Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Liverpool Forward Ryan Babel Agrees To Join Hoffenheim

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel is set to complete a dramatic u-turn and leave Anfield for German club Hoffenheim, the Merseyside club has confirmed.

Earlier on Monday it appeared that the Dutchman’s move to the Bundesliga had collapsed after he was unable to agree personal terms, and even manager Kenny Dalglish confirmed the winger would remain at Anfield in a press conference.

But now, six days after the two clubs agreed a fee for the player, believed to be around €8.2 (£7) million, the club have confirmed via their official website that the Dutch international will fly to Germany tomorrow to finalize the deal.

Wolfsburg Make £6million Move For Liverpool Flop

Wolfsburg manager Steve McClaren has offered £6m for Liverpool flop Milan Jovanovic.

The former England manager is desperately trying to fill the void left by star striker Edin Dzeko who joined Manchester City for £27m last week.

And McClaren has targeted Jovanovic, who has failed to make an impression at Liverpool since joining on a free transfer in the summer.

The 29-year-old has started just two Premier League games since August and could be allowed to leave by new manager Kenny Dalglish.

Serie A sides Fiorentina and Genoa have also been keen on Jovanovic, but reports in Germany have revealed that Wolfsburg are the first team to make a formal offer.

Liverpool Target Poised For Dream Summer Switch

Liverpool playmaker target Keisuke Honda is reportedly heading for a CSKA Moscow exit.

The Japanese international is currently representing his country in the Asia Cup, but that hasn't stopped agent Kees Pleogsma playing up the chance of a move away from the Russian Premier League outfit.

Former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was heavily linked with a move for the player before he got the axe at Anfield, although new manager Kenny Dalglish is also thought to be keen on the player.

"A number of clubs have expressed their interest," Pleogsma told the Qatari media.

"At this stage, we are waiting for a serious offer. I'm really hoping that something can happen, but we'll have to wait and see."

Liverpool are thought to be one of the clubs who have shown interest, as have Aston Villa and Arsenal, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger describing the player as a 'genius' during the World Cup.

Spanish side Atletico Madrid are thought to be the current favourites in the race to sign the player, meaning Liverpool may have to move fast if they wish to secure his services before the chasing pack.

New owners NESV have pledged a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million, and Dalglish is thought to have presented a shortlist of player targets to the Liverpool board as recently as last week.

It's unknown if Honda was on the Anfield list, but Liverpool would have to pay in the region of £9 million to secure the player's services on Merseyside.

Liverpool Plan £8.9m Summer Move To Sign The ‘Next Paolo Maldini’

20 year old Italian international Davide Santon is considered by many to be one of the hottest prospects in Italian football but his chances of getting first team football at the San Siro are severely hampered by the fact that veterans Christian Chivu and Maicon have something of a monopoly over their respective sides of the back four which has left much speculation that the talented youngster will be on his way and the player’s agent has stated in the past that a move to the Premier League would interest his client.

The fact that Santon can play down either wing is a very useful asset and the fact that he is a little more effective on the left could well suit Liverpool a great deal. Young right back Martin Kelly has been so successful when called upon in recent weeks that it seems unlikely he will be ousted any time soon but the left side of the Anfield defence is very much a problem area.

Paul Konchesky was the first choice for that position but he looks likely to have played his last game for the club due to poor form and comments made by his mother. Glen Johnson has done okay in an unaccustomed position and Fabio Aurelio appears to be feeling his way back into the first team after some Achilles issues.

Damien Comolli has been scouting Santon and the Liverpool Director of Football clearly feels a move to sign the youngster would be a wise one.

Liverpool Told By Ajax To Make 'Respectful' Offer For Luis Suarez

Liverpool have been told by Ajax to increase their offer for Luis Suarez to a “respectful” level if they want to prise the Uruguayan away from the Amsterdam Arena.

The Reds are believed to have made a £12.7 million offer for the striker as director of football Damien Comolli flew to Amsterdam on Monday hoping to meet with the player.

But the Dutch club have rejected the offer and advised they do not want to sell the 23-year-old at that low a price.

"We'll have to wait for them to come back with something more respectful," an Ajax spokesman told BBC Sport.

"We want to keep him - at least until the end of the season and preferably for the rest of his contract."

Ajax have recommended Liverpool’s next offer be much higher for the striker who has scored 81 goals in 108 appearances for the club and 16 goals in 38 games for his country.

The club spokesman added: "If you compare the €15m [£12.7m] Liverpool want to pay for Suarez with other transfers you can imagine that it's far too low for us.

"Luis is our top goalscorer for the last three years and also the man with by far the most assists as well.

"He was one of the big guys for Uruguay in helping them come third in the World Cup in the summer and he still has a contract with us for two-and-a-half years."

Liverpool Have Not Made A Bid For Charles N'Zogbia

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed speculation linking Charles N'Zogbia with a move to Liverpool and insists the club is not in a position where they need to sell.

N'Zogbia had reportedly been subject of interest from the Anfield club, but Martinez claimed rumours of a £15 million deal were "a lie".

Maynor Figueroa has also been linked with a switch to Sunderland and Aston Villa, who visit the DW Stadium in a rearranged league fixture tomorrow evening.

Martinez told reporters: "We're not here to try to find business, we don't need to sell players to balance our books, and that's always our position.

"It's a compliment when you've a team chasing you that would love to have you in their squad. It's speculation, but it's positive.

Dalglish: Glen's Been Fantastic

Kenny Dalglish today paid tribute to the attitude of Glen Johnson following the England defender's impressive displays at left-back.

The Reds boss has been delighted by the No.2's commitment since taking charge and feels he has adapted well to the challenge of playing in an unfamiliar position in the back four.

Dalglish told his pre-match press conference: "Glen Johnson has been fantastic in the left-back position in the past three games. I don't recall anyone going past him.

"He was also involved in the first goal against Everton and was involved more defensively on Saturday. He did really well.

"For me, playing at left-back, he's doing us a favour. It's not really his chosen position. But he hasn't said a word against it, it's been no problem and he's just gone out and played.

"That's great and I think it just reflects his commitment and his attitude. The fact he is playing there and doing so well is a great credit to him. Also, he'll be thinking that Martin has done well and it would be unfair on him to leave him out."

Johnson's switch to left-back has come as a result of Martin Kelly's imperious form on the opposite flank.

Dalglish admits he has been more than satisfied with the youngster's displays of late and has likened his impact to making a new addition to the squad.

"Martin's done very well for the club," he said. "He's like a new signing for the club because that's four on the spin he's played now. In every game he's adapted well so he's done enough to have played the four games. He's earned it and it doesn't matter what age you are, if you are performing you'll have a chance of playing. He's certainly deserved his opportunities.

"He's been there or thereabouts before. He's been out on loan and had a couple of opportunities. He is getting a good bit of help from people around and about him. But it is impressive when you come into a team that isn't playing as well as it can and you play as well as he has done."

Liverpool will head into Wednesday's clash with Fulham on the back of an impressive 3-0 victory over Wolves.

West Ham Plan Last Ditch Attempt To Sign Joe Cole On Loan Deal

West Ham boss Avram Grant will this week attempt to secure the services of Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole on a loan deal to aid the club’s fight against relegation. The former Hammer is barely part of the Anfield side’s first team plans and may well be interested in a return to his former stamping ground not least as it would help give him the chance of regular first team football.

Cole arrived in the summer and has failed to make an impact on Merseyside and has made just eight Premier League starts, the last of which was in October and Kenny Dalglish seems as averse to using the England international as a first team starter as former boss Roy Hodgson was.

A move to Upton Park may well suit all parties. It would give Joe Cole the chance to prove himself, which would in turn help add creativity to the East London side’s attack, something that Grant clearly is interested in pursuing, and Liverpool get to give a back up player some much needed game time.

If Cole proves a success in any potential loan move then in the long term a permanent deal may be on the table although for now any move from West Ham would strictly be on a loan deal basis.

29 year old Joe Cole made 150 appearances and scored 13 goals before he was sold to Chelsea in the summer of 2003.

Derby Seek Loan Deal Liverpool Defender Daniel Ayala

Derby County is hoping to wrap up a loan deal for Liverpool centre-half Daniel Ayala.

Ayala, 20, was on loan with Hull City earlier this season and the Tigers are eager to see him return to the club.

But Rams manager Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Derby: "We are trying for Daniel. He has had a hamstring injury so he is getting fit.

"We are just about agreed with the club, it's just convincing the player and trying to do the deal."

Clough hopes to land the Spaniard in time for the home fixture against Ipswich Town on Tuesday, 1 February.

"Dean Leacock (suspended) is out for two games so we certainly need a left-sided centre-half in before we play Ipswich," Clough added.

Liverpool’s Owners Invite Fans To Help ‘Shape The Club’s Future’

Liverpool Football Club (LFC) has announced the introduction of a new 'supporter consultation group.'

According to a statement on Liverpool's official website, the club hopes the new initiative 'will allow fans to help shape the club's future through regular and constructive dialogue with senior LFC officials.'

The move by club owners New England Sports Ventures (NESV) is in stark contrast to the secretive way in which the Premier League club was run under Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The group, known officially as the Liverpool FC Supporters' Committee (LFCSC), will consist of 17 democratically appointed fans to be elected by a seven-person panel, and will meet four times a season with senior club staff. In at least two of those meetings NESV representatives will be present.

The club goes on to say that 'each of the 17 members will have a public profile set up on The Kop, Liverpool's social media platform on the official website, where they will be clearly identified as an elected Member of the Liverpool FC Supporters' Committee. Each individual will be contactable via private messaging and be able to solicit feedback and questions from fans they represent and also post updates after each meeting.'

Each LFCSC member is expected to serve until 30th May, 2013.

The inaugural meeting of the LFCSC will take place 15th May at Anfield.