Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adam Wants Liverpool Move

Charlie Adam has told Blackpool that Liverpool is the club he wants to join and another Scotland international could hold the key to the deal.

Seasiders skipper Adam has held talks with chairman Karl Oyston this week and The Gazette understands the 25-year-old expressed the wish to move to Anfield.

Pool are thought to be holding out for around £8m plus three players on a season-long loan.

And it could certainly speed up the deal if they could convince the Merseyside club to include defender Danny Wilson in the package.

Sources close to Liverpool suggest that Kenny Dalglish is prepared to loan out the centre-half or left-back for the coming season and that he could seal the Adam deal.

Nineteen-year-old Wilson has also been linked with a return to Rangers, from where he signed from Liverpool last summer in a move that could eventually be worth £5m.

Despite the fee, Wilson made only eight appearances for the Reds last season, including games in Europa League and Carling Cup. He broke into the senior Scotland side last season, winning his third cap as a team-mate of Adam in the friendly against Brazil in March.

Wilson's fellow Liverpool defender Stephen Darby is another strongly linked with a loan move to the Seasiders as Kenny Dalglish's club step up their quest to bring in Adam alongside midfield recruit Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool Interested In Bringing Ezequiel Lavezzi To Anfield

Liverpool have been placed on alert over the availability of Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The Argentine international has been linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League in the past month, with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini also thought to be keen on the player.

Damien Comolli, director of football at Liverpool, is believed to be an admirer of the player, although it's unknown how Kenny Dalglish feels on the player, nicknamed 'El Pocho'.

"I have never been a dreamer. In my life, I have always set myself goals - many goals to reach. I am someone who organizes his future," the 26-year-old told La Naicon.

"I take each day as it comes and enjoy every moment. My next goal after Napoli is to play in a great team."

Lavezzi's agent confirmed Liverpool was tracking the player earlier in the year, and the Merseysiders are known to be in the market for a striker.

A left back and winger are also thought to be on the agenda for the Reds, with Dalglish looking to invest further on players following the reported £20 million addition of Jordan Henderson at Liverpool a fortnight ago.

Dalglish Close To Snaring £20m England Wideman

Liverpool appear to be one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market as they are continually linked with a number of possible signings, the latest being Manchester City midfielder James Milner.

The England regular made the move to Eastlands last season and despite moving for £26million failed to make a huge impression on boss Roberto Mancini, making just 22 league appearances and not scoring a single Premier League goal.

Competing with the likes of David Silva, Adam Johnson and Yaya Toure for a place as an attacking midfielder, Milner often found himself on the bench and struggled to show the form that had made him one of Aston Villa's star players.

The former Leeds United player has been linked with a possible move back to Aston Villa, but new boss Alex McLeish could face competition from Liverpool who is desperate add some wide players to their squad.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish had hoped to tie up a deal for Villa winger Stewart Downing but has so far been unable to push a deal through. Now he may turn his attention to Milner who has the ability to play on either wing or in the centre of midfield.

The 25-year-old has made 19 appearances for England but has yet to really establish himself as a first team regular and would certainly want to start more games next season if he is to convince Fabio Capello that he deserves to start games.

According to the Daily Mail, City has hired John Williams to try and push through deals for a number of their fringe players but so far suggestions are that this does not include Milner.

However, should Milner decide that he needs to start more regularly then he may need to move away from Eastlands to make this happen. Liverpool is currently struggling in wide positions with Maxi Rodriguez, Joe Cole and Dirk Kuyt asked to play on the wing, despite none being out and out wingers.

While Liverpool certainly have the money to tempt City to sell, it remains to be seen whether boss Roberto Mancini would be prepared to sell to a top four rival.

Ex-United Playmaker Return Initiates Liverpool Deal

Charlie Adam's move to Liverpool appears close after Blackpool welcomed former Manchester United midfielder Bojan Djordjic to the club, according to The Mirror.

The Scot's move to Liverpool has stalled in recent weeks after the clubs failed to agree a fee, but Djordjic's arrival at Bloomfield Road, a player very much in Adam's mould, is the first sign that Ian Holloway is prepared to sell.

Djordjic made just one appearance for United in his nine year career at Old Trafford, but his move back to England appears to have done Liverpool a favour in capturing their sought after target.

Since United manager Sir Alex Ferguson labeled Adam's free-kicks as being worth £10 million alone, Liverpool have struggled to agree a fee with Blackpool as the two clubs' valuations differ considerably.

The two clubs were reportedly close to a deal during the January transfer window, but Blackpool opted to retain Adam to aid their survival bid in the Premier League.

With relegation now confirmed, Liverpool's pursuit of Adam has continued, and with the Tangerines having now made contingency plans for his departure, a deal could be imminent.

Liverpool Told £12m Will Land Birmingham Centre-Back

Liverpool have been told that they will need to bid £12million if they want to land Birmingham centre-back Scott Dann who is keen to secure a move back to the Premier League.

Dann was one of Birmingham's star performers last season and along with fellow centre-back Roger Johnson was viewed as one of the best hottest properties on the transfer market after the Blues suffered relegation from the Premiership.

The 24-year-old has been tracked by a number of clubs but it is Liverpool that have been sending out signals of intent in recent weeks. The Merseyside club has already signed Jordan Henderson and is keen to add Dann to their squad as they push for a top four finish next season.

Liverpool boss Dalglish and director of football Damien Comolli have been identifying a number of potential defensive targets and after Phil Jones signed for Manchester United, Dann became their number one priority.

According to Koptalk, a source close to Birmingham has revealed there is currently a stand-off between the clubs as Liverpool has not yet met the asking price.

"There have been serious conversations and negotiations are continuing but no fee has been agreed. If Dann is to leave, Birmingham is determined to obtain the price they feel is fair for one of the best young defenders in the Premier League.

"His performances over the past two years have been excellent," continued the source."

The young defender is known to be a Liverpool fan having grown up in the area and spent much of his youth watching the Reds in action at Anfield. However, he will want to make sure he moves to a club where he will have a chance of regular first team football.

Dalglish knows that both Jamie Carragher and Sotirios Kyrgiakos are coming to the end of their careers and is determined to bring a number of younger players into the squad.

With Daniel Agger spending much of last season on the sidelines, Dann may well have the opportunity to become an important member of the first team.

Liverpool Set To Miss Out On South Korean Star

Liverpool could miss out on yet another target – with Lille preparing to pounce for Monaco’s Park Chu-Young.

Kenny Dalglish is still reeling after being beaten by Manchester United to the signing of Phil Jones and, on Wednesday, he saw Connor Wickham move to Sunderland.

Despite the arrival of Jordan Henderson for what could eventually be £20million, it has been a frustrating summer so far at Anfield.

Liverpool were keen on Monaco forward Park and the indication is the French club will sell – but Lille now appear to be frontrunners.

Monaco face losing their key players this summer following their relegation from France's top-flight and Liverpool, as well as Spurs, were keen on the South Korea star.

But Lille are now leading the chase, with the Ligue Un club ready to use the funds from Gervinho's sale to Arsenal to launch a £5m offer for the free-kick specialist.

Sammy Lee Departs Liverpool

Sammy Lee has left Liverpool, just over three years after returning to the Anfield club as assistant manager.

Reports of the immensely popular 52-year-old assistant manager's exit began circulating on Tuesday night and have not been denied by the club. The reasons behind this parting of the ways remain unclear, although Steve Clarke's arrival last season as Kenny Dalglish's first-team coach diminished Lee's influence. Clarke is now expected to become Dalglish's No2.

While it has been suggested that Lee could rejoin West Ham United's Sam Allardyce – whom he previously assisted at Bolton Wanderers – this appears unlikely. Allardyce boasts a strong back room at Upton Park but, perhaps more significantly, there are appreciable differences in the pair's playing philosophies.

Lee's attempts to get Bolton playing a more fluent passing game when he briefly succeeded Allardyce as manager at the Reebok in 2007 contributed to his dismissal. He swiftly returned to Anfield where his glorious playing career had been followed by life in various coaching guises working under Graeme Souness, Roy Evans and Gérard Houllier.

Brought back to Liverpool in 2008 by Rafael Benítez, Lee – who had previously left his spiritual home to work as a full-time member of the England coaching staff before joining Allardyce at Bolton – was kept in the post by Roy Hodgson, but effectively pushed down the hierarchy once Dalglish recruited Clarke.

Starlets Earn England Call

Liverpool youngsters Jack Robinson and Andre Wisdom have been named in the England squad for the forthcoming U20 World Cup finals in Colombia.

The Reds pair are part of coach Brian Eastick's 21-man squad, which will warm up for the finals with a 10-day training camp in Denver, Colorado in America from July 14.

They'll then travel on to Colombia's Medellin ahead of the World Cup opener against Korea DPR on Friday, July 29.

England will also tackle Argentina and Mexico in Group F.

England U20 World Cup squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Jak Alnwick (Newcastle United), Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Lee Nicholls (Wigan Athletic).

Defenders: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa), Ben Gordon (Chelsea), Jack Robinson (Liverpool), Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur), Reece Wabara (Manchester City), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool), Scott Wootton (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Reece Brown (Manchester United), Gary Gardner (Aston Villa), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Dean Parrett (Tottenham Hotspur), George Thorne (West Bromwich Albion).

Forwards: Benik Afobe (Arsenal), Nicholas Ajose (Manchester United), Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic), Alex Nimely (Manchester City), Ryan Noble (Sunderland), Matthew Phillips (Blackpool).

Liverpool FC To Expand Its Retail Empire Into Southport

Liverpool FC is looking to expand its retail empire – but its sights are focused on Southport, rather than Shanghai.

In an exclusive interview with LDP Business magazine, which is published tomorrow, Liverpool FC chief executive Ian Ayre outlined the short-term plans to reach more fans with its retail offer.

The Premier League club currently has five outlets – in Liverpool at Liverpool One, Williamson Square and Anfield, as well as Chester and Belfast.

It has identified a suitable site in Southport and is negotiating terms, while it continues to search for a site in Dublin.

But he remains unconvinced about the merits of opening a standalone Liverpool FC store in a major Asian city.

Mr. Ayre said: “One of the things that a lot of people don’t understand about football retailing is in Liverpool two out of every three people who walk past our store in Liverpool One are probably Liverpool fans to differing degrees.

“There are millions of fans in Asia. But if you put a store in Shanghai, are there enough fans in Shanghai and are they engaged enough? Is there enough appetite for it?

“Other clubs have tried it and I am not convinced, from what I have heard.

“It may be that the online store should be more locally focused, or maybe we will get a concession in a major retailer.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Ayre also talks about where he believes the club’s former owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, went wrong – and why the current owners, Fenway Sports Group, are not repeating those mistakes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gerrard Expects Trophy Push

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes it is only a matter of time before the club start challenging for trophies again.

The Reds have been on a downward spiral in recent seasons although the return of Kenny Dalglish to Anfield following the departure of Roy Hodgson picked things up last term.

Gerrard is confident Liverpool will be mixing it at the top of the Premier League during the next campaign after improvements of late.

"What I can say to the fans is that Liverpool will be back among the trophies sooner rather than later because we are moving in the right direction," he said.

"We have got fantastic players, the structure of the club is healthy from top to bottom and when that is the case then the team won't be too far away from winning."

The 31-year-old England international insists Liverpool will win the title again at some stage.

He added on "We will get the championship again. It's difficult to say when because that adds a lot of pressure to the team."

Liverpool Still Interested In Sunderland Target Connor Wickham

Liverpool is still in the hunt for Connor Wickham, despite Sunderland moving ahead in the race for the Ipswich striker.

According to, the Merseysiders remain 'very keen' on the teenager, although Sunderland have already entered into talks with the Tractor Boys over a proposed £13 million deal.

Wickham has been on the radar of Liverpool for a number of months - while some reports have suggested he favours a move to Anfield - as Fenway Sports Group look to fulfil their pledge to invest in young talent.

But Sunderland have shown a more serious interest in the 18-year-old, with the Black Cats determined to spend the £20 million made on the sale of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool.

It is unlikely, however, that Liverpool will let Steve Bruce and Co. have a free run at Wickham, with the Reds expected to eventually table an offer of their own.

Ipswich boss Paul Jewell has previously stated that the Suffolk side have valued their prized asset at £15 million, with no club thought to have so far matched that figure - although Liverpool have already demonstrated their willingness to spend big in order to land their targets.

Along with Liverpool and Sunderland, Arsenal and Tottenham are thought to be tracking Wickham, who scored nine times in the Npower Championship last season.

Reds Offer Shelvey Sweetener understands Liverpool are offering Jonjo Shelvey to Blackpool on loan in a sweetener to land Charlie Adam.

Liverpool are determined to win the race for Adam after seeing bids rejected for the Scotland international in the January transfer window.

Blackpool is resigned to losing their prize asset following their relegation from the Premier League, but they are holding out for the highest offer for Adam.

Aston Villa and Tottenham are both thought to be keen on Adam, while Manchester United have been keeping a watching brief on the former Rangers man.

However, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has made Adam one of his top summer transfer targets and is prepared to offer Shelvey in part-exchange to make the deal happen.

Liverpool are unwilling to meet Blackpool's valuation of Adam and are hoping the offer of Shelvey in a season-long loan deal will tip the balance in their favour.

Adam is believed to be keen to make the move to Liverpool having made Anfield his first-choice destination from his list of suitors.

Liverpool Look To Raid £7m England International From Premiership Rivals

Having given up hope of signing Jose Enrique and Gael Clichy, Kenny Dalglish has apparently turned his attention to securing the services of Wayne Bridge.

Bridge, moving to West Ham United on loan at the end of last season for 15 league appearances, proved that he still has a lot to offer in the top tier of English football.

The 30 year-old also won 36 caps for England prior to announcing his international retirement in 2010, experience that will stand him in very good stead at Anfield.

As a package, Bridge will be very good value and is thought to be available for around £7 million.

Dalglish's search for a left-back has been very well chronicled in the English press over the past months.

Newcastle's Spaniard Enrique had been strongly earmarked for a Merseyside move, with Kop legend Phil Thompson even stating that "the deal was done" some time ago on Norwegian television.

Such rumours were fuelled by the uncertainty Alan Pardew.

"When you have only got a year left on a player of his ability, of course you are vulnerable, and I think it's nervous times for us on him," the Magpies boss stuttered.

Then, as recently as this month, stalling contract negotiations at The Emirates had led many to believe that a swoop for Clichy was on the cards.

However, it now seems as if Dalglish has singled out the man he wants to fill the void in his squad and will open talks with Bridge in the coming week.

Liverpool, Manchester United And Chelsea All Tracking Hicham Khaloua

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are all monitoring the progress of Spanish starlet Hicham Khaloua, according to reports.

SkySports claim the English trio sent scouts to watch the teenager over the weekend, with the 16-year-old representing a regional Murcia side in-front of the watching entourage.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is also thought to be interested in the player, who is of Moroccan descent but is a Spanish citizen.

Due to his age, 16-year-old Hicham is not able to sign professional forms yet, and would therefore be able to move to England for a relatively small fee from second division Cartagena.

Other Spanish sides interested in the striker, who scored over 40 goals at youth level last season, including Barcelona, Malaga and Real Madrid.

The player would be a fine addition to any of the academy sides in the Barclays Premier League, with Liverpool boasting one of the best in the country based at Melwood.

Current rising stars include Raheem Sterling, Connor Coady and Adam Morgan, whilst Liverpool has several players currently on international duty with the England U17 side.

Additionally, manager Kenny Dalglish has handed first team opportunities to several youngsters, with Jack Robinson and John Flanagan just two players to have recently graduated to the Liverpool senior side.

Working alongside director of football Damien Comolli, Dalglish has highlighted young players to build for the future of Liverpool on Merseyside, and Hicham would undoubtedly fit the bill.

Manchester United and Chelsea are unlikely to let the player join their rivals without a fight though, with both clubs boasting fine youth teams of their own for the striker.

The lure of Old Trafford and the history of Manchester United would make them a fine option for any young player, and Sir Alex Ferguson has a track record of developing young talent at the club.

Chelsea, under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, are also expected to target young players at Stamford Bridge, and have targeted young player in the Roman Abramovich era as shown through Gael Kakuta and Lucas Piazon.

SkySports goes on to claim that Hicham could well make a move to England despite the options in his homeland, and the addition would be a coup for whichever club can secure the signature.

Doni Breaks His Silence On Liverpool Move

Roma keeper Alexander Doni has said that his proposed move to Liverpool earlier this month failed to go ahead because the club expected him to take a sixty per cent pay cut.

Doni failed to agree personal terms with Liverpool and decided to remain in Italy instead. He has now broken his silence on the issue explaining that he could not afford to take such a huge drop in his wages.

“I have only received an official offer from Liverpool,” Doni told Italian newspaper Il Tempo. “But I could not accept those conditions. I would have had my salary cut by 60%.

“After signing a five-year contract extension with Roma in 2008 and having given a knee for Roma’s cause, I am unwilling to give away money.”

Liverpool Set To Rival Bolton For Middlesbrough Ace Williams

According to reports Bolton Wanderers face competition for Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams.

The Daily Mail claims Premier League giants Liverpool are monitoring the player’s situation at Middlesbrough with a view to a possible move.

The Australia international is a confirmed target for Wanderers boss Owen Coyle, who worked with Williams when he was at the helm at Burnley.

Coyle is understood to be looking at sealing a £2.5 million deal.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is believed to be already resigned to losing Williams in the summer.

Liverpool Players Excited About China Tour

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says it’s important the club and the players keep the relationship with their Chinese followers ‘strong’ ahead of their Asian pre-season tour.
The club will play matches against Guangdong Sunray Cave and an Malaysian XI this summer as part of their preparation before the new season.
And Gerrard says the players love playing in front of their Chinese supporters.
"It's important we go over there and share some time with our fans in China," said the skipper.
"We love them as much as they love us and it's important for the club that we keep the relationship strong.
"The lads have already been talking about going over there and hopefully we can play well and win for them."

England Players Gripped By Fear - Carragher

Former England defender Jamie Carragher admits players suffer from a fear factor when they are playing for the national team.

Carragher came out of international retirement when he was selected by England manager Fabio Capello for last year's World Cup campaign in South Africa. However, England experienced a woeful tournament and crashed out 4-1 to Germany in the last 16, leading to a torrent of criticism for both players and management.

The Liverpool defender though claimed players are on tenterhooks when they play for England and feel less pressure when appearing for their clubs.

''One mistake and you could be absolutely slaughtered,'' Carragher told BBC Radio 5 live. ''At your club, you know you will not be criticized as much and perhaps three days later there will be another game.

''With England, it could be months before you have another fixture. There is a fear at times when playing for England.''

He added: ''The intensity of the press does get to the players. Sometimes I think players would prefer the press guy to think they had played well, rather than the manager.''

Carragher also claimed the players were bored in South Africa where they spent most of their day in a hotel, saying: ''You stay in a hotel all day but you are at a World Cup for a long time and should be able to experience different things.

''I wouldn't want players holed up. Take away the boredom, embrace the country we are in more. You never see anything.''

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp echoed Carragher's sentiments.

''I spoke to a few players who said they were sat in their rooms waiting for the day to pass. Some said they were bored out of their brains.''

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A ‘Marquee’ Signing Not The Way Forward For Liverpool

One of the obvious consequences of failing to qualify for the Europa League last season is that it means Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli will have to work harder to bring the best players to Anfield this summer. As footballers have become more and more short-sighted over the years, even one season without European football is almost unthinkable for elite players (irrespective of the fact that they would be joining one the most exciting projects in world football by joining the Reds this summer). All this may add up to Liverpool not being able to attract a ‘marquee’ signing this summer. However, it will not necessarily mean that we cannot still be confident of a top four finish this season.

When FSG came to Anfield, one of their first observations was that our wage bill is not reflected in the quality of our squad. Most Liverpool fans agreed. It is often said that the big teams can be judged by looking at who they can bring on in the middle of a game to unlock a defence or ensure they don’t concede an equalizer. When you look around at the teams that qualified for the Champions League last season, their benches regularly included established players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Park-Ji Sung, Nicolas Anelka, Andrei Arshavin, Adam Johnson etc etc. Meanwhile, the only player that could be described as ‘established’ from our bench was Joe Cole, a player who has suffered with form and injury and who seems to personify FSG’s observation.

Even Tottenham, the team that finished above us in fifth, boasted Defoe and Pavlyuchenko on their bench for their recent trip to Anfield. More than anything else, this gives Managers such as Harry Redknapp (not to mention Messrs Ferguson, Wenger, Villas-Boas and Mancini) more options than those currently open to Dalglish. This lack of options is why Rafa, Roy and Kenny have not been able to finish above 6th over the last two seasons. The managers above them have had far more attacking options open to them.
Although making a £40m breathtaking signing (a Torres for 2011 if you will) would be great for the hopes of the fans, it will only give Dalglish one more option than he already has. Instead therefore, signing players such as Henderson, Downing and Adams – all players who can play in more that one position – will open a plethora of options for Dalglish going into the 2011/2012 season and equip us with the depth that at least Spurs and Arsenal have at their disposal. Kenny would have the players to be able to switch between 4-4-2, 4-4-2 (diamond) and 4-3-3 with ease. And all for the same price as a Torres for 2011.

The players we have been linked to this summer may not have the pulses racing in the way of those linked to the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Alexis Sanchez, but this is the time for the sort of calculated spending that will take us above the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal next season. It is not the time for putting all of our eggs in one basket in the hope that one player will be able to win us the league at FSG’s first attempt.

Once European football has been achieved next season, the players who are not considering coming to Anfield this summer will do anything to join King Kenny’s Red Revolution. That will be the time to look for the marquee signings.

Liverpool Target Park Chu-Young Allowed To Leave AS Monaco

Liverpool striker target Park Chu-Young has been cleared to leave AS Monaco this summer, according to reports.

The South Korean international was helpless to prevent the provisional side suffering relegation from Ligue 1 last season, and isn't thought to be keen on plying his trade in the French second tier next term.

Etienne Franzi, club president at Moncao, confirmed to the French media that their forward will be allowed to leave, with a €6 million price-tag placed on the player's head.

Liverpool are one of the club's keen on bringing the player to England, with the Merseysiders first linked with player last month.

Paris St Germaine and Rennes are also thought to be keen on keeping the player in France, whilst Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is also known to be an admirer of Chu-Young.

It's Liverpool who leads the Barclays Premier League charge though, with Kenny Dalglish reportedly having the player monitored on a number of occasions.

The Reds are believed to be in the market for a striker, left back and winger this summer, with a trio of new signings tipped to join Jordan Henderson, who moved to Liverpool for £20 million a fortnight ago.

The addition of an Asian player is also thought to be high on the agenda for chief sponsors at Liverpool, Standard Chartered, who believe the club could make a commercial drive with the addition of a top player from the continent.

Liverpool Prepare Bid For £14.5m African Midfield Ace

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish would have been put on red alert after the latest comments from Sochaux attacking midfielder Ryad Boudabouz.

Boudabouz has enjoyed an impressive campaign with the French club and helped them secure a fifth place finish in Ligue 1, and qualifying for next season Europa League.

The former French youth international, now plays for the Algerian national team, is under contract with Sochaux until 2013, but has hinted we could be off to Anfield in the summer.

Both Dalglish and Liverpool's director of football Damien Comoilli are keen admirers of the 21-year-old, and believe he will be able to add some creative spark to the Liverpool midfield.

Dalglish will want Boudabouz to help provide goals for Andy Carroll and Louis Suarez as well has getting a few himself.

Speaking to L'Est Republicain, Boudabouz said: "The Liverpool interest is solid. There has been contact but we have to take our time, meet the chairman and remain calm.

"I want to sit down and discuses things when we return for pre-season training.

"If there is an important offer, we will not be able to turn it down. I don't wish to leave Sochaux, but if there is an offer on the table, I will think about it."

Sochaux will be looking for in the region of around £14.5 million for Boudabouz and are aware of Liverpool's interest.

Last season Boudabouz made 40 appearances for the French club and scored eight goals.

Gael Clichy To Liverpool Transfer Talk Cooled By Arsenal Contract Talks

Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal is doing everything they can to keep Gael Clichy at the Emirates - and out of the clutches of rivals Liverpool.

The Frenchman's contract runs out next summer and the Gunners are keen to tie up a new deal before the Reds, and fellow potential suitors Roma, can tempt him away.

'We have started talks with Gael and want him to stay,' Wenger said.

Kenny Dalglish reportedly offered Arsenal £5million for the 25-year-old, but the offer was seen as far too low for someone who has cemented a starting spot in Wenger's back four.

Arsenal's other left-back Kieran Gibbs was kept on the bench for most of last season by Clichy - but how much longer the England international will be happy to watch from the sidelines remains to be seen.

Clichy's inch-perfect passing earned plaudits during his season review and his scorching strike against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup replay made it onto the highlight reel from his 44 appearances in 2010/11.

The Gooner faithful first welcomed Clichy to the club in 2003 when he joined from AS Cannes.

Lennon Confident Of Holding Onto Man United And Liverpool Targets

Neil Lennon is aiming to convince Premier League transfer targets Izaguirre and Beram Kayal to remain with Celtic during the club’s upcoming tour of Australia.

Izaguirre has been linked with a move to Manchester United while Kayal is a target for Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish as he attempts to revamp his side.

But Lennon, who only signed a new contract last week, is adamant that he can convince the pair to remain at Parkhead, saying: "We've opened preliminary talks with Kayal's people.

"He knows I want to keep him and he's making the right noises about staying. That's great news. It's the same for Izaguirre. Going to Australia on tour this week will give me the chance to sit down with Beram.

"I'll need to sit down with Beram, look him in the eye and get a feel for what he's thinking. He knows I have his best interests at heart."

Lennon believes both players will benefit from remaining at Celtic Park, although he admits keeping them would be difficult should a top-four Premier League club come knocking.

"I can help them progress. They have the supporters on their side and a great affiliation with them. They would struggle to get that at many other clubs," he added.

"I'm sure there are Premiership clubs that could offer them better deals but at this stage of their careers money shouldn't be that important.

"There is no need for them to rush off and go to the Premiership just yet. They can stay here a year or two and then look at things after that.

"My whole point to them will be that unless it's a top-four club in England then I don't think there are many better places to be than here."

Reina Rejects Madrid Rumours

Jose Reina has moved quickly to distance himself from the number one position at Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish outfit is set to find themselves shorn of their first-choice goalkeeper once David de Gea completes his proposed move to Manchester United.

The youngster arrived in England on Monday to undergo a medical and is close to putting the finishing touches to a big-money transfer.

Speculation has already begun to circulate regarding who may be drafted in by Atletico as his replacement.

Liverpool shot-stopper Reina has been touted as a possible candidate, after spending the last six years away from his homeland.

The Reds ace has given short shrift to the rumours, though, by insisting that he remains fully committed to the Anfield cause.

He told La Gaceta: "I know Atletico are looking for a goalkeeper, but I won't be changing colours.

"I have a five-year contract and I'm happy at Liverpool."

Reina will come into direct competition with De Gea next season and he believes the 20-year-old will be a resounding success at Old Trafford.

He said: "I very much welcome this news because David is a great keeper.

"When it becomes official he is going to start working to prove in the Premier League what a good goalkeeper he is."

Agger Hails Impact Of Dalglish And Clarke

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has hailed boss Kenny Dalglish and assistant Steve Clarke for reviving the team’s fortunes last season and believes the duo can go on to achieve great things at Anfield.

Dalglish has been widely praised for his level of performance since returning to management with the Merseyside giants last January, taking over from Roy Hodgson with the team languishing in 12th place in the table and leading them to the brink of Europa League qualification.

Having originally assumed the roles in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season, both Dalglish and Clarke have been rewarded for their efforts with three-year-deals, and Agger is in no doubt as to the level of the duo’s impact at Anfield.

“It is a different way of playing football,” the Dane told “The training sessions are enjoyable.

"People talk about confidence and it is such a big thing in football because it can change from one day to another.

"The main change is about being positive. Playing positive football and that's the biggest difference."

Agger also believes the presence of Dalglish and Clarke in the Liverpool dugout promises a bright future for the club.

"I like Kenny's playing style and I think it suits Liverpool,” he added. “It suits the football club and it suits the fans.

"I was really happy he and Steve Clarke signed their deals. Steve has made a big, big impact and he is really good. I can't say enough good things about him.

"Kenny suits this club. He knows everything about it, and the fans know him. It's positive for the future."

130 Police Officers Broke Rules To View Files On Steven Gerrard's Trial

The failed criminal prosecution of England footballer Steven Gerrard provoked so much interest among police officers that 130 of them breached data protection laws to view his file, it has emerged.

Statistics disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that in 2008 there were 42 breaches of data protection laws by officers at Merseyside Police.

The following year – including the period in which Gerrard was prosecuted over an alleged affray in a nightclub – there were 152 breaches.

Merseyside Police said the rise was a result of officers and staff accessing confidential documents about Steven Gerrard’s arrest.

The Liverpool and England midfielder was subsequently cleared of unjustly attacking Marcus McGee during an altercation in the Lounge Inn, Southport, on December 29, 2008. The footballer had denied affray, saying he hit Mr. McGee in self-defence.

Although most of the breaches can be attributed to interest in Gerrard, officers were also accessing files to check classified data about relatives, friends and acquaintances who had provoked their suspicions.

Senior officers described the worst cases as “a serious abuse of force systems”.

Merseyside Police regarded the illegal accessing of information as so serious that an undisclosed number of officers were forced to resign.

In total, seven officers have been forced to leave the force over the past three years, with three others given final written warnings.

A total of 169 officers were required to receive “managerial advice” about their behaviour, while 29 were given written warnings.

Despite their censure, they refused to elaborate on the breaches after claiming that to do so might identify individuals.

Similar breaches occur in police forces across Britain.

In the neighbouring Lancashire force, for example, there were 84 breaches in three years.
These included an officer who ran checks on his daughter’s new boyfriend so he could warn her that the man had a criminal record for sex offences.

Officers who accessed the file of the Liverpool captain were able to see his date of birth, his address, details of the allegations against him, and the photograph taken on the day he was arrested,

The investigation against them was carried out following an audit by Merseyside’s professional standards directorates.

A force spokesman said it would “not tolerate” breaches of the Data Protection act.

She added: “Merseyside Police takes its responsibilities to manage and process personal information extremely seriously, and expects employees to maintain the highest standard of professional behaviour when dealing with information security.

“Any inappropriate behaviour may result in criminal and/or disciplinary proceedings and all cases are investigated thoroughly by the Professional Standards Department.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Back To Splash £28M On Liverpool

Kenny Dalglish returns from his summer break this week ready, willing and able to sanction a £28million spending spree.

Kenny Dalglish's first deal will be for Blackpool star Charlie Adam, 25, who is on the verge of completing an £8m move to Anfield in the next 48 hours.

And then the Liverpool boss will switch his attention to Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing, 26, who is desperate to be a Kop hero.

Dalglish is anxious to tie up the deal quickly, although Villa are haggling over the price for the England winger.

They want £20m, which is £4m more than the Kop giants want to pay.

The two clubs will reach a compromise in the next few days but Liverpool fear they will have to stump up the full asking price.

Downing is refusing to extend his contract, which has two years to run, and his arrival at Anfield now seems to be a case of when and not if.

Adam was heartbroken that a £7m Liverpool bid was rejected by Blackpool at the end of a crazy January transfer window.

But now relegation to the Championship has forced the Seasiders’ hand and they are resigned to losing the Scotland star, two years after he signed from Rangers for £500,000.

Liverpool’s director of football Damien Comolli has held talks with Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston to finalize the deal.

But Villa’s new boss Alex McLeish, who worked with Adam at Rangers, hasn’t given hope of a last-ditch hijack attempt.