Monday, January 24, 2011

Dirk Kuyt Would Welcome Luis Suarez’s Arrival At Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Dirk Kuyt has revealed that he would welcome Luis Suarez's arrival from Ajax with open arms, whilst claiming that the side desperately needs a new attacking prospect in order to climb the back up the ranks.

Kuyt knows that Suarez is one of the club’s key prospects for the winter transfer window, especially as newly installed manager Kenny Dalglish looks to add to the Reds attack.

“In our attack we really need a quality injection. Only then can I see us climbing up again,” said Kuyt according to the Mirror.

“We don’t have enough power and options up front right now.”

The Dutchman also revealed that the squad has responded well to the arrival of Dalglish and Steve Clarke, with training sessions resembling those found in Dutch football, but admitted that skipper Steven Gerrard and goalscorer Fernando Torres are core to their plans.

“It comes close to the Dutch style. Playing with early pressure on the opponents and a passing game with the ball low on the ground. Not all those long balls anymore.

“Dalglish and Clarke have this vision: if you have Torres and Gerrard in the team, we will be stronger against 80 per cent of the opponents when we put the pressure on them in their own half.”

Kuyt praised the arrival of Steve Clarke, and claims that he works well with Dalglish both on and off the training ground.

“The combination of Dalglish and Clarke is a really good one. Clarke has come in from outside the club.

“He has the same role as he had earlier with Mourinho at Chelsea. Under Clarke we now do totally different training sessions. We do a lot of positional play in small spaces.

“And while Clarke is doing sessions with us, Dalglish will talk all the stress away from the players.

“He is a living legend here. He has the charisma, the experience and the confidence to create peace. He also has a fabulous connection with the fans. They love him here.

“I could not believe it the first time he went out on the pitch against Everton, eleven years since he last coached a team.

Kuyt also ended the speculation surrounding his future, and pledged his services to the club, stating how adamant the board were not to let him go and the importance of his presence at the club in the summer. The Dutchman, for his part, is keen to return the favour.

“I intend to stay now. In the summer Inter came to me to find out if I wanted to move.

“The board of Liverpool took a strong attitude towards them. They did not want me to go because I was one of the five most important players for the team.

“In my talks with the new board I feel the same kind of trust in me.

“So in return I want to show my loyalty to the club in these difficult times.”

Liverpool Want Real Madrid Striker Karim Benzema

Liverpool is reportedly monitoring Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

According to 4-4-2, the Reds will make their move for the Frenchman if they fail to pull off a deal for Ajax captain Luis Suarez, whose protracted move to Merseyside continues to rumble on.

Benzema – who joined Real from Lyon for £30 million in 2009 – remains on the fringes at the Bernabeu and Liverpool are prepared to offer him a fresh start.

Liverpool has been linked with the 23-year-old for some time and has even been urged to launch a move for his services by former Kop favourite Jamie Redknapp.

“Liverpool needs a striker and they should look no further than Karim Benzema," the former Liverpool midfielder wrote in the Daily Mail.

“The new Liverpool owners have their first challenge: sign him.”

Liverpool is known to have identified their attacking department as the most in need of reinforcement during January and have been linked with a number of potential targets.

A deal for Benzema, however, would represent a significant coup for Liverpool and the France international would form a potentially fearsome partnership with Anfield star Fernando Torres.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos Linked With January Switch

Liverpool is reportedly considering a bid for teenage Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

The Schalke centre back has been earning rave reviews in Germany after signing from Olympiakos in the summer, and Liverpool have reportedly sent scouts to watch the player's progress.

Reports in Germany claim Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea have also sent representatives to take a closer look at the player, who is set to be sold by the Bundesliga outfit amidst financial troubles at the club.

A Greek U17, U19 and U21 international, Papadopoulos is seen as a rising star of Greek football who is tipped to become a full international for his country.

Liverpool will hope to use compatriot Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who impressed at Anfield before injury lost him his place in the first team, in an effort to persuade the player that his future home could be on Merseyside.

Fernando Llorente Lined-up As January Striker Signing

Liverpool is being linked with a January move for Fernando Llorente as their efforts to sign Luis Suarez falter.

The Reds have reportedly been in negotiations with Ajax to bring the Uruguayan international striker to Anfield, but with Liverpool still struggling to agree a fee with the Dutch giants they could turn their attentions to Llorente.

A Spanish international with 13 caps for his country, Fernando Torres and Jose Reina could be used in an effort to persuade the striker that Liverpool is the place to be.

Llorente was first linked with Liverpool in the summer, with Roy Hodgson reportedly monitoring the player's La Liga form in August.

Speculation has continued to circle in the British media, with various papers and websites claiming the Merseysiders continue to see the striker as a perfect attacking foil for Torres.

Liverpool Set To Increase Bid For Charlie Adam

Liverpool is preparing to increase their offer for in-demand Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam – as Kenny Dalglish hailed the end of a 20-year wait for a win as Anfield manager.

The Anfield outfit made an approach for Adam on Friday with a verbal offer of £4million that was dismissed as “disgraceful” by Tangerines manager Ian Holloway.

Adam still has 18 months remaining on his contract and Blackpool would rather hold on to the player and help safeguard another season in the Premier League rather than cash in during January. However, Holloway admits he would be happy to allow the 25-year-old to move to Anfield should Liverpool meet the believed asking price of £10m.

And the club’s American owners are now ready to back Dalglish and director of football strategy Damien Comolli by lodging an offer much nearer to Blackpool’s valuation.

“I was thinking about Liverpool and Charlie,” said Holloway. “I thought ‘fantastic, what a great club for him to go to’, and then when I heard the bid I thought it was disgraceful. What they offered is about the price Charlie would have been worth when Kenny was last playing.

“Is it a destabilizing tactic from the three clubs – Birmingham, Aston Villa and now Liverpool? I don’t know. They had better start by putting a figure one in front of the complete rubbish they have been offering so far.”

Liverpool Target Giant Free Scoring French Hitman

Liverpool have been linked with Luis Suarez of Ajax for some time now and a deal did appear very close, however the clubs cannot agree a fee and it is now being reported that Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, has set his sites on 26 year old Paris St Germain striker Guillaume Hoarau.

Hoarau has been knocking the goals in fairly consistently finding the net 23 times in 50 games for St Germain and has finally broken through to the French National team appearing three times for them, he has been likened to a former Liverpool forward, Peter Crouch, mainly due to his size at 6ft 4in.

No fee has been mentioned but it is thought that Hoarau will cost in the region of £6 Million based on previous figures giving a valuation on the player, a fee that Liverpool can certainly afford.

It is now just a question of timing, the Suarez deal is still there if Ajax will be more reasonable or Liverpool more realistic, depending on your view, but if no deal is done and done soon then Liverpool do have other options and Guillaume Hoarau is just one of those options available to the Anfield side.

Liverpool Negotiate To Recruit Charles N'Zogbia For Reduced Fee

Liverpool are reportedly in talks with Wigan Athletic to convince them to hand over winger Charles N’Zogbia for a lower fee.

According to The People, agent Paul Stretford, who is having more and more influence at Anfield, is negotiating to find a compromise with the Latics as Liverpool are willing to pay only half of the £15million asked to seal the transfer.

Together with his business associate former Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd, Stretford has conducted the bid for the Wigan star.

Stretford is a former business partner and close friend of Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish and his agency, Proactive, manage a number of high profile Premier League stars, most notably Wayne Rooney.

Dalglish has had the opportunity to make his own opinion on N’Zogbia during Wigan’s draw with Fulham last weekend.

Since the Scot has been at the helm at Anfield, Stretford and Shepherd have reportedly been closely involved with deals relating to Liverpool’s wishlist of fresh players in the transfer market.

Although Damien Comolli, Liverpool’s director of football strategy, is working with Dalglish on recruiting new talent for the Reds, his role as the club’s main transfer fixer could be in jeopardy in the event that Dalglish lands the job full-time at the end of the season as Stretford could be appointed to do the Frenchman’s task.

Wolfsburg Want Liverpool's Milan Jovanovic

VfL Wolfsburg is interested in signing Liverpool's Milan Jovanovic, according to Serbian media reports.

The 29-year-old Serbian international joined Liverpool from Standard de Li├Ęge in the summer but has failed to settle in at the Anfield outfit.

The forward/midfielder has mostly been used as a substitute and in the Europa League.

Jovanovic is contracted to Liverpool until 2013 and is valued at €5M-7.5M.

Stopper Aims To Emulate Dad

Tyrell Belford hopes the FA Youth Cup will provide him with the perfect opportunity to add another winners' medal to the family mantelpiece.

The 16-year-old's father, Dale, was once on Aston Villa's books as a goalkeeper and went on to win the 1989 FA Vase with Tamworth.

Belford junior admits his Dad has been a major influence on his fledgling career and hopes he can enhance the family name by going on to enjoy success at the highest level in the future.

"My Dad was at Aston Villa as a young lad," he told us during a chat at the Academy recently.

"He featured in their reserves but never for the first team. He went on to play for Notts County and then won the FA Vase with non-league side, Tamworth.

"He's really proud to have played at Wembley and won a trophy there. I'd love to start my career by getting into that winning habit. It'd be nice to do that in this year's FA Youth Cup."

Football is clearly in the Belford blood.

Not only is his father now the part-time boss of the Southern Football League Division One Central outfit, Atherstone Town, but his brother Cameron is also a highly-rated custodian at Bury.

With so many goalkeepers to look up to, it is no surprise to hear that the 16-year-old is not short of a pointer or two. But what about sibling rivalry? Has there always been a desire to match his brother's achievements?

"Not really," he said. "I want him to do well. He's first choice 'keeper at Bury and he's worked hard to get where he is.

"I try to get along to watch him in action as much as possible. My dad comes along too. If anything I try to learn from Cameron because he is playing at a decent level. There are things in his game that I can pick up and improve in my own game."

Donning the No.1 jersey may well be a family trait but when it comes to the world's best shot stoppers few can match Liverpool's current first-choice, according to Belford.

"Pepe's definitely the best in the Barclays Premier League," he said.

"He always plays at a good standard and never lets anything get him down. I was reading an interview with him the other day where he said: 'If I make a mistake I just forget about it and focuses on the rest of the game.'

"That's what separates good goalkeepers from great 'keepers. If they make a mistake they are able to put it out of their mind.

"If you continue to dwell on an error you will make the situation a lot worse. If a 'keeper makes a single error it's a goal, that's the reality of the job.

"An outfield player can make hundreds of errors without any of them ever resulting in the ball going in the net. As a 'keeper you can't do that."

Belford's maturity belies his tender years and it is further evident when he is quizzed about his battle for the U18s' goalkeeping jersey with former Swindon starlet, Jamie Stephens.

The duo have developed a strong rivalry on the pitch but Belford feels that their friendship off it means that whoever gets the call on a match day will have the unwavering support of his teammate.

"We get on very well, both on and off the pitch," he added.

"It's a dog eat dog situation on the pitch because we will both fight for the shirt. But we do spend a lot of time together. He's a good lad and we get on well."