Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sevilla's Diego Perotti On Liverpool Radar

Promising winger Diego Perotti has attracted the interest of Premier League side Liverpool with his good performances for Sevilla in the 2010-11 campaign, The People reports.

The Reds are desperate to add a new left winger to their squad in the summer transfer window and they have previously been linked with players such as Ashley Young of Aston Villa, Stade Rennais' Sylvain Marveaux and PSV's Balazs Dzsudzsak.

Nevertheless, they are now also believed to be keeping tabs on the 22-year-old Perotti.

Perotti started his professional career with Deportivo Moron and joined his current club in the summer of 2007. He has developed into an important first team member at Sevilla in the past two seasons after a difficult start to life in Spain.

The Argentina international's current contract with Sevilla runs until the summer of 2015, but an offer in the region of €10 million could be enough to lure him away from the Nervionenses.

Real To Decide On Canales

Sergio Canales' future will be decided at the end of the season, with Liverpool keeping close tabs on him.

The 20-year-old was snapped up by Real Madrid last summer when they beat a host of clubs to take him from Racing Santander.

However, the midfield starlet has found football hard to come by under Jose Mourinho and has started just one game.

The player's father and agent, Angel Canales,says talks will take place at the end of the season.

"He wants to play here [Madrid] but in June we will speak with the club and find the best solution," said Canales snr.

Real are reportedly yet to decide on what to do with Canales, who they could have let leave on loan in January having fielded enquiries from West Ham and Blackburn.

Should Real be willing to let him leave in the summer, be it permanently or on loan, then Liverpool look likely to be in contention, although there will be no shortage of interest.

Canales himself has stated that he is happy at Real and was pleased he was not sent out on loan earlier in the season.

"I'm happy, I'm in Madrid and fighting to get some minutes," he told Marca last week.

"Playing in teams like this is difficult, the key is to work hard. I have not proven myself yet."

André Ayew Linked With Summer Anfield Switch

Liverpool are being linked with a move for Marseille winger André Ayew.

The Ghanaian international winger impressed for his country during the World Cup in South Africa, and has since shown good form on his return to Ligue 1, with a number of clubs across Europe taking an interest in signing the player.

Liverpool director of football strategy, Damien Comolli, made a personal trip to France on Friday night to watch Rennes take on Marseille, with three players thought to be on the radar of the former Spurs supremo.

Sylvain Marveaux and Taye Taiwo have been heavily linked with the Reds in recent weeks, but Ayew is a new name in the Liverpool frame amidst doubts over the long-term fitness record of Marveaux.

The 24-year-old has missed a large part of this season through injury, and despite being a potential free transfer would still be seen as a possible risk for the Merseysiders.

Ayew, on the other hand, has only recently broken into the first team at the Stade Vélodrome after loan stints with Lorient and Arles-Avignon in the past two seasons.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also thought to be in the market for the player, with Arsene Wenger reportedly offering £5 million for the player's services.

Liverpool leads the Barclays Premier League charge for the player's services now though, with Ayew one of a host of wingers linked with a move to Anfield.

Ashley Young, Charles N'Zogbia and Eden Hazard are also thought to be on the Liverpool shortlist as Kenny Dalglish targets a number of changes in the summer, and the Scot appears set to spend come the end of the season.

Reds Yet To Offer Kenny Deal

Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry has confirmed the club has not yet offered a new contract to manager Kenny Dalglish.

The Reds legend stepped into the managerial hot-seat at Anfield to replace Roy Hodgson in January, initially agreeing a deal until the end of the season.

Dalglish's tenure thus far has been a successful one and reports had suggested a two-year deal was already in place.

But Henry denies an agreement has been reached, insisting talks have yet to begin - although he has intimated the club's owners are ready to enter into talks over a long-term contract.

"The only discussion we've had has been with Kenny and that was solely concerning when we should begin discussions," Henry told the Daily Telegraph.

"I wouldn't anticipate any further comments until such discussions have commenced and we have something to announce.

"Any reports until then are purely speculation."

Kenny Dalglish Happy With Depth Of Squad

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has expressed his happiness with his current crop of players at Anfield, and believes that despite injuries to a number of key personnel the first-team squad has enough depth and quality to cope as they look to make progress domestically and in Europe.

Following injuries to defensive trio Martin Kelly, Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger has come the news that skipper Steven Gerrard will be out for a month after undergoing groin surgery.

However, record signing Andy Carroll has made a return from his thigh injury and has made two substitute appearances as he regains full fitness while Luis Suarez has made an impact since his arrival from Ajax.

Yet the Uruguayan striker is unavailable for the Europa League matches, having played in Europe for Ajax already this season, but the manager recognizes the importance of his fringe players.

"Everyone in the squad is capable of playing in the first team," said Dalglish.

"Those that haven't played as much are very important to us and their attitude in the games they have played in the past has been superb.

"We wouldn't expect any less, although we don't take it for granted.

"When you look to a club and try to get success, the strength of what lies behind [the first team] and their application when they do get an opportunity is the important thing."

Furthermore, concerning the injury situation at the club, Dalglish believes that his side just need to face up and deal with their problems.

"We just have to go with what we have got, we cannot do anything about that," added the Liverpool boss.

"The players we put in there are well capable of doing themselves justice and doing the club proud and the players have to accept injuries are part and parcel of the game and put up with it."

Liverpool Target Sylvain Marveaux Denies Agreeing To Move

Rennes midfielder Sylvain Marveaux has denied reports that he has agreed a deal to move to the Premier League with Liverpool in the summer.

Marveaux, a former France Under 21 international, is out of contract with the surprise package of Ligue 1 at the end of the current campaign and was quoted in The People as claiming to be close to a move to Anfield.

"I am very close to reaching agreement with Liverpool about joining them next season," the 24-year-old was reported as saying.

However, Marveaux, who is currently sidelined following groin surgery, has stressed that he never made any such claim, and says he is yet to make a decision on his future.

"I never spoke to any English journalist and I do not understand why they wrote it,'' Marveux told L'Equipe.

"Today I still have not decided which club I will play for next season.

"I will soon be going to Clairefontaine to continue my rehab and when I have made my choice I will announce it.'

"Contrary to what some have said I hope to play again with Rennes before the end of the season. If all goes to plan I should be able to resume training and play in April or May. Returning with Rennes before the end of the season is my goal.''

At £7M A Very Shrewd Bit Of Business From Kenny

Remember how when Everton signed Jermaine Beckford (who was free bare in mind), we all laughed and said he would struggle and be a waste of money in terms of wages? Well, that turned out to be a load of rubbish then!

That doesn’t necessarily mean that lightning will strike twice, according to that most reliable of source The News Of The World Liverpool and Everton are battling it out over prolific Bristol City striker Nicky Maynard. Lets hope for fans of both clubs this is one is more Tim Cahill and less Ade Akinbiyi.

Maynard began his career coming through the prolific youth academy at Crewe Alexandra in 1994 and he went on to represent the club at every youth level before he broke into the first team in the 2005-2006 season when he made a single appearance in which he scored. From that point on the Cheshire born striker was an important fixture in the team for 2 seasons in which time he scored 35 goals in 67 games.

Crewe was approached by Bristol City before the 2008/09 season and a deal was agreed that would take the player to the South West for £2.5million. He has continued to demonstrate good form and in the elapsing time since he has notched up 35 goals in 95 games.

There have been reports for a while linking him with other teams, Wolves supposedly offered £3million for the player who they wanted to offer Premiership football too. The deal never came too fruition and even though his start to this term has been delayed through injuries there are still a host of clubs watching him.

The sides most closely linked to the forward are Merseyside clubs Liverpool and Everton. It is believed that Bristol City have slapped an incredible £10million price tag on the player, a price which surely will put both clubs in question off somewhat. It is common knowledge that Everton are run on a bit of a shoestring, and paying that amount of money for a player who has never played outside of the Championship would represent a huge gamble. Just because they did well before with the signing of Cahill and Beckford who was free, doesn’t necessarily mean that it would happen again. Even if the Toffee’s were to sell one of Arteta or Rodwell this summer surely they wouldn’t gamble it all on Maynard.

For Liverpool, things are slightly different. Whilst they are not short of money under their new owners, it could still potentially be a gamble. Clearly should Kenny Dalglish move for the striker this Summer he would be someway down the pecking order behind Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt (should he stay) and potentially any other striker that may come in this Summer.

The pressure on the strikers shoulders were be less than at say Everton, but it is still a lot of money and I am not entirely sure he is worth the figure quoted by his club. It also begs the question where would this leave David N’Gog? Although hopefully for Liverpool fans days of relying on him are over!

Even if a deal were done closer to £7million I am still not convinced it would be a great bit of business for either side, not to take anything away from Maynard, it just seems a step too far at this stage of his career, but there again managers, coaches and scouts are paid to make these decisions and I’m not, so who knows?

Premier League Could Test Goal-Line Technology To Assist Referees In The Future

Hawk-Eye's ball-tracking camera technology has already seen great success in tennis and cricket, and soccer may be the company's next venture.

According to the Associated Press, the Premier League could serve as the next host for goal-line testing, with the company looking to test the technology during top-level matches.

However, due to league restrictions, the results of the tests would remain private until the rules change. It would merely serve as a test to see if the cameras could be used as an aid for referees.

"We've got to find a stadium to put the tests in," Hawk-Eye founder Paul Hawkins said. "We also need to check in advance what is wanted, testing-wise. I expect there will be a contractual commitment that we don't report the information from the tests so we don't undermine the officials if there is a controversial goal."

Hawkins' next step is to speak to FIFA for testing approval, but the organization seems interested in the technology as President Sepp Blatter said that it "helps referees," earlier this month.

If things fall into place, Hawkins could be setting up the ball-tracking cameras for Premier League matches next season, but he emphasizes that he wants the technology to help referees, not demoralize them.

"Just at the time when we are testing technology that will hopefully help officials in the future, we don't want Hawk-Eye showing they are wrong."

Neville Plays Down Carragher Tackle After Fergie's Blast

Gary Neville has attempted to calm the row between Manchester United and Liverpool over Jamie Carragher's tackle on Nani.

Neville - famed for his open disregard for bitter-rivals Liverpool - played down the tackle that left his Portuguese team-mate needing stitches.

Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the over-the-ball challenge a "disgrace" but Neville, speaking at the opening of a football academy in Portugal, refused to be dragged into a war of words.

"It is obvious that it was not a good tackle and Jamie knows it, but these are things that pass in the world of the football," the recently-retired defender said.

Liverpool Under-18s Focusing Back On The League After FA Youth Cup Exit

Following Sunday’s FA Youth Cup quarter-final defeat Liverpool under-18s will continue to try and reel in leaders Everton in the FA Premier Academy League Group C table

Rodolfo Borrell’s side suffered a cruel 3-2 defeat to Manchester United at Anfield – a match in which two players from both sides were sent off.

The defeat meant it was United who set up a two-legged Youth Cup semi-final with Chelsea.

So Liverpool now must refocus their energies on the Academy League, where they return to action this Saturday at Newcastle United this Saturday (kick-off 11am).

Liverpool is fourth in Group C and may be 10 points behind neighbours Everton, but they do have four games in hand and have to play their Mersey rivals. Having missed out on a 10th straight victory and seen their 12-match unbeaten run ended by United, Liverpool must make sure they put that behind them.

Borrell said: “Obviously they are young but they have to learn and learn quick if they want to make the step forward into our first team because they are not too far away.

“Liverpool is a club with a winning atmosphere.

“You need to create players who are mature in these situations.

“Winning games is part of creating a winning mentality.

“The lads need to understand they are at Liverpool and they need to bounce back as soon as possible.”

With Stephen Sama and captain Conor Coady both red-carded they both face a spell on the sidelines.