Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Madrid Set £6m Asking Price For Liverpool Playmaker Target

Liverpool must pay £6 million to land Spanish starlet Sergio Canales, according to reports in his homeland.

The Real Madrid youngster rejected a move to Anfield in January, according to Spanish paper Sport, but it goes on to claim that the Reds will come back with another offer in the summer.

Canales has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in European football, with a transfer battle taking place last summer between a number of Barclays Premier League, La Liga and Serie 'A' sides for his signature.

Madrid won the chase for the Racing Santander star, paying an initial €4.5 million for the midfielder's services.

However, first team opportunities at Los Blancos have been limited for the 20-year-old playmaker, with reports emerging in the Spanish capital that the player has become frustrated under manager Jose Mourinho.

Liverpool is developing as a hot bed for young talent, with director of football Damien Comolli looking to invest heavily in youth players on Merseyside.

Kenny Dalglish is also keen to use the youngsters, with Raheem Sterling, Suso and Connor Coady all involved in first team activities at some stage this season with Liverpool despite their teenage years.

Sport goes on to claim that Madrid will allow the player to leave the club, if Liverpool meets their asking price of £6 million.

Dalglish has hinted at a number of squad changes in the summer, with an attacking midfielder thought to be high on the agenda for the Liverpool boss. Canales appears to be a player earmarked by the club, and a bid at the end of the season could be in the offing.

Liverpool's Reported Dutchman Pursuit Takes Another Twist

Newcastle have joined Liverpool in pursuit of Feyenoord winger Georginio Wijnaldum, according to reports.

The Sunday Sun suggests the Magpies have sent scouts to keep tabs on the 20-year-old attacker, who is also said to be attracting interest from Real Madrid.

TalkSPORT had previously reported that Liverpool had dispatched representatives to watch the Dutchman in action this season and a move to Anfield could come to fruition when the transfer window reopens in June.

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt could prove to be a key figure in the quest to bring Wijnaldum to Anfield, with the former serving as a mentor to the latter during his time at Feyenoord.

"Dirk Kuyt is my role model. He left Feyenoord when he was the best, I am not that far," Wijnaldum was reported as saying by Goal.com.

Liverpool have also been linked with Lille youngster Eden Hazard and Frenchman Charles N'Zogbia as they look to add more potent wide options to their ranks in the summer.

Javier Pastore Bids 'Expected From Man United, Liverpool & Chelsea'

Palermo have suggested they are expecting bids from a number of English clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea for midfielder Javier Pastore in the summer, according to reports.

Sources close to the Sicilian club have been quoted in the Italian press, suggesting the three Premier League giants are set to go head to head to sign Pastore, 21.

The playmaker has been linked to Chelsea in the past, and only last week AS Roma were mentioned as potential suitors - provided a proposed buy-out of the club is completed before the summer.

Pastore is expected to command a monstrous fee when the transfer window reopens, as club president Maurizio Zamparini has claimed to have already turned down an offer of €50million (£44m) for the Argentinean.

Manchester City's millions are also expected to come into the equation - especially if they qualify for next season's Champions League.

However, Pastore is rumoured to be more interested in either of the other giants of the north-west - Liverpool or Manchester United - because of the respective clubs' histories.

The Reds' new owner John W Henry is already lining up targets for the summer, with Pastore said to be top of his wish-list.

United are themselves planning a massive spending spree and the 21-year-old's potential to become the next South American star would fit Sir Alex Ferguson's typical transfer profile.

But Chelsea may also still have a say off the back of Roman Abramovic's spending power, which clearly hasn't waned after splashing out £75million on Fernando Torres and David Luiz in January.

Liverpool To Offer Alberto Aquilani In Wise £10m Inter Milan Swap Deal

Liverpool will reportedly attempt to land Inter Milan left back Davide Santon by offering Alberto Aquilani in return for the talented young Italian international. Anfield director of football has identified the young San Siro full back as an ideal answer to what has become a problem position and believe that by offering a swap deal they may well persuade Nerazzurri boss Leonardo to sell.

Santon is considered one of the hottest prospects in Italian football but is finding it next to impossible to dislodge either Maicon or Christian Chivu who currently occupy the wide areas of the Inter Milan defence. The 20 year old has therefore been farmed out on loan to struggling Cesena.

Though Santon can operate on either flank Comolli would look to the attack minded Italian to ply his trade on the left as the right side of Liverpool’s defence seems covered with youngster Martin Kelly proving a very able customer and Glen Johnson also available in that position.

Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani is currently out on loan to Juventus but the Turin side are unwilling to come close to the valuation placed on the former Roma man and the Merseyside outfit are not willing to budge on price so will look instead to offer the proven Italian international in a swap deal to land Santon.

Leonardo may well be interested in such a deal as he seems likely to offload the likes of Sulley Muntari (on loan to Sunderland) whilst Dejan Stankovic and Esteban Cambiasso are both getting on in years and the signing of the 26 year old Liverpool man may represent a good bit of business for all parties concerned.

Liverpool Star Set For An Italian Job

Napoli head the queue for Liverpool midfielder Lucas, who has not yet been offered a new Anfield contract.

The Brazilian international is closing in on the last 12 months of his current deal, and there have been no moves from within the club to extend.

That suggests his days on Merseyside are numbered, with the club already preparing their transfer plans for the summer under new director of football Damien Comolli.

The fact that talks have not even opened suggests it is now unlikely to happen, and Serie A side Napoli have taken note.

The Italians are ready to offer around £3million, which could be enough for them to get their man as Liverpool are hoping to get ready-made replacement Charlie Adam from Blackpool for a similar figure, given that he too will only have a year remaining on his contract at the end of the season.

Johnson Absent From Training

Glen Johnson was the only absentee as the England squad was put through their paces on Monday.

Of the 20 players still available to Fabio Capello ahead of a friendly date with Ghana on Tuesday, only the Liverpool full-back failed to make training.

Johnson works to a strict fitness regime which means sometimes he has to skip sessions shortly after games.

The England coaching staff are happy to adhere to those rules and had no qualms with him sitting out Monday's exercises.

Johnson will still be hoping to be involved at Wembley in midweek, with Capello set to shuffle his pack against the Black Stars.

National skipper John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Dawson have been allowed to return to their clubs following Saturday's 2-0 victory over Wales in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Their absence has opened the door to others, including Kyle Walker and Matt Jarvis who are both looking to make their senior debuts.

The decision to give Terry a break means the armband has also been moved on, with vice-captain Steven Gerrard currently sidelined.

The Football Association has announced that Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry will lead the side out against Ghana.

Liverpool Target £32m Triple Swoop

Liverpool are ready to splash out £32 million on Charlie Adam, Ashley Young and Jeffren to help re-shape their midfield this summer, reports caughtoffside.com.

The 25-year-old Adam was on the verge of a move to Kenny Dalglish's side in the January transfer window, but Blackpool decided to keep hold of the winger as they look to retain their Barclays Premier League status.

Young, who stared for England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday against Wales, has long been linked with a move away from Aston Villa, with Liverpool and Manchester United both linked with the winger.

Barcelona man Jeffren has made just 18 league appearances for the Catalan giants in his five-year career in the first team and is set for a move away from the Nou Camp this summer.

Although yet to be given a permanent deal at Anfield, Liverpool manager Dalglish is set to be given a mammoth transfer kitty this summer to re-build a faltering squad on Merseyside.

Liverpool are far from guaranteed a spot in next season's Europa League after crashing out of the competition at the hands of Braga and after enduring a poor season in the Barclays Premier League.

Dalglish has already spent £58 million on Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January and is expected to be allowed more license in the next transfer window.

Liverpool Star Reveals He May Quit Anfield

Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani's future at Anfield is less than certain, as the Italian flop has not yet been offered a permanent deal by current club Juventus, but looks unlikely to remain at Liverpool.

In 2009, Rafa Benitez signed the 26-year-old Italian midfielder for £17 million from Roma, but a succession of injuries left the talented international on the fringes of the Liverpool side.

Aquilani made just 18 appearances in a Liverpool shirt, struggling to make a serious impact on the pitch and consistently failing to regain full fitness. He was eventually loaned out to Juventus in August 2010, whereby the club agreed a season-long loan with the option to sign Aquilani permanently.

Scoring his first goal for Juventus in October against Lecce, Aquilani has since made 26 appearances for the Turin club, and is now desperate to make his stay at the Stadio Olimpico permanent.

Roma have been touted as potential suitors for Aquilani, but the player’s agent Franco Zavaglia has ruled out a return to his former club. Instead, Zavaglia believes that Juventus’ first-option to buy Aquilani make them the most likely destination for the Italy international.

“Aquilani to Roma?” Zavaglia asked the Italian station Radio Mana Mana. “That will be difficult. Juve has the priority and I don't think they will let him escape.

"On June 30 Juventus will be able to buy Aquilani and they should act now," Zavaglia continued. "They could sign him by making three to four delayed payments; a system which was established last summer.

“The agreement between Liverpool and Juventus is already there. It all depends on the willingness of Juventus. Maybe Juventus want to save something and Liverpool do not want to lose anything. But there is an expiration date, everything is organised.

“I think Aquilani will stay at Juventus and there will not be any obstacles.”

Aquilani has made no secret of his desire to return to Italy, considering the switch to Liverpool an important moment in his career, but ultimately an experience that never quite worked out.

“I wanted to come back to Italy after my English experience,” Aquilani revealed. “I wanted to play in Serie A and Juventus gave me this chance. I hope to pay back the faith.

“I’m playing in a system with two central midfielders. If one goes forward, the other stays back to keep the team’s shape.

“At Liverpool it was different. Often I was played further forward, at the top of the diamond behind the striker. Things are going really positively here and we share the desire to win.

Aquilani favours a return to Italy, though the lack of talks over a permanent deal mean that there is still a degree of uncertainty as to where he will end up. When asked about a potential return to Roma, Aquilani stated; "It looks difficult, but hopefully in future.”

"I have not had any contact with Liverpool or Juventus directors," he added. "But there is an agreement, and I was aware it was a loan and that things would be dealt with in May. So, I am tranquil over my future now."

Trio Star In Belgium Win

Academy trio Brad Smith, Raheem Sterling and Adam Morgan all featured for England U17s as they came from behind to beat Belgium 2-1 on Monday night.

Left-back Smith played the full 90, Sterling played for 74 minutes and Morgan played for just over an hour of the game which was played at the Stadion De Leunen, Geel, in Belgium.

Matty Regan was an unused substitute.

This victory sets up a fascinating battle with Spain on Thursday to determine who will top the Elite Qualifying Round Group 5.

Spain can afford to draw the game as they have a superior goal difference.

Meanwhile, Conor Coady, Jack Robinson and Conor Thomas have been called up by England U18s for the development match away to Italy on Tuesday, April 12.