Monday, January 31, 2011

Suarez Passes Liverpool Medical

Luis Suarez is on the brink of joining Liverpool from Ajax for £22.8 million after passing a medical with the Anfield club.

The 24-year-old striker, who has scored 111 goals in 159 games for Ajax, will become Kenny Dalglish's first signing since taking over from Roy Hodgson.

"Luis Suarez has successfully passed his medical and personal terms with the player have been agreed," Liverpool said in a statement. "We expect to complete the remainder of the paperwork tomorrow."

It remains to be seen whether Fernando Torres will be around to partner Suarez, with Chelsea thought to be preparing another bid before the transfer window slams shut on Monday evening. Carlo Ancelotti's side has already seen one offer rebuffed by the Reds.

Torres has handed in a transfer request at Anfield and, although the club insists they will resist any bids for the striker, reports have suggested a fee of £50m could seal the deal.

Liverpool Want Newcastle United Forward Andy Carroll

Liverpool are believed to be interested in acquiring the services of Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll as a replacement for Fernando Torres, who has been widely reported to be on the verge of joining Chelsea.

According to The Sun, the Reds will move in on the young forward with a £30 million bid and a triple-your-wages offer to prise him away from the clutches of the Tyneside outfit.

Carroll has made a seamless transition from the Championship to the Premier League, scoring 11 goals in the process. And the 22-year-old also made his debut for the senior England squad in an international friendly.

Liverpool has also been linked with deadline day moves for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young and Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam.

Liverpool Plan Improved Offers For Ashley Young And Charlie Adam

Liverpool is beginning to plan for life without Fernando Torres as they look to spend the money generated from the World Cup winner's departure.

Liverpool’s softening stance on Torres’ departure has alerted Chelsea, who look set to increase their bid of £35million on Monday.

The west London club are still not willing to pay the £50m that Liverpool seem to be after but they are hopeful of finding a resolution after the Red’s indicated they would be favourable towards a cash plus Nicolas Anelka deal.

The Frenchman is not keen on the move to Liverpool, according to Sky Sports, but Chelsea have been encouraged by Liverpool’s supposed willingness to negotiate on Torres’ transfer.

According to the Guardian, Liverpool will increase their bid for Blackpool’s want-away captain, Charlie Adam, on Monday. The Merseyside club have had a £4m bid rejected by the Lancashire club but are willing to bid up to £10m to get their man.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has indicated previously that an offer of £10m would be considered by the club who paid 20 times less than the proposed selling fee.

Liverpool is also looking into the possibility of signing Aston Villa’s England international Ashley Young. The winger’s contract runs out at the end of next season and has thus far refused to sign a new deal which may force Villa’s hand if they receive a suitable offer.

The Reds are reportedly ready to offer £18m for the player to test the resolve of Gerard Houllier and Villa owner Randy Lerner.

Jose Enrique Targeted For Anfield Summer Swoop

Liverpool are expected to bid for Newcastle defender Jose Enrique in the summer, according to reports.

The Spanish full back has impressed in the Barclays Premier League this season, and the Sunday Mirror reports that Liverpool will launch a summer bid to bring the player to Anfield.

Manchester United are also thought to be interested in bringing the player to Old Trafford, and the pair could start a bidding war at the end of the season.

Liverpool are thought to be in the market for a full back after Paul Konchesky failed to settle on Anfied. The former Fulham defender is being heavily linked with a return to Craven Cottage, leaving the Reds to search for a replacement.

Glen Johnson is currently covering in the position on Merseyside, but manager Kenny Dalglish is thought to see this as a short term solution and will look to invest some of the Liverpool owners’ cash in a new player.

NESV have already shown their willingness to invest with the accepted bid for Luis Suarez, although Dalglish will have to wait until the summer if he wishes to bring Enrique to Liverpool.

25-year-old Enrique is yet to sign a new deal at St James' Park, with his current contract set to expire next summer. Manchester United have also sensed an opportunity to sign the player, and are also thought to be looking for a left back.

Patrice Evra has been heavily linked with an Old Trafford exit, although Manchester United have strenuously denied reports of the Frenchman's exit. Real Madrid have been linked with the player, and Enrique would be an ideal replacement for the player should he leave.

The Toon will almost certainly try and persuade the player to sign a long-term deal at the club, but that is unlikely to prevent either Liverpool or Manchester United making an offer for the player should the opportunity arise.

A former Valencia and Villarreal player, Enrique won Spanish international honours at U21 level and would be an ideal addition for Liverpool should the opportunity arise.

Torres Trains Alone As Kop Board Cave To Striker's Sulk

It is a sentence every reporter is loathe to write, but yesterday on the lonely expanse of Liverpool’s training ground, a picture really did paint a thousand words.

As Fernando Torres trailed forlornly around the Melwood pitch, alone except for the shadow of one of the coaching staff, the image perfectly summed up his last few months at the club and his last day in the historic red shirt.

He has cut an increasingly isolated figure as this disappointing season has unfolded, his frustration and anger eventually settling into a petulant sulk that was framed in body language screaming of discontent and a desire to be elsewhere.

It is that image that stuck with Liverpool’s American owners over the weekend, as they pondered their options in the face of Chelsea’s continuing interest in the Spain forward.

They had a choice, take the money on offer, or make Torres stay until at least the end of the season. The prospect of keeping such a visibly unhappy, potentially disruptive influence makes that a simple decision in the end.

Torres has a clause in his contract that will kick in at the end of the season allowing him to join any club tabling an offer of £50million. It is that, combined with his attitude, which made the Anfield owners realize there was no value in forcing him to stay, even if morally, they must have been tempted to do so.

Put simply, Liverpool cannot get more than £50m for him in the summer, and if that figure is offered now, they have to take it, because to refuse would leave them open to the risk that they could miss out on the money at the end of the season if Torres gets a bad injury in the meantime.

A massive financial gamble for no gain. Keeping him for the next three and a half months provides no benefit either, given his shocking form in all but a handful of matches this term.

He would almost certainly simply sulk further, possibly damaging team morale.

That is why Torres was forced to train alone at the Melwood ground yesterday, because manager Kenny Dalglish does not want any poison to seep into the minds of the players committed to the future of the club.

Torres was told to report for training after the main session involving the first-team squad. That session dragged on longer than expected, and he was made to wait alone until every player had left, being kept completely apart from his team-mates.

With reports coming in around the same time yesterday afternoon that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had sanctioned the offer for Torres to go ultimately to the £50m that will land the player, it was essentially a done deal, barring the usual last-minute formalities.

Torres may well have known that when he trundled around Melwood.

That he can look forward to signing a £150,000 a week contract with Chelsea – £7.5m a year – and have a shot at winning the Champions League this season would no doubt have softened the blow of his enforced isolation.

His behaviour over the past few days and weeks, and particularly in playing so badly and still having putting in a transfer request will rankle with Liverpool fans.

They will not mourn his passing, not least because of the suspicions aroused by one of the few ­performances – perhaps the only real one – he put in this season just happening to be against Chelsea.

There is also talk among some supporters that Torres picked up his form a little in recent weeks only because he was proving to the London club he still retained the ability that once made him the world’s best striker.

That will cause nothing but anger from a fanbase that believed Torres’ claims that he loved Liverpool, and was steeped in the club’s history.

Paul Konchesky To Move To Nottingham Forest On Loan

Liverpool full-back Paul Konchesky looks set to move to Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan after a proposed move to his old club Fulham fell through.

Konchesky had looked set to move back to west London, but they were unable to offload Carlos Salcido who has failed to settle in England since his summer move from PSV Eindhoven, which could see the left back move to Forest for the rest of the season, according to The Times.

The Englishman was bought by previous manager Roy Hodgson and was the focus of much criticism during the early part of the season.

He has however not figured for Liverpool since Kenny Dalglish took over the reins with the Scot favouring even Glen Johnson to play out of position rather than Konchesky.

Fifa rules stipulate that no player can play for three different clubs in a single season and Konchesky has already played for both Fulham and Liverpool.

However Konchesky’s move would be treated as an emergency loan and as such the rules do not come into force, much to the relief of the defender who has been out in the cold for a number of weeks now.

A three month loan deal is expected to be confirmed on Monday however there is no suggestion as yet that the move will include an agreement for the player to join permanently at the end of the season.

Liverpool Player Describes Fernando Torres' Efforts This Season As Laughable

A Liverpool player has labelled the Prozone stats of Chelsea target Fernando Torres as “laughable” and accused the want-away striker of playing for himself, according to the Daily Mail.

In a week in which Torres demanded the route be cleared for his Anfield exit, the un-named player also said the personality of the World Cup winner sometimes raised eyebrows at the training ground.

The source told the paper: “His efforts for the team this season under Roy Hodgson made everyone notice.

“His Prozone stats for some games were laughable for a Premier League striker.”

Torres, who reached the 50 goal mark in just 72 games for Liverpool, was forgiven for his selfishness as a result of his undoubted ability, according to the source.

“On the pitch he'd definitely play for himself rather than the team," the source said.

“Even the real pros like Stevie Gerrard and Jamie Carragher noticed it but when Torres is on top form you'd forgive him anything.”

The report goes on to say that Torres is self-absorbed and not loved by his team-mates in the same way compatriot Pepe Reina is.

“He has always been a complex character," the unnamed player added. "He is so naturally gifted he's always been totally self-absorbed.

“For the first year we'd put his quietness down to a lack of fluent English, but then he'd come out with something word perfect, which made you realize he understood what was going on all the time.

“He has always been admired by his team-mates, but not loved. He hasn't endeared himself in the way that Pepe Reina has, for example.”

The 26-year-old submitted a transfer request on Friday evening and is expected to complete a move away from Anfield by Monday if the Reds can thrash out a deal with Chelsea.

Hansen Reveals How Kenny Trains

Alan Hansen has lifted the lid on the training methods which may be responsible for Liverpool's resurgence.

The Reds rose to seventh in the Barclays Premier League this week following victories over Wolves and Fulham.

Fans have noted a greater willingness to commit men into opposition territory under temporary gaffer Kenny Dalglish.

The attractive football Dalglish likes his sides to play manifested itself in a 31-pass move which culminated in Fernando Torres's ninth strike of the season in the dying moments at Molineux last weekend.

The last few games have prompted Hansen to recall his own days playing under our greatest ever No.7.

"As soon as Kenny went in there he wanted his Liverpool team to move better," the former centre-back told LFC Weekly magazine.

"He told Steve Clarke what he wants to see and that's a return to the traditional pass and move Liverpool values.

"We used to do this function at Liverpool, one of the few training functions we ever did, where the man in possession had to move after passing the ball.

"If he didn't move a foul was awarded and the team he was playing for lost possession.

"You wouldn't believe how many times players got caught out for not moving, but it became a natural thing for us to do after passing the ball.

"It was drilled into us that when a man is in possession, if people are moving then it is easier for him to play a pass. That is exactly what has been missing from Liverpool, especially away from home, and it's what Kenny is trying to restore."

One player who is crucial to the implementation of Dalglish's ideas is Portugal international midfielder Raul Meireles, according to Hansen.

"At Wolves, Meireles in particular showed what a class player he is," said the 55-year-old.

"I've always said that if Liverpool can get some impetus and momentum we will see the true value of Meireles because he really is a good player who has needed a bit of time to adjust.

"His passing, movement and attacking play at Wolves were excellent and Torres benefited from him, Kuyt and Rodriguez being given the freedom to go and play."