Sunday, March 27, 2011

Liverpool Keen On Aston Villa Winger Marc Albrighton

Liverpool is reportedly interested in Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton and the Merseyside club may move to sign the youngster this summer.

Kenny Dalglish is keen to bring in natural wide options and may feel that due to the poor season the Midlands club has had and the reported bust ups between the boss Gerard Houllier and a number of players that he could persuade the England Under 21 international to push for a move from Villa Park to Anfield.

Having brought in Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January Dalglish is now looking to bring players to help provide ammunition for their front line and is apparently an admirer of the 21 year old Tamworth born wide man who is now a regular in the Aston Villa starting line up.

Even though Albrighton only signed a new contract last November Liverpool may feel that they can tempt the intelligent winger and will have more chance of doing so if Aston Villa finish the season mired in a relegation battle.

Liverpool have predominantly used Maxi and Dirk Kuyt in wide role with mixed results and the club’s new owners are willing to fund significant moves in the transfer market, especially for young players with good sell on value.

Dalglish To Beat Rivals To Signing Of Wigan Star James McCarthy

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish wants to beat Chelsea to the signing of Wigan star James McCarthy – the one who got away from Anfield.

Dalglish is determined to land Glasgow-born Ireland starlet McCarthy as part of a major summer overhaul.

And the legendary manager thinks that he can persuade McCarthy to pick Merseyside ahead of London for his next move, which looks increasingly like coming at the end of the season.

Chelsea wanted to land McCarthy in January and are still in the chase for him – although the exit of director of football Frank Arnesen leaves a ­question mark over their desperation for him.

Now Dalglish, poised to get the Liverpool job full-time, has decided to home in on McCarthy who was set to sign for former boss Rafa Benitez as a kid but opted to stay with Hamilton Accies.

McCarthy has already been to Liverpool’s HQ and played in a training game – when he was just 16 – and Benitez was keen to take him only for the top prospect to decide that first-team football with Hamilton was better.

Dalglish does not want to miss out on McCarthy again and thinks he would be ideal for a new-look squad that would also include fellow Scot Charlie Adam from Blackpool. McCarthy signed for Wigan and has proved himself to be one of the best young all-round midfielders in the top flight. Chelsea are willing to pay up to £7million for him.

Liverpool will match and possibly better that if Dalglish gets the money to invest.

And he hopes the quiet lad will prefer to stay in the area rather than be drawn to the capital.

McCarthy has forged close friendships with some of the Latics team and may be happier to remain in the north west, which is also closer to his tight-knit family home in Glasgow. Wigan and Fulham have been watching Spanish striker Joaquin Alvarez, aka Quini.

Aston Villa And West Ham Battle Over Liverpool Flop

Aston Villa and West Ham United are leading the chase to buy Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole.

The 29-year-old moved to Anfield on a free transfer last summer but has struggled to adapt to life on Merseyside.

He has suffered injuries and a drop in form meaning he has not established himself in the starting line-up. Kenny Dalglish has opted to use the likes of Maxi and Dirk Kuyt out on the wings and this has led to even fewer first team opportunities than under Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for the England international to get him off the wage bill.
Cole is believed to be earning £90,000 a week and manager Kenny Dalglish wants to free up that money for a new signing.

Villa boss Gerrard Houllier would welcome the playmaker into his squad as he searches for a replacement for the Manchester United-bound Ashley Young.

The Frenchman sees Cole playing just off striker Darren Bent, a position that is sure to attract the former Chelsea player.

Cole could also make an emotional return to his boyhood club West Ham.

Manager Avram Grant is keen to work with him again after a brief spell together at Stamford Bridge.

Cole is still loved by the Hammers faithful and would welcome him back with open arms but any deal will depend on the Irons avoiding relegation.

English Clubs Going Gago Over Madrid Enforcer

Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton are battling to secure the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago.

The Argentine midfielder has failed to command a regular first-team place at the Bernabeu since Jose Mourinho took charge of the club.

Gago still has two years left on his contract, but he is expected to be sold during the summer with Real Madrid looking for at least £10m.

Reports in Spain suggest that Liverpool are the favourites to land his signature.

But both Harry Redknapp and David Moyes are also monitoring his progress and there could be a bidding war at the end of the season between the three clubs.

Dalglish Sets Sights On Barca Star

Kenny Dalglish has set his sights on Barcelona winger Jeffren as a potential summer transfer target as he looks to improve his squad according to the Sunday Mirror.

Jeffren made his debut for the Catalan club five years ago but will be happy to leave the side has he us a fringe player in the team and would like to play on a more regular basis.

The Liverpool boss will have to pay £9million to lure the 23-year-old winger to Anfield - that is the price that the former Spain Under-21 star has for his but-out clause.

Kop boss Dalglish, is close to agreeing at two year contract to become Liverpool manager on a permanent basis and is looking to make the squad his own.

The 60-year-old manager will be delighted to bring Jeffren to the club as a replacement for flop Joe Cole who move to the club last summer has failed to impress with his performances.

Since making his debut for the Spanish Champions five years ago Jeffren has made only 29 appearances and scored three goals in all competitions. This season he has made eight appearances and scored once.

Liverpool To Rival Juventus For Lyon’s Michel Bastos

Reports from Italy suggest Juventus have run into competition from Liverpool in their pursuit of Lyon’s flying Brazilian left back Michel Bastos.

Both the Reds and the Old Lady are looking for a quality left back option for next season, and though Juventus have been surprised by the late arrival of the Premier League side on the scene, they will still battle for the Brazilian’s signature.

Michel Bastos is expected to be sold by Lyon in the summer if they are made a lucrative offer. And with Real Madrid also having been spoken of as a potential destination, the French side are confident of realizing a high fee for the 27-year-old.

The player himself is known to fancy a new challenge after landing in France in 2006 with Lille before joining Lyon in 2009.

Liverpool are thought to have let Lyon know they would pay some €20M for Bastos, though whether the Ligue 1 giants judge this to be sufficient is unknown; Juventus would have little trouble matching it.

Roma Defender Mexes Cools Talk Of Liverpool Move

AS Roma defender Philippe Mexes has cooled talk of a move to Liverpool.

Liverpool has been linked with the Bosman prospect this past week.

"It's true that I'll be out of contract, but I am quite relaxed about the situation," Mexes told newspapers in France.

"I will wait and then evaluate all proposals. I never said I'll go anywhere, but I'll make a decision over the next few months. There is no cut-off date.

"Milan? There is talk of that, but also of a renewal with Roma or a transfer to England.

"I have nothing in particular to add, other than to say that if I did leave Roma, I'd prefer to stay in Italy. I know Serie A well and they know me, certainly more so than in France.

"I have no interest in returning to Ligue 1, not even for a big club. It's nothing to do with money. I still have much to learn and already went around France with Auxerre."

Duo Feature In Irish Win

Academy starlets Brad Smith and Adam Morgan featured for England U17s as they beat Northern Ireland 3-2 on Saturday.

Left-back Smith played the full 90 minutes and Morgan came on as a 53rd minute substitute.

Matty Regan was an unused substitute but Raheem Sterling didn't feature in the match which was played at the Stadion De Leunen, Geel, in Belgium.

England came from behind to win the opening game of the Elite Qualifying Round for the UEFA European U17 Championship Finals.

The Reds quartet will stay with England U17s for matches against Belgium on Monday and Spain on Thursday.

Capello Could Spark New Club vs Country Row By Backing Idea Of Jack Wilshere & Andy Carroll Playing For Under-21s

Three Lions coach risks angering Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish by picking their stars for both senior and Under-21 Euro qualifiers in June

England manager Fabio Capello has risked angering Arsenal and Liverpool by supporting the decicion for Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll to participate in the European Under-21 Championships.

"The two young Englishmen could play in England’s Euro qualifier against Switzerland on June 4 before playing against Denmark for the Under 21s," Capello was quoted by The Mirror as saying.

"I think the decision will be between Stuart [Pearce] and the club managers. I think the Under-21s Euros are really important. The players that are here are really good players, playing with us.

"But it depends on the relationship between Stuart and the managers. I think these three players [including Tottenham’s promising full-back Kyle Walker] are really good and can make a difference if they play with the Under-21s."

Although Capello and Stuart Pearce have backed the idea, Arsenal would point to Theo Walcott’s injury two years ago which was, according to Arsene Wenger, probably sustained because of playing successively for both England outfits.