Thursday, March 03, 2011

Kenny Refutes Fergie Issue

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists he has no problem with Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of this Sunday's mouth-watering clash.

The illustrious pair have known each other since the 1960s, and even played against one another when Ferguson was with Rangers and Dalglish was an 18-year-old upstart in Celtic's reserves.

The duo continued their rivalry into management in the 80s with Ferguson keen to knock Liverpool off their lofty perch, although he was unable to do so while Dalglish was in charge of the Reds.

United have dominated the domestic scene over the past two decades, but Dalglish, who lost an FA Cup tie at Old Trafford on his return to the hot seat in January, insists he has no problem with Ferguson.

"It's never been any different. If you read my book it'll tell you!" he joked on the club's official website.

"I've never had a problem with Fergie. I've got respect for the job he has done as a manager. I've never had a problem.

"I've known him for a long, long time. It must be 40 years or so since I first came across him. I don't have a problem."

Asked if he will share a bottle of red wine with the United boss to mark his 60th birthday, Dalglish joked: "Well, it's my birthday! He'll have what everybody else gets."

Dalglish Coy On Carroll

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has refused to rule Andy Carroll in or out of Sunday's massive clash with leaders Manchester United.

The former Newcastle United marksman, who joined the Reds for £35million before the transfer window closed, is yet to make his debut due to a thigh injury.

Carroll has been undertaking training with his new team-mates but, as he is yet to play a game for the Merseysiders, Sunday's contest could come too soon.

The availability of the club's record signing would give the Reds a huge boost following their disappointing 3-1 defeat to strugglers West Ham last weekend.

"Who we have and what we go with we don't know and that includes Andy Carroll," Dalglish said at Thursday morning's press conference.

"Andy's training is always progressing, but it's not progressed into a game yet. We said all along that we've been delighted with his progress.

"There's nothing that he's done that's not been encouraging. Whether he's involved on Sunday or not I'm sure Fergie would love to know.

"We don't know, so if he knows he's a better guy than us. He might not even be a substitute."

One player definitely out is right-back Martin Kelly with a hamstring strain, although Dalglish is hopeful the likes of Raul Meireles, Fabio Aurelio, Daniel Agger and Sotirios Kyrgiakos could feature.

"We're hopeful most of them will be fit," he continued. "We don't really know obviously. It's Thursday morning and we're a wee bit away from the game.

"Obviously Kelly won't play due to his hamstring strain and Jonjo Shelvey won't be available either. Everyone else's fitness is more positive then that.

"(Kelly's) been doing really well. To pull up with a hamstring injury will be hurtful for him, especially when he'd had a couple of games rested."

Liverpool Set For Bargain Buy With Champions League Transfer Coup

Copenhagen defender Oscar Wendt is a summer transfer target for Liverpool reports talkSPORT.

Reports in Sweden claim the 25-year-old international left-back currently tops the list of proposed replacements for Kenny Dalglish’s well known problem position after a series of impressive performances in the Champions League this season.

Wendt has also earned rave reviews in the Danish Superliga which has attracted the attention of other European heavyweights Bayern Munich and Barcelona, but Liverpool remain optimistic of bringing the player to Anfield.

The super Swede is available on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign when his Copenhagen contract expires, and as a result Wendt is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any club he wishes.

Since the sacking of Roy Hodgson, summer signing Paul Konchesky has been loaned out to Nottingham Forest – deemed not good enough for the Reds moving forward, leaving England international Glenn Johnson to fill in as a makeshift left-back.

Jose Enrique and Fabio Coentrao have both been linked with a move to Liverpool, and the Anfield chief appears certain to add a player in this position when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

After spending big in the January transfer window, Liverpool owners NESV are prepared to continue backing the club financially in a bid to return the Merseysiders to their former glories and are set to invest again on player additions at Anfield at the earliest opportunity. claim that Jakob Friis-Hansen, the former Head Scout at Liverpool ran the rule over Wendt and has confirmed the club are making attempts to sign the defender on a Bosman transfer in the summer.

Liverpool Could Lose Out On Defender Rolando To Juventus

Liverpool is reportedly set to miss out on Portuguese defender Rolando.

The Porto centre back is expected to make a move away from the Estádio do Dragão after impressing a number of clubs in recent months, with Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish thought to be one of those keen on signing the player.

However, reports in Portugal claim Italian giants Juventus are deep in negotiations over a move for the player, with the pair 'locked in talks' over a potential £12.8 million move.

The Portuguese Liga outfit is reportedly holding out for £15 million though, giving Liverpool hope as the bianconeri struggle to meet the asking price.

A former Belenenses player, Rolando has been an ever-present for Os Dragões this season and has earned nine caps for his country to date.

Liverpool are keen to strengthen their squad at the first opportunity, and Dalglish has hinted at summer additions for the Reds as the Scot looks to revamp his squad.

Defence is thought to be a major area of concern for the Liverpool legend, and the 25-year-old is seen as a potential long-term addition for the Anfield outfit.

Liverpool Plan 'Risk-Free' Reina Replacement

There are growing concerns that Pepe Reina will be tempted by a transfer to either Arsenal or Manchester United, if the 28-year-old’s £20m release clause is activated by a prospective bid this summer.

Amid those fears, Liverpool are drawing up a shortlist of candidates to replace the Spanish stopper and one surprise name on that list is the in-form Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson reports the Daily Telegraph.

Having won only a solitary trophy for Liverpool since leaving Villarreal for Anfield back in 2005, Reina was recently quoted as saying he is keen to play for a club capable of "fighting for titles," casting doubt over his long-term Reds future.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is confident his current number one will still be at Anfield next season however, but it is believed that Robinson is being considered as a possible replacement if a move ever materializes.

At 31, Robinson has an abundance of experience that can be called upon, and that is one of the main draws for the Liverpool coaching team.

The former England keeper is viewed as a risk-free option who, in addition to his international experience, has played in the Champions League during his time at Leeds United.

Robinson has shown glimpses of the form that established him as England’s number one since his £3.5million move to Blackburn from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, with recent impressive performances said to be the main catalyst to put him in the frame for a move to Anfield.

Liverpool have also been linked with Maarten Stekelenburg, Manuel Neuer and Hugo Lloris as potential goalkeeping reinforcements.

But with only two years left on his current contract, Robinson is likely to be the least expensive option available to the Merseysiders if Reina decides to leave the club, and the player would welcome the chance to end his career at Anfield if Liverpool come calling in the summer.

Liverpool On Alert As £20m Transfer Target Made Available

Liverpool midfielder target Lassana Diarra is set to be made available by Real Madrid this summer.

The French international was heavily linked with a move to Anfield both in August and January, although Liverpool are thought to face competition from Manchester United, Manchester City and Spurs.

Kenny Dalglish has hinted that player additions will be made at the first opportunity in the summer, and a defensive midfielder is thought to be high on the agenda with Christian Poulsen yet to convince the Scotsman that he's the long-term answer at Liverpool.

A player with Barclays Premier League experience through time with Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth, Diarra is on the periphery at the Santiago Bernabeu and Jose Mourinho is thought to be considering allowing the player to leave.

Florentino Perez, president of Los Blancos, is ready to let seven players leave the Spanish capital, according to Spanish publication Sport, with Diarra one of those set to be offloaded in an effort to provide the manager with transfer money to play with.
A number of clubs are thought to be interested in the player who moved to La Liga for £20 million back in 2008, with Liverpool in the chasing pack for the former Le Havre starlet.

Whilst it's unknown how much Madrid will want for Diarra, it's thought that a fee in the region of €14 million would be enough to bring the player to Anfield or any of the other clubs interested.

Liverpool proved in January that they are willing to spend money in the transfer market, and Dalglish could once again turn to NESV in a bid to bankroll a number of key transfers.

Papiss Demba Cisse Would Love To Play At Anfield

Bundesliga star Papiss Demba Cisse would one day welcome a move to Liverpool but insists he is happy at Badenova-Stadion reports

The Freiburg striker has scored 16 goals so far this season, and has attracted attention from inside Germany as well as further afield.

Fulham and Birmingham were recently linked with a move for the player in the January transfer window, but Liverpool’s reported interest has captured Cisse’s imagination most of all.

The Senegalese international has admitted his admiration for Liverpool in a recent interview having followed the progress of two of his compatriots when they moved to Anfield back in 2002.

"Liverpool is a dream club. Salif Diao and El Hadji Diouf have played there. But to be honest I am happy here at the moment,” he said.

Despite the January signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, Liverpool are rumoured to be in the market for further striker reinforcements and Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has pinpointed Demba Cisse as a potential target.

Liverpool Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli is constantly on the lookout for rising talent, and the 25-year-old’s recent form can’t have gone unnoticed.

Although reluctant to fully commit himself to a summer move, Cisse did leave speculation open to interpretation saying:

"I am delighted with my season so far. But you never know in football - things can develop quickly."

Valued at £12.5million, it will take another substantial bid from Liverpool owners to make the move happen.

But if recent activity in the transfer market is anything to go by then NESV will not be put off by the price tag so Demba Cisse could well be on his way to Anfield in the summer.

Liverpool In Pole Position To Sign Sissoko

Liverpool are winning a transfer tug of war with Manchester United and Tottenham in the battle to sign the highly rated Toulouse youngster, reports the Daily Mail.

Sissoko, 21, has been on the radar of number of Premier League clubs over the past few seasons and was close to joining Spurs last summer but the north London club couldn't agree a fee.

The move is thought to be on the recommendation of Damien Commoli, Liverpool's director of football strategy. Commoli was the man leading the bid for Spurs and it seems he has similar desires on bringing the player to Anfield in the summer.

Sissoko is understood to favour a move to Anfield despite turning them down previously.

Sissoko said: "I had contact with several English clubs, notably Liverpool but I preferred to commit myself to Toulouse, the club where I have been educated, to get more experience. It is up to me to go on improving, to become a world class player."

Sissoko is a strong, dynamic player comfortable in a number of positions in midfield.

Reina Looks To Improve

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has vowed to raise his game following an uncharacteristically below par display against West Ham.

The Spaniard has been a consistent performer for the Reds over recent seasons, but was unhappy with his individual showing in Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Upton Park, during which he made several blunders.

The setback followed a run of six clean sheets in seven games for Reina, and the 28-year-old is determined to rediscover that form.

He told Liverpool's official website: "Keeping those clean sheets was about not making mistakes, first of all.

"I did a couple of them on Sunday and I felt really disappointed with my performance individually.

"I won't hide behind any team-mates - I was poor and I have to recognize this and keep learning from the mistakes."

Liverpool has enjoyed a resurgence since the arrival of Kenny Dalglish as manager, and Reina has hailed the impact the Reds legend has had on the club.

He said: "It speaks for itself. He was a great footballer for this football club. He knows exactly what the people are thinking in each moment and that's what he tries to explain to us.

"His comments about football are always about the philosophy of Liverpool and how when we face any rival it depends on us. He tells us to trust ourselves and to be positive at all times so the people are with us.

"Training is realistic and you find that what you've prepared during the week is what happens on a Sunday. That's important. We are prepared."

Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday in a Premier League clash that could make or break the visitors' season.

And extra spice could be added to the encounter if the Reds' £35million signing Andy Carroll makes his long-awaited debut.

Reina is expecting Carroll, who arrived at Anfield from Newcastle in January but has been kept on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury, to thrive on Merseyside.

He said: "I hope it turns out like we all think it will. He's a great player, a top striker and he will score a lot of goals for Liverpool.

"He has that physical condition. He is massive as a unit and a tough bloke to deal with. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to face these kinds of opponents."