Sunday, January 30, 2011

Liverpool Negotiating With Chelsea Over £50m Fernando Torres Bid

Liverpool have asked for Nicolas Anelka to be included in Chelsea's £50 million bid for Fernando Torres as a stunning deal before the transfer window closes grows more likely, UK can reveal.

Contrary to Liverpool's public stance that Torres is not for sale, the club is willing to negotiate with the Londoners as they fear the negative consequences of keeping a player who has publicly revealed his desire to move on.

Torres submitted a written transfer request on Friday night which was rejected by Liverpool, but that has not deterred Chelsea from making a second offer for the Spaniard of £40m in cash plus Daniel Sturridge, the England Under-21 striker.

With Torres, 26, pushing both clubs to negotiate over a move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, Liverpool have asked for Frenchman Anelka, not Sturridge, to be included in the deal to meet their £50m valuation.

Anelka is considered a proven goalscorer who can slot into the Liverpool side immediately and a more suitable partner for Luis Suarez, who is on Merseyside to complete a £22.8m switch from Ajax.

Anelka spent a loan spell at Anfield in the 2001-02 season and could be open to a return as Torres' arrival would cast doubt over the 31-year-old's future at Stamford Bridge. He played the full 90 minutes for the Londoners in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Everton in the FA Cup fourth round but has played for eight different clubs in his career, including Liverpool on loan in 2002.

Chelsea would still prefer to offload Sturridge, who has failed to spark since joining from Manchester City in 2009 and attracted interest from Liverpool last month but is considered as a prospect for the future rather than someone who is ready to deliver now.

Liverpool turned down an opening £35m offer from Chelsea for Torres on Thursday and are determined that their star striker will only leave under their terms, despite the player's desire to leave Anfield.

“Fernando is under long-term contract and the club expect him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool FC and its supporters when he signed the agreement,” said the club in a statement on Friday night.

There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Torres' contract, which expires in summer 2013, includes a buyout clause that will allow him to leave if a club offers £50m after the end of the season. UK revealed on Friday that he has made up his mind that he will not be playing for Liverpool by the start of next season.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is determined to complete a deal for the World Cup winner, who he also tried to sign last summer but was rebuffed by the Merseyside club.

When contacted by UK, a Liverpool spokesman said: "We don't comment on transfer speculation."

Liverpool Target €8m French Defensive Midfielder Amidst Lucas Exit Talks

Liverpool are once again being linked with a move for French international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

The Times reported last week that the St Etienne player was being targeted as Liverpool struggle to agree a fee for Charlie Adam, with an €8 million move mooted.

Director of Football strategy at Anfield, Damien Comolli, is a known admirer of the player after holding a similar position at the Ligue 1 club. His connection with the player is thought to hold the key with regards to a Liverpool bid.

Matuidi started his senior career at Troyes in 2004, but moved to his current employees at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in 2007. His impressive recent form has also led to international recognition, with Laurent Blanc handing the player his first Les Bleus cap against Bosnia.

Lucas Leiva joined the Reds in 2007, and after a tough couple of seasons at the Merseyside outfit the Brazilian has established himself in the Liverpool midfield with some fine displays this season.

However, Villarreal striker Nilmar has said that his compatriot was interested in a move to the Yellow Submarine and has encouraged him to consider a switch to La Liga, as reported by talkSPORT.

"Lucas was interested in the club," said Nilmar.

"He would be a great player for our team. He plays very well, and he would fit in well with our style at Villarreal."

Matuidi would occupy a similar role to Lucas should he move to Liverpool, with the defensive midfielder adding some bite for the club in the centre of the pitch and allowing skipper Steven Gerrard to push forward.

Kenny Dalglish is thought to have been advised by Comolli to make a move for the player, although Liverpool would have to move fast if they are to add to the addition of Luis Suarez.

Carlo Ancelotti In Dark About Chelsea's Fernando Torres Transfer Bid

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he has no idea whether Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will become a Chelsea player this month.

The Blues had a £35 million bid for the World Cup winner rejected earlier in the week, but are now said to be preparing an improved offer after Torres submitted a written transfer request at Anfield.

Liverpool's public stance remains that the former Atletico Madrid man is not for sale and Ancelotti revealed he had not heard anything to the contrary, when quizzed about the proposed transfer after Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday.

'I don't know, we will have to wait,' said the Italian.

Ancelotti could have been forgiven for having his mind on other things after his side produced another poor performance in the FA Cup fourth round tie at Goodison Park.

The holders looked to be on their way out when Louis Saha gave Everton a deserved lead shortly after the hour mark, but they secured a replay thanks to a 75th-minute Salomon Kalou goal.

Ancelotti admitted the Toffees had been the better team, but insisted he was pleased with his players.

'Everton have a special kind of football, play a lot of long balls and they like to fight in the box on set-pieces,' he said.

'But we showed a good attitude and spirit even though we did not play well.'

Charlie Adam's Father Brands Blackpool 'Cheap-Skates'

In the wake of Blackpool's rejection of Liverpool's second official bid for midfielder Charlie Adam, the player's father, also called Charlie, has branded his son's team "cheap-skates" for saying no to the bid.

Liverpool's second offer is believed to be around the £6.5 million mark, around £2.5m more than the initial bid.

Charlie senior was enraged at the decision and made his thoughts known to the Seasiders and their chairman Karl Oyston, claiming it was rejected as a "revenge attack" due to the bad blood between player and club.

He said: "Blackpool are such a cheap-skate club.

"I don’t even think this is about money. It’s because Charlie took them to a tribunal over the bonus they owed him. This is their pay-back. They are saying ‘you won’t make anything out of this, we have got you under contract’. "Liverpool’s offer is THIRTEEN times what Blackpool paid for Charles. And they are turning it down? They have been more than compensated for him already.

"Mr. Oyston has got to realize it is somebody’s life and future that he is dealing with here. I think it is petty. This should be a time for common sense to prevail."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish improved the offer in an attempt to bring in the Scottish international before Monday's deadline closes in, but it is believed that Blackpool want a deal starting at around £12m.

Adam has already handed in a transfer request that was dismissed by his club, but the midfielder is demanding that Blackpool and their manager Ian Holloway sell him on and claims he is being 'blanked'.

Adam senior claimed Holloway had told his son that Liverpool was an ‘exception’ to his rule about where he could go.

He added: “Blackpool have been looking at other players. They could do without Charlie and be safe."

Liverpool See £6.5m Bid Rebuffed For New Gerrard Partner

Blackpool have reportedly rejected Liverpool’s latest bid for their captain, Charlie Adam.

The Reds had an initial offer of £4 million for the 25-year-old and, according to, they have been rebuffed in their latest attempts to sign the Scotland international.

Tangerines boss Ian Holloway said last week that it would take over £10 million for Liverpool to sign his prized asset; hence a reported bid of £6.5 million was dismissed by the club last night.

Blackpool’s reluctance to let Adam leave for Liverpool after handing in a transfer request last Monday has led to a sense of ill-feeling to grow between the camps involved.

Tommy Smith: Meireles Now Adding Liverpool FC Goals To All His Rich Promise

The more I see of Raul Meireles, the more I like.

He is a player used to playing at a slower tempo in Portugal and who is having to come to grips with the hustle of the Premier League.

But he is quickly figuring it out and is getting better for us by the week.

Most encouragingly, he has just added a couple of important, not to say spectacular, goals to his game. That’s one thing Liverpool has been missing in recent seasons from midfield, Steven Gerrard apart.

Xabi Alonso might have been good for a few goals but Javier Mascherano hardly hit the net at all and Lucas Leiva doesn’t either.

The best teams, including winning Liverpool sides of the past, saw goals coming from all areas. The likes of Ian Callaghan, Steve Heighway, Ray Kennedy, Jimmy Case etc were all good for their fair share of goals.

Even full backs Chris Lawler and Phil Neal scored a tremendous amount for Liverpool.

But unless it’s Gerrard or Torres, maybe Dirk Kuyt, there hasn’t been much of a threat coming from elsewhere for too long.

That may be changing now with Meireles getting forward and in on the act of hitting the target.

He’s still got to toughen up in the tackle a bit for me. But like his new found appetite for goals, that too may well come soon.

Skrtel Hails Young Defender

Martin Skrtel believes Liverpool's defensive problems are on the mend thanks in no small part to the presence of Martin Kelly.

Caretaker boss Kenny Dalglish had to wait until his fourth game back in charge for a victory due to a clutch of rearguard lapses.

Successive clean sheets have helped Liverpool collect six points from their last two fixtures - evidence that work on the training ground is paying off, according to Skrtel.

One man he believes can take a bow is 20-year-old Kelly, who has started all five of Dalglish's matches to date.

"I am positive about the fact that we didn’t concede on Wednesday," said Skrtel. "It was a lucky goal for us but I think we deserved to win. We must beat Stoke City now and we will see what happens with Chelsea. I would like to win these games as well.

"I think Martin Kelly is doing really well for us. I remember when he played against Chelsea at Anfield this season and was one of our best players.

"He did extremely well playing against their big stars and he competed very well with them.

"He is working really hard and I am happy for him because he is a nice guy and a great player."

Another player responsible for Liverpool's upturn in form is Raul Meireles, who took his goals tally since joining from Porto in the summer to two with hits against Everton and Wolves.

Skrtel added: "He's a great player with a lot of quality and he showed this when he played for Porto and he is doing the same now at Liverpool.

"It was an unbelievable goal he scored against Wolves and I saw it very clear because I was right behind him.

"It was one of the best goals I have seen this season."

Agger: I Like Kenny's Style

Daniel Agger believes Kenny Dalglish is attempting to install a positive mentality into Liverpool's playing style - and it's one he's relishing.

The Dane feels the training methods Dalglish has implemented at Melwood have had the desired effect so far, with the Reds winning their last two matches in the Barclays Premier League to move up to seventh in the table.

Agger told Liverpool's official matchday programme: "He's (Dalglish) such a big personality and his name is so big around this club and this city, it's unbelievable. He's been here for a few weeks now and I can say that I like his style of football.

"I think every day, he is so positive in what he does - trying to get the team to go forward by playing football. I believe he can be really good for us.

"In the team meetings and in training you can hear and by the different things we're working on that he really wants us to play positive football and how important it is to keep possession, not giving it away so easily.

"He understands that long-term success happens with teams and not individuals so there has been a big emphasis on team spirit."

Shortly after the confirmation of his appointment, Dalglish drafted in Steve Clarke to assist with the coaching of the squad at Melwood.

Agger has been impressed with the manner in which the pair have worked together so far, and he's hopeful they will both have decisive roles to play in Liverpool's future.

"Already you can see that he (Steve Clarke) is, and will hopefully in the future be, a positive influence on this club," he said.

"He and Kenny look like a really good team and together I hope they can play a huge part in the club's future - not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as well. It is clear that they suit this club.

"Obviously we need results but that's up to the players in the squad to make that happen too.

"We have that spirit back under the new manager and that counts for a lot because if you have confidence, it's easier to achieve success.

"You have seen in the past what some of the players here can do - there's no reason why we can't do it again."

Since recovering from injury, Agger has started all five of Liverpool's games since Dalglish took over at the helm - and he remains adamant he sees his future at Anfield.

The defender added: "I don't see why I shouldn't see my immediate future here because I have three or so years left on my contract and I intend to fulfil that.

"I believe in the club and like the city, so why should I look anywhere else?"