to sign Torres last summer, only for Liverpool to put a prohibitive price tag on him. Chelsea were mindful that Manchester City were also after the Spaniard. Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, was not prepared to enter into an auction. That remains the case.

But with City having signed Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg for £27m earlier in the month, Chelsea feel they might have a clear shot at Torres now. Hence their determination to get him during this transfer window rather than wait until the summer, when City and others might re-enter the bidding. A footnote to the intrigue is that, if Torres does sign for Chelsea, his debut could be against Liverpool, who play at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday week.

"Every time, when there is a possibility to find a better player for this club, we will try," Ancelotti said. "I don't need to explain when we move. When we try to do something, we speak together and make the decision. I knew about the bid. I'm not surprised because I know what the club is doing. The club is doing a fantastic job in this transfer market. It is trying to do everything to improve the squad."

Another factor in Chelsea's late move for the Spain international is the £50m release clause he was granted by Liverpool last summer. Sources close to Torres have denied such a clause exists and, in this transfer window, that is correct. It is understood the clause comes into effect this summer, providing Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Kenny Dalglish's side are currently nine points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, having played one game more, and any suitor would have to pay £50m to release Torres from a £110,000-a-week contract that runs until 2013 should they remain outside the top four.

Torres sought assurances last summer, when he knew Chelsea and City were circling, that he could leave in the event of another disappointing season. Those discussions were held with the then managing director, Christian Purslow, who has now left the club, and ultimately led to the striker's pledging his loyalty to Liverpool.

Torres, the former Atlético Madrid captain, also wanted assurances over the future of the club and what funds were available for rebuilding the squad when Liverpool were bought by the new owners. His camp believes that promises have been broken.

Liverpool are not the club that Torres joined in 2007. The striker is pessimistic over the future and his patience has worn thin. Roy Hodgson's departure and the appointment of Dalglish as manager, though steps in the right direction, are evidently not enough to ease Torres's misgivings.

Despite the recognition that Liverpool could block the move Torres believes an immediate departure is the best solution. If he were to join Chelsea, he would be eligible to play in the Champions League. He is hopeful of Liverpool recognising that his departure could be good for all concerned. Liverpool signed him for £23m; with a little bartering they could make more than £20m profit by selling now.

Chelsea To Come At Liverpool With £60m Bid For Fernando Torres

Chelsea looks set to improve on their bid for Liverpool's Fernando Torres with a sum of £60 million, according to The Mirror.

The record-breaking bid comes after the Spanish striker told his current team that he wants to leave via a written transfer request.

His representatives have also apparently written to the club's new American owners stating all the reasons why the player should be allowed to leave, including the fact that the forward has been let down over promises made last summer to keep him at the club after Rafa Benitez's departure.

The West London club is also prepared to throw in young striker Daniel Sturridge, a player Liverpool wanted to take on loan earlier this season, and the Reds look to have an offer they can't refuse.

Any completed deal will probably see Torres become Chelsea's highest ever earner, but the negotiations will need to gather momentum quickly given that there are only three days left for such a big transfer to go through before deadline.

Niang Admits Liverpool Lure

Mamadou Niang admits he is flattered by links with Liverpool, amid strong speculation the Reds are preparing to swoop for the Fenerbahce attacker.

The 31-year-old Senegal international has been in fine form for Fener this season, scoring nine league goals in 15 matches, and various reports in Africa suggest Kenny Dalglish has made him a transfer target.

Niang, formerly of Troyes, Strasbourg and Marseille, says it would be a privilege to play for Liverpool but claims he is still bound to his current club.

"It is flattering to hear the interest of Liverpool, they are a fantastic club with a rich tradition, one of the most amazing clubs in the world," he said.

"We all know the anthem of the Kop, it would be fantastic, but I have a contract here and it depends a lot on the club here in Turkey.

"But it would be a great opportunity at my age to play for a very very big club."

Niang, who can play as either as a striker, support striker or winger, moved to Fenerbahce for €8million (£6.9m) in August from Marseille.

Liverpool is trying to strengthen their squad for the second half of the campaign and have recently rejected a big-money offer from Chelsea for Fernando Torres.

Blackpool Reject Improved Bid For Charlie Adam

Liverpool have apparently sent an improved bid to Blackpool for star player Charlie Adam, which has been rejected by the Seasiders, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The bid is thought to have been considerably more than the initial £4 million.

Adam handed in a transfer request last week, but it was refused and Blackpool boss Ian Holloway will only seriously listen to offers over £10m for the Scotsman.

Hammers End Cole Chase

West Ham co-owner David Gold believes an attempt to bring Joe Cole back to Upton Park has 'run its course'.

The club's manager, Avram Grant, admitted last week that he would welcome a reunion with the Liverpool playmaker, who he worked with at former club Chelsea.

It has also been reported that Cole would be interested in a return to West Ham, where he began his career, having struggled since a Bosman move to Anfield in June.

But ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest, Gold does not think that it will be possible to agree a deal for the 29-year-old.

Gold told Sky Sports News regarding interest in Cole: "We don't leave any stone unturned. But I would discount that now. I think that has run its course."

West Ham completed the drawn-out signing of Senegal international Demba Ba from Hoffenheim on Friday to add to the January arrivals of Gary O'Neil and loanee Wayne Bridge.

However, amid reported interest in Brazil international Ewerthon, Gold has not ruled out further signings before Monday's transfer deadline.

He said: "We still have one or two other irons in the fire."

Liverpool Reject Bid From Chelsea For Fernando Torres

Liverpool have revealed they have rejected a bid from Chelsea for star striker Fernando Torres.

Chelsea have long been admirers of the Spain international, and the bid was given the green light by club owner Roman Abramovich, who hoped to finally get his man in a shock January transfer window move.

The London club is believed to have made a bid in the region of £35 million, but Liverpool declared they have no intention of selling Torres.

“Chelsea has made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down,” a Liverpool spokesman said, according to The Times. “The player is not for sale.”

Torres had struggled earlier in the season under Roy Hodgson, but caught the eye when he scored a stunning goal against Carlo Ancelotti's side and has since enjoyed a resurgence in form under Kenny Dalglish.

The World Cup winner declared his commitment to the Merseyside club in the summer, but reportedly had a clause inserted in his contract that would allow him to leave should they receive an offer of £50m.

Torres' current deal expires in 2013, but Chelsea are understood to be hoping the striker could seek a move away from Anfield following what could be another unsuccessful season.

Jose Reina Excited About Liverpool Future

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina reflected the optimistic mood infusing the squad after back-to-back wins by talking about an "exciting time" ahead.

Contrasting victories over Wolves and Fulham have lifted the Reds into seventh in the Barclays Premier League, their highest position all season after the worst start since 1953/54.

They are now only six points behind fifth-placed Tottenham and Reina believes they can look ahead to the rest of the campaign with confidence.

"It's an exciting time and we still have half of the season remaining so there are a lot of points at stake," he said.

"We want to get as high as we possibly can in the league. It is really competitive and we have to keep this up.

"And we still have the Europa League to come (Liverpool face Sparta Prague in the last 32)."

After successive wins and clean sheets Liverpool have a weekend off because of the FA Cup - which they exited at Manchester United 24 hours after Kenny Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson.

But although the squad will be given time off to recover from a run of seven games in 26 days Reina knows they cannot afford to allow their momentum to stall.

It is therefore crucial they get a result when Stoke visit Anfield on Wednesday, especially with a trip to Chelsea coming the following Sunday.

"We will enjoy some time with our family and then it is back to work to get ready for the next game," he told

"Our target is another three points against Stoke.

"It is always a tough game and it's always a nightmare to face the (Rory Delap) long throw which is one of their main strengths.

"But we will only worry about our own strengths and worry what we do."

The week between games may give midfielders Lucas Leiva and Jay Spearing enough time to overcome injuries.

Lucas missed the win over Fulham because of a hamstring strain while Spearing has a small fracture of a bone in his foot.

Neither is expected to be sidelined for long, with Dalglish admitting they could have been pressed into action against the Cottagers had it been entirely necessary.

"Lucas may have been able to play but I didn't think it was worth it and there was there was no point because we have Christian Poulsen to fill in there," he said.

"Jay could also have played but there was no point in risking him because if it got worse he would be out for six to eight weeks so we tried to minimize the amount of time they will be out."

Palsson Ties Up Hibs Move

Hibernian have completed the signing of Icelandic youngster Victor Palsson on an 18-month contract from Liverpool. revealed earlier this week that the 19-year-old midfielder was set to join Hibs after failing to make the breakthrough at Liverpool.

He made three appearances on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge back in November and Palsson is looking forward to his opportunity at Easter Road.

He told the club's official website: "I played for Iceland Under 21s against Scotland at Easter Road a few months ago and I was really impressed with the atmosphere; it is a special stadium.

"As soon as I was aware of Hibernian's interest, I was really keen to join the club and to work with the manager; it is a really exciting move for me.

"I believe the Scottish league will suit my way of playing and I am looking forward to playing for Hibernian.

"Edinburgh is a great city and everything about the move indicates it is the right decision for me."

Palsson is Hibs manager Colin Calderwood's fourth signing of the transfer window after Matt Thornhill, Martin Scott and Richie Towell also joined the SPL strugglers.

Reds Ready For Cup Action

John McMahon's Liverpool Reserves are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Prescot Cables in the quarter-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup at Valerie Park.

The young Reds will begin the defence of the trophy they have won on over 30 occasions throughout the years but they face a strong challenge from Evo Stick First Division outfit Prescot Cables.

Their manager Dave Ridler is a big Red and is also involved in coaching at the club's Academy so it will be a special night for him and his team.

"We are all really looking forward to the game and it's always a special occasion whenever you play Liverpool," said Ridler.

"We have got a few Liverpool and Everton supporters in the team and they will all want to give a good account of themselves.

"Ben Parsonage plays for us and he was part of two FA Youth Cup winning squads for Liverpool so I'm sure he will want to do well.

"We are playing well at the moment and I'm sure this will be a good game."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reds Turn Down Torres Bid

Liverpool have rejected a Chelsea bid of £35million for Fernando Torres, according to The Times.

The Stamford Bridge side, who were linked with a move for the Spain striker in the summer, have been told in no uncertain terms that the 26-year-old is not available.

"Chelsea has made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down," a Liverpool spokesman told the newspaper. "The player is not for sale."

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is a known long-time admirer of the Torres but has been unsuccessful in past attempts to lure the player away from Anfield and Liverpool are determined to fend off any new interest.

There has been much speculation about Torres' future but it began to grow after the club finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

He returned to Merseyside as a World Cup winner but, with Chelsea seemingly prepared to make a bid, he insisted his commitment to the Reds was the same as when he signed in the summer of 2007.

However, his - and the club's - early-season form did little to dispel those rumours as the striker cut a frustrated and agitated figure on the pitch as Liverpool endured their worst start to a campaign since 1953/54.

Matters were not helped when it emerged a £50million buy-out clause had been inserted into his contract - which runs until 2013.

But since the appointment of Kenny Dalglish to replace Roy Hodgson nearly three weeks ago Torres has looked a rejuvenated player and in his last four matches has scored three times - which would have been four had he not had an effort against Fulham on Wednesday wrongly ruled out for offside.

Fernando Llorente Will Not Be Sold By Athletico Bilbao

Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their race to sign a striker with news that Fernando Llorente will not be sold by Athletic Bilbao.

The Spanish international striker has emerged as one of the Reds' top targets, should a deal for Luis Suarez fall through, but the player's club have told Liverpool to forget it.

Kenny Dalglish has highlighted an attacking foil for Fernando Torres as the number one priority at Anfield in January, and Liverpool will have to move fast with regards to their other options if they are to secure the services of another player.

"We know the player wants to stay at the club for a long time. I will categorically say Llorente will not be sold and he will not leave in this summer," club president Fernando Garcia Macau told Spanish media.

"There has been no approach from any club for the striker and we are fed up by the rumour mill on this issue.

"While the Board of Directors and the President are here, Fernando Llorente will not be sold."

Liverpool were reportedly considering a €20 million offer for the player, but are unlikely to waste their time with an offer after the flat rejection from Los Leones.

Suarez remains the biggest hope for the Anfield outfit with only five days remaining in the transfer window, although Liverpool need to offer in the region of £21 million to secure the Uruguayan's services.