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.

David Trezeguet Agent Reveals Striker Interest

Former Juventus striker David Trezeguet is being linked with a Barclays Premier League move by his agent.

The French international striker has been linked with a number of English clubs during his 17 year professional career, with Liverpool one of the most recent to take an interest in the summer.

"An interest of Liverpool? There are requests, not just of Liverpool," agent Antonio Caliendo told in August.

The striker would join La Liga outfit Hercules, but is being linked with a move away from Spain after only six months at the club.

"I have now been called by England. There is a British club very interested in Trezeguet and Hercules is considering their important proposal," Caliendo has told the same website.

"David is available, but we are also considering other possibilities."

Blackburn are also thought to be one of the interested parties in the player, with the club's new owner eager to add a big-name signing after they failed to land Ronaldinho.

Liverpool are in the market for a striker as negotiations with Ajax over the signing of Luis Suarez continue to stall.

Kenny Dalglish is searching for an attacking foil for Fernando Torres at Anfield, and whilst Trezeguet has not been on the Anfield radar in recent months he could be an option for Liverpool.

It is thought that an offer in the region of €10 million should be enough for Liverpool or Blackburn to land the player.

Liverpool In The Running To Sign Mirko Vucinic

Liverpool are reportedly frontrunners to sign Roma striker Mirko Vucinic, who could become available in the summer.

According to talkSPORT, the Reds are 'strong favourites' for the 27-year-old, although Roma remain unwilling to sell during the January transfer window - but they have received bids for his services.

When asked about the reported interest of Liverpool, Vucinic's agent Alessandro Lucci said: "The club has stated he is not for sale.

"Although we have received some bids the club will not be considering any offers. At the end of the season we will make a decision on his future."

Valued at €25 million by, Vucinic is one the most highly-regarded forwards in Europe and it would be a major coup if Liverpool could land him in the summer.

However, Liverpool are keen to add goalscoring reinforcements to their ranks before the winter window closes on Monday and are working desperately to bring fresh blood to Anfield.

Their no.1 target remains Ajax star Luis Suarez, but his protracted move has hit a snag after the Dutch club told Liverpool they must pay almost €30 million for his signature.

Liverpool, however, are thought to have tabled a bid of around €12.7 million for the Uruguayan and face a difficult final few days of the window as they search for a resolution.

PSV Eindhoven hotshot Ola Toivonen and FC Utrecht sensation Ricky van Wolfswinkel have also been linked with moves to Liverpool as they scour Europe for a potential strike partner for Anfield star Fernando Torres.

Michael Bastos Linked With Summer Anfield Switch

Liverpool are set battle Manchester United in the race to sign Brazilian defender Michael Bastos.

The 27-year-old Lyon full back is expected to leave the Ligue 1 outfit in the summer, and Liverpool are thought to have joined the race to sign the £22 million rated player.

An attack-minded left back, Bastos left Lille in the summer of 2009 for a fee in the region of €18 million, and has gone on to become a star at the Stade de Gerland.

Liverpool are thought to be in the market for a left sided defender following the disappointing start to Paul Konchesky's career at Anfield. The defender is being linked with a return to Fulham, with Glen Johnson currently filling in for the Merseysiders in the Barclays Premier League.

Kenny Dalglish has been promised money to spend by the Reds' new owners, NESV, and whilst Liverpool will have to wait until the summer to sign Bastos he would provide quality and experience for the club.

Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the player, who was originally being touted as a replacement for Patrice Evra at Old Trafford.

The French international is heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid from Manchester United, but Sir Alex Ferguson and the club have denied the speculation.

If the player does leave Manchester United, then Bastos appears a likely replacement with similar attributes.

It is Liverpool who could undoubtedly use the player's services more, although United are likely to have the lure of Champions League football over their rivals should they make a move.

A summer bidding war could be on the cards, and whilst the French side is reluctant to sell the player, reports claim they will listen to offers in the region of £22 million for the player. It's unknown if Liverpool or United will want to meet the demand.

Liverpool Could Move For Niko Kranjcar If They Don't Land Charlie Adam

Liverpool could make a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Niko Kranjcar if their pursuit of Charlie Adam proves fruitless.

According to The Daily Mirror, Werder Bremen is interested in the Croatian, but the player himself wants to continue plying his trade in the Premier League.

It is thought that he would like to play for the Reds, who are currently interested in Blackpool midfielder Adam.

However, it has been reported that the situation could very well change if they are unable to land the Seasiders' skipper, with Spurs outcast Kranjcar lined up as a backup option.

Blackpool has slapped a £12m price-tag on Adam.

Jovanovic Rejects Wolfsburg

Sky Sports News sources understand that Liverpool forward Milan Jovanovic has turned down a move to Wolfsburg.

The Serbian has failed to make an impact at Anfield since arriving from Standard Liege on a free transfer at the beginning of the season and the Premier League club are prepared to sell.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, who succeeded Roy Hodgson at the beginning of January, is reported to be trying to raise funds in order to fund improved bids for Ajax striker Luis Suarez and Blackpool captain Charlie Adam. reported on Wednesday that Wolfsburg's former England manager, Steve McClaren, had made an offer, rumoured to be £6million, to Liverpool's parent company, the Fenway Sports Group.

But Jovanovic has rejected the opportunity to follow former Liverpool team-mate Ryan Babel in moving to the Bundesliga after the latter joined Hoffenheim earlier this week.

Jovanovic had hoped that the arrival of Dalglish would provide an opportunity to kick-start his career on Merseyside.

However, illness and injury permitting, the 29-year-old has only featured in the defeat at Blackpool since the sacking of Hodgson.

The deal to sign Jovanovic was effectively in place last season when Rafa Benitez was still in charge at Anfield and so it has always been questioned whether he had a future.

Seventeen appearances in total at club level have suggested that the versatile attacker has struggled to adapt since joining Liverpool, while seven of those outings have come in the Europa League.

Wolfsburg are eager to increase their offensive options after selling Edin Dzeko to Manchester City in a £27m deal at the beginning of January.

Kenny Dalglish Hails Defence After Keeping Successive Clean Sheets

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is hoping that the club's new found defensive strength can provide the platform to push further up the table.

Despite a poor start to the season, the Reds now sit seventh in the Premier League after the 1-0 win against Fulham on Wednesday night.

It followed the 3-0 victory against Wolves at the weekend, which means they have now kept two clean sheets in a row - for just the second time this season.

And Dalglish said: "They gave us some problems for our defence but it is great there is nothing against us.

"It was important to get two clean sheets back-to-back, it won't do anyone any harm.

"I don't think they were ever going to crumble.

"Second half we really dug in after the goal and the attitude and commitment of the players was tremendous as they didn't want to lose a goal.

"Their resolve was fantastic and that is why we got the three points.

"When you have no goals against you always have a chance and if we start passing and moving it there is a chance of scoring at the other end.

"It takes both ends of the pitch to be functioning to get three points in this league."

Liverpool are within six points of fifth-placed Tottenham, although they have played one match more.

Dalglish added: "We are certainly better than where we were but there are plenty of games to play and plenty of points at stake.

"It is never a bad thing to look at the table and see yourself seventh but if we feel good at being seventh it will be even better to be sixth."

Pepe Reina added: "It's nice to keep two clean sheets in a row and it's very important.

"A good team is built from the back and having a strong backline and if you have this then you will have more chances to win more games."