Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Carroll Could Make Debut Against United

Andy Carroll is in line to make his Liverpool debut against Manchester United on Sunday while Raul Meireles, Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio could also play.

Liverpool's £35million January signing Carroll has been injured since the turn of the year but he trained fully with the first-team for the first time on Tuesday after recovering from his thigh problem.

Manager Kenny Dalglish has indicated that the club signed Carroll with a view to what he can offer as a long-term replacement for Chelsea signing Fernando Torres but he will still be eager to inject the former Newcastle striker into his team after West Ham ended their eight-match unbeaten run on Sunday.

If Carroll is cleared to face United at Anfield he will almost certainly start on the bench. If either Agger (leg) or Aurelio (abductor) can prove their fitness before Sunday, however, they will likely be inserted straight into the team to cover the left back position vacated by Glen Johnson, who will move to the right in place of Martin Kelly. Impressive young right back Kelly is out for a month after injuring his hamstring against West Ham.

Meireles, who joined Kelly in limping off early during the 3-1 loss at Upton Park, is another who will need to be passed fit later in the week if he is to line up against United in a match that will influence the Premier League title race. Meireles has been in hot scoring form for Liverpool so his inclusion would be a boost for Dalglish's injury-hit team.

Path Set To Be Cleared For Liverpool To Sign £10.5m Croatian

Liverpool target Vedran Corluka could reportedly be available for transfer in the summer.

The Tottenham defender will seemingly fall down the pecking order at White Hart Lane next season after The Times revealed that Harry Redknapp will make Kyle Walker his first choice right-back when he returns from a loan spell at Aston Villa.

It was reported last month by the Daily Mail that Liverpool had made an approach for Corluka during the transfer window and tribalfootball went on to claim that the Anfield club had been 'encouraged' to swoop for the Croatian.

Along with Liverpool, Juventus have also been previously tracking the 25-year-old who - despite being valued by at £10.5 million - is likely to available for a reduced sum.

Liverpool are known to be in the market for defensive reinforcements when the transfer window reopens in June and the versatile Corluka would be able to provide cover at full-back or in central defence.

However, with Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sotirios Kyrgiakos vying for starting berths in the centre - while Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly fight for the right-back slot - Liverpool may be unable to offer Corluka the regular first team football he so craves.

Liverpool has also been linked with Birmingham's Scott Dann and Villarreal youngster Mateo Musacchio in their pursuit of new recruits.

Liverpool 'Make Offer' For £9m Midfield Warrior

Liverpool has allegedly make an offer for Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila.

According to sources in France - as reported by tribalfootball - the Reds have tabled an offer in the region of £9 million for the Frenchman and are now awaiting a response from the Ligue 1 club.

Liverpool is understood to have been monitoring the 20-year-old for some time in their pursuit of a combative midfielder to add extra steel alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Raul Meireles.

The acquisition of Christian Poulsen by the previous Liverpool regime can fairly be deemed a flop and - while Lucas Leiva has enjoyed arguably his best season at Anfield thus far - the Merseyside club are thought to be keen to bring in another tough tackling midfielder.

M'Vila would certainly provide Liverpool with extra midfield protection and - at his young age - would have the potential to develop into an integral member of the Anfield set up.

The France international's style would seemingly be suited to the Barclays Premier League - something he readily admits himself.

"Which league do I watch on TV? The Premier League! It matches my game," he told L'Equipe.

"I'm a big fan of the English state of mind and tackling.

"It is a warrior's game, where you have to show plenty of fighting spirit.

"I like to watch Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, but also Manchester City."

Liverpool Defender Target 'Considering' €18m Move

Liverpool defender target Micah Richards is reportedly considering a summer switch from Manchester City.

The England international defender is thought to be wanted by a number of Barclays Premier League teams, with Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish one of those keen to sign the player.

Daily Mail reports claim the right back is questioning his future at Eastlands amidst long-term fears at the club, with the paper going on to claim that the Manchester City defender's representatives have made contact with a number of clubs.

It's thought that Liverpool would face competition from Arsenal and Spurs in the race to sign the 22-year-old, and a fee in the region of €18 million would be needed to secure the signature.

Dalglish has hinted at player additions on Merseyside in the summer, with the Liverpool legend looking to spend big again following over £55 million worth of striker additions in January.

NESV, the new owners on Merseyside, proved that they are willing to back the manager financially and are expected to do so again when the Liverpool manager highlights the player's he wants to sign.

Michel Bastos, Jose Enrique and Fabio Coentrao have all been linked with Anfield in recent weeks, although Richards plays on the opposite side of the defence and will offer Liverpool a separate option to the other three.

Reds Hopeful Over Meireles

Liverpool are hopeful that Raul Meireles, Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio will all be fit for Sunday's showdown with Manchester United at Anfield.

Meireles hobbled out of last weekend's defeat at West Ham in the early stages of the second half having damaged a knee in a challenge with Scott Parker before half-time.

The injury was a blow for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish following the Portuguese playmaker's five goals in seven matches prior to the loss at Upton Park.

But first-team coach Steve Clarke has revealed that the substitution was only a precautionary measure and that Meireles could face Premier League leaders United.

"We're hopeful," Clarke told Liverpool's official website.

"He had a little problem with his knee and as a precaution at the start of the second half we thought it was better to take him off.

"That gives him a better chance of being ready for the next game.

"He'll get three or four days on the easier list and then hopefully towards the end of the week we'll be able to put him back in the preparations for the weekend."

Aurelio could be available to face United as the Brazilian is expected back in full training before the end of the week after recovering from an adductor injury.

Dalglish may also be able to call on Agger, with the injury-prone centre-back set to return from the problem which forced him off in the Europa League win over Sparta Prague

Clarke said: "They are both on the easy list at the moment and we're almost sure Fabio Aurelio will join us (in full training) on Thursday, and we're hopeful Daniel will join us on Thursday or Friday at the latest."

Liverpool Contemplate Controversial Gamble On £15m Nomadic Midfielder

Wolfsburg midfielder Diego is never very far from the newspaper headlines, often for as many antics off the pitch as on it.

But the 25-year-old Brazilian international is in the news again, this time the subject of increased transfer speculation linking him with a summer move to Liverpool.

The Reds’ Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli is said to be a big fan of Diego, who began his promising career in South America at the tender age of 16, making his debut for Santos after graduating from their academy alongside fellow Brazilian stars Elano, Robinho and current Chelsea defender Alex.

Moves to Porto and Juventus never worked out for the eccentric Diego, who has commanded in excess of £40m in transfer fees during his short career, but has by and large failed to live up to his billing.

However, Liverpool have expressed an interest in the player who has showed signs of what he is capable of with his most impressive season coming in the Bundesliga for Werder Bremen where he scored an impressive 22 goals in 39 games.

That sort of form is exactly what Kop fans will be hoping they will see should a move to Anfield be orchestrated.

However, Diego’s off the field antics have tarnished his reputation somewhat and he is seen as a disruptive influence in the dressing room, which may cause Liverpool to approach a potential deal with caution.

Just two weeks ago reported how Diego was suspended by Wolfsburg after defying orders during a recent 1-0 defeat to Hannover when he stepped up, and missed a penalty for his side despite not being the designated taker.

Having said that, he is known for his flair and ability to pull the strings, setting up play for his teammates. A tremendous passer, Diego is also very skillful with the ball at his feet – something that Kenny Dalglish is rumoured to be a huge admirer of.

The Liverpool chief is looking to bring an attacking midfield talent to Anfield to sit behind his newly acquired attacking partnership of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and the Merseysiders are preparing to table a £15million bid in the summer.

Udinese Keeping Tabs On Liverpool Midfielder Christian Poulsen

Udinese are reportedly closely monitoring Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen with the aim of possibly signing him during the summer transfer window.

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo, the 31-year-old is being followed by the Bianconeri, in the hope of joining the Friuli-based club, as a possible replacement for Gokhan Inler, who is linked with a move away to Napoli.

The Denmark international recently stated he would consider his options at the end of the season, but is happy at the Reds despite getting little game time since Kenny Dalglish took over the team.

The Friuli side is ready to make a £3 million offer for the player. His contract with the Merseyside club is set to expire in June 2013.

Poulsen joined the English side last summer from Juventus for £4.5m.

Reds Suffer Defender Injury Blow

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly has been ruled out for a month with a torn hamstring sustained at the weekend.

The 20-year-old has been an ever-present on the right side of defence in the Barclays Premier League since Kenny Dalglish took over as manager in early January.

However, the academy graduate limped off in Sunday's 3-1 defeat at West Ham and will be sidelined for four weeks.

The only consolation for Kelly is that March is a relatively quiet month for the Reds and he is likely to miss Sunday's visit of Manchester United, both legs of Europa League last-16 tie against Portugal's Braga and the trip to Sunderland on March 20.

Reds Bolster Youth Ranks

Liverpool has bolstered their youth ranks by signing 14-year-old Bradford City defender Nial Heaton.

A deal was agreed with the League Two outfit on Tuesday. The Bantams will receive payments based on the teenager's progress.

Youth team coach David Wetherall admitted disappointment at losing such a fine prospect but sees the move as evidence of Bradford's success.

"We have to be realistic about the situation. Part of the success for us is producing players of this quality that benefit the football club financially," he said.

"We are trying to get ourselves in a situation where we no longer have a real need to sell but it’s difficult to stand in players’ way when clubs such as Liverpool come knocking.

"Although myself and Pete [Horne, manager of Bradford's Centre of Excellence] are obviously disappointed that these players won’t be wearing the claret and amber, we’ve a sense of pride that clubs with the quality of Liverpool are interested in them. We’ve got clubs who are interested in other players as well."

Heaton is the third Bantam's youngster to join Liverpool in recent years following Calum Pilkington and Andre Wisdom.