Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dalglish Given Green Light To Spend By Liverpool Board

Kenny Dalglish has been told he can splash the cash this month by the Liverpool board.

The Anfield legend is only in caretaker charge until the end of the season and there were concerns he would not be allowed to strengthen the squad.

But, after holding talks with owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner, Dalglish has been given the green light to bring in new faces.

“They are good people and we had a positive meeting with John and Tom. We discussed many things, one was obviously transfers,” said the Scot.

"There is no problem with transfers as long as we are responsible. We can go and look for players and try to sign them and bring them in.

"Any time I have been in a transfer market it has been responsible so I will continue to do that and try to spend the club's money as diligently as my own."

Liverpool has been heavily linked with a big-money swoop for Luis Suarez but Dalglish refused to confirm the club's interest in the Ajax striker.

"We are not going to give names or talk about sums of money," added the 59-year-old.

"We don't intend to mislead people but we have a huge responsibility to do our business in a way that has been done since I've known the club and that is in private."

Steven Gerrard Hopes Steve Clarke Can Become ‘Fantastic Addition’

Steven Gerrard is hopeful that Liverpool's new first-team coach Steve Clarke can help improve the team's defence and attack, after what has been a largely underwhelming campaign.

The Reds have managed to keep only six clean sheets in their 22 Premier League games, and have conceded 31 goals in the process. Their attack has also been found to be wanting with striker Fernando Torres having problems in front of goal, and they have a goal difference of -4.

"I think he's a great appointment," Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Daily Post. "From what I've seen he's supported some fantastic managers in his career. He played at the top level and has vast experience in the game.

"It's early days yet but the training sessions have been good. If he can come in and help us tighten up defensively and help us improve going forward he'll be a fantastic addition to the coaching staff.

"It's exciting to see how his relationship will work with Kenny. Hopefully the pair of them, along with Sammy Lee, can help guide us up the league.

"Between them that trio have plenty of experience and should make a very good coaching team."

Fabio Coentrao Admits Anfield Interest

Liverpool has been boosted in the race to sign Portuguese international left back Fabio Coentrao.

The Benfica defender has been linked with an Anfield switch in recent months, and has now revealed his personal feelings towards Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool side.

"I love Liverpool," Coentrao is re-quoted as saying on Live4Liverpool.

The 11 cap international also admitted that it was nice to be tracked by Real Madrid, and that being coached by the 'Special One' would be difficult to turn down.

"Who would not want to be coached by Mourinho?”

A product of the Rio Ave youth system, Coentrao joined Benfica in 2007. After three loans the following season, the player settled well into the Águias first team and has been a regular for the past two years.

Manchester United has also previously taken an interest in the player, and were again linked less than a week ago by the Daily Mail.

It is Liverpool who have been following the player more closely in recent months though, with scouts reportedly sent to watch the 22-year-old wingback at the Estádio da Luz.

Dalglish has been promised money to spend at Anfield by the club's new owners, NESV, and a left back is thought to be high on the Liverpool agenda in an effort to cover the under-performing Paul Konchesky.

The Reds would hope to negotiate a deal lower than the £20 million valuation, and Liverpool could face competition for the player were an offer for the highly-rated player accepted.

Gervinho Rules Out Exit

Gervinho has quashed talk of an impending move to England by committing his short-term future to Lille.

Various reports have suggested that the Ivorian striker is a target for a number of Premier League clubs.

Speculation claimed a switch during the January transfer window was a possibility, with Liverpool believed to be among those leading the chase.

Gervinho, though, claims he has no intention of moving on any time soon, with his full focus at present on helping Lille land the Ligue 1 title.

"There is no way I'm leaving Lille now," the 23-year-old said.

"I am enjoying my football now more than ever before. We are playing well, scoring goals and our team spirit is fantastic.

"I want to win the league here, that is very important and would give any player a lot of confidence.

"My ambition is to play for a big club one day, in a big league, but at the moment Lille is the place to be and I am enjoying being part of their success."

Pressed on whether a switch to England could happen in the future, Gervinho added: "One day I expect to play abroad in a very good team that can challenge for the Champions League."

Charlie Adam Linked With Liverpool Move

Charlie Adam could be set to leave Blackpool this month and join Liverpool after the Reds chairman Tom Werner declared a mountain of transfer funds will be made available to manager Kenny Dalglish.

The 25-year-old Scotland international has expressed his desire to play at a top level club after impressing in the Premier League this season.

Pulling the strings in midfield Adam has netted three times so far, fuelling further interest in his future with Aston Villa another potential suitor.

‘It really isn’t difficult to ignore all the talk. The bottom line is that everybody knows I want to play at the highest level,’ Adam said.

Werner has promised to give Dalglish the best possible chance after taking over from Roy Hodgson, indicating that he’s happy for Liverpool to increase their wage bill rather decrease it.

‘I don’t want to get the wage bill down, I want it to increase and we have the resources to do that. I expect us to move forward and improve our position,' he said.

‘We will be driven by value but we certainly have the resources to have some targets.'

Liverpool’s new American owner New England Sports Ventures has already proven they’re ready to spend big with £25 million reportedly on the table for Ajax’s Luis Suarez after John Henry met with the striker's agent on Tuesday.

With Blackpool manager Ian Holloway fighting tooth and nail to keep the box-to-box midfielder, it’s expected Adam will depart the club for no less than £5 million more than double his estimated price of £1.7 million.

Paul Konchesky 'Back To Fulham' As Liverpool Eye Clint Dempsey Transfer

Fulham have been offered a boomerang deal to take back Paul Konchesky, with Liverpool keen to use him in a transfer deal to buy Clint Dempsey.

Konchesky, a Roy Hodgson signing, has been a flop in front of the Kop in his four months at the club - failing to prove his credentials at left-back.

Frozen out of first-team plans since Kenny Dalglish began his reign, Konchesky is limited in his movements due to Premier League rules stipulating a player may not play for more than two top-flight clubs in any one season.

Utility player Chris Baird has been warming Konchesky’s old spot in Fulham’s defence, but with limited funds Mark Hughes would only be inclined to bring the 29-year-old back to Craven Cottage on a loan deal following his £4m move to Liverpool last August.

Anfield bosses could look to maximize the deal by bringing in highly-rated playmaker Clint Dempsey, who has been in excellent form this season.

The 27-year-old Texan, who is contracted to the Cottagers until 2013, makes sense for the Reds' American owners New England Sports Ventures who are keen to focus on maximizing players’ marketing potential.

Another option for Konchesky is a temporary move down to the Championship.

High-flying Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock has been actively searching for a defender and Konchesky’s stature could help the club in their quest for a spot in next year’s top-flight.

Cole Impresses In Reds Triumph

Joe Cole produced an impressive 45 minute cameo as Liverpool Reserves' defence of the Lancashire Senior Cup got underway with a 1-0 success against Manchester City on Wednesday night.

The Reds No.10 was a surprise starter for the second-string's encounter in Hyde and played in a free role just off lone striker, Nikola Saric as John McMahon's men booked their place in the last four courtesy of Gerardo Bruna's cool finish just past the half hour mark.

The former Chelsea star showed some fine touches throughout a first period dominated by the Reds and gave watching manager, Kenny Dalglish food for thought ahead of Saturday's first-team clash at Wolves.

But it wasn't just Cole who shone for Liverpool.

The likes of Tom Ince, fresh from his loan spell at Notts County, and Dani Pacecho were also instrumental in all of the away side's best moves.

After an edgy opening in which City went close, Cole had the Reds' first chance of note when he cut inside and left two City defenders for dead before firing a shot just wide.

On 28 minutes a great move instigated by Ince saw Saric play in Cole on the edge of the box but despite a smart turn and finish from the No.10, his celebration was cut short by the sight of the referee's assistant's flag for offside.

The Reds had suddenly found their groove and two minutes later Saric sent Ince galloping in on goal but City stopper, David Gonzalez did well to advance off his line and clear the danger.

Pacheco then saw a long range effort from a quickly taken free-kick deflect just past the upright before McMahon's team finally got the reward their inventive attacking play deserved.

A great ball by Ince found Jack Robinson marauding down the left. The full-back cut a clever pass back into the path of Cole and although the 29-year-old's shot was well saved by Gonzalez, Bruna was on hand to coolly fire in the rebound.

As the half came to an end Liverpool continued to ask all of the questions and Bruna came close to doubling the lead when he was well thwarted by Gonzalez. The Argentine then had another chance on 44 minutes when he seized upon Cole's exquisite flick, but again Gonzalez denied him with a smart save.

At the interval McMahon replaced Cole with David Amoo while Emmanuel Mendy came on for the solid Danny Wilson.

However, it did little to alter the pattern of the game as Liverpool continued to control the proceedings.

Amoo broke into the box on the left hand side and fired in a shot that flew straight into the midriff of Gonzalez.

Then Ince tried an audacious long range lob that dropped just shy of the crossbar before City finally came close when Ball headed wide.

The hosts pushed for a leveller late on and John Guidetti perhaps had their best chance with a rasping 20-yard drive that Peter Gulacsi did well to push around the post.

However, Liverpool remained the stronger side and McMahon opted to give new signing Jason Banton a 12 minute run out as they eased to a well deserved win.

Tom Werner Disappointed About Sacking Roy Hodgson

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has expressed his disappointment at having to sack Roy Hodgson but felt it was in the club’s best interest to let him go.

Hodgson's contract was terminated earlier this month after the Reds found themselves languishing near the bottom of the Premier League, struggling to even make the European places.

And Werner hoped that the situation was handled with the dignity it deserved and admitted that the former Reds boss was not fully culpable for the team’s poor season.

"Roy is a good man and is a good manager,” Werner told Sky Sports.

“Obviously nobody could have been happy with the performances, we all take a certain responsibility for that - the players, the manager, the executive.

“We expected that our club's fortunes would improve and at some point I think you have to say it's important to stabilize the situation, you don't like to sack anybody but sometimes you have to move forward in a different direction.

"I wish Roy the best, I have great respect for him and I think hopefully we handled the situation with a certain amount of dignity."

Hodgson’s replacement is Kenny Dalglish – an appointment that has certainly pleased the fans and Werner is delighted with the Scotsman’s progress so far and even hinted that he could be at Anfield next season.

"He is, as everybody knows, a remarkable person, an iconic figure in our club's history,” continued Werner.

“He's got many of the qualities that we've admired, he's competent, he certainly understands the club's philosophy, he's excellent at man management, and we've been very pleased with the progress.”