Thursday, April 28, 2011

Liverpool To Battle AC Milan For Standard Liege Star This Summer

Liverpool and AC Milan are set to go head-to-head for the services of Belgian ace Axel Witsel this summer.

The Standard Liege midfielder has been closely followed by a number of European clubs but reports in Italy have claimed that Milan and Liverpool are currently leading the charge.

The 22-year-old Belgium international has been one of Liege's key players ever since he broke into the side in 2006 but looks set to move on in the summer after the interest from abroad.

But with a contract at Liege until 2013, the club is thought to want at least £10m for the midfielder.

It was reported that scouts from half a dozen Premier League clubs were in attendance when Witsel scored both goals in Belgium's 2-0 win over Austria in March.

But it is understood that it is Liverpool who are now ready to firm up their interest with a summer bid.

Reds Track Barton

Liverpool are the latest club to be linked with a move for Newcastle's Joey Barton due to the midfielder's on going contract wrangle.

The 28-year-old has been outstanding for the Toon this season and is widely expected to scoop the club's Player of the Season award for his performances.

However, Barton has just 12-months left to run on his current contract and has yet to pen a new deal, leading to speculation he could be made available this summer.

West Ham and Aston Villa are thought to have taken an interest, and now Liverpool are thought to have joined the growing numbers interested in the former Manchester City star.

Reds manager Kenny Dalglish is thought to be keen to reunite Barton with former Toon striker, and now Reds hitman, Andy Carroll, Barton having provided eight of Carroll's goals while he was at Newcastle this season.

Barton has been excellent on the right wing, a position Liverpool have struggled with recently, and the Reds are allegedly hoping his contract situation means he will be available for a cut-price fee.

Ezequiel Lavezzi Could Make His Long Anticipated Anfield Switch This Summer

Highly rated Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool amidst continued speculation around his future.

TalkSPORT reports that the 25-year-old Serie A strike sensation now looks set to finally complete a much anticipated move this summer with his Anfield suitors still in the running for his signature.

The Argentinian international's agent Jose Alberti confirmed in an interview with Italian website TMW that the Reds have been keeping tabs on his client for over a year.

"Lavezzi has been followed by Liverpool for twelve months and they could make a bid for his services," he explained.

"He had been sought by Liverpool last summer, but then they failed to make a serious offer."

Having scored 35 goals in 122 appearances for Napoli since signing for them in 2007, Lavezzi has continued to turn in performances that have show why Liverpool maintained interest for such an extensive period.

The heavily coveted star, who in his early years was likened to football legend Diego Maradona, is not short on confidence either. He played down comparisons and instead labelled himself the 'new Carlos Tevez'.

Reports in Italy recently suggested that Serie A rivals AC Milan had made a €20million bid to bring Lavezzi to the Rossoneri, and were prepared to offer him a significant pay rise should Napoli accept the offer.

With 6 goals and 11 assists so far this campaign, El Pocho has continued to attract interest from around Europe, and Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is also planning to renew the Reds' interest in the summer.

AC Milan Prepare Bid For Liverpool Midfielder

AC Milan is the latest Serie 'A' club to take an interest in Alberto Aquilani, according to reports.

The Liverpool midfielder has spent the season on loan at Juventus, and whilst the player hopes to make the switch permanent both parties are yet to reach an agreement over the permanent fee for the player.

"My situation is simple. It all depends on Juventus - if they want, buy me without asking anyone's opinion. I would like to stay in Turin for a long time and win a lot," the player told La Gazzetta dello Sport last week.

With Andrea Pirlo set to leave current Italian league leaders Milan on a free transfer this summer, Aquilani has been earmarked as a potential replacement for the international legend at the San Siro, creating a potential tussle between the two European giants.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has stated that the former Roma star would be welcomed back to Anfield with open arms though, with the £20 million Rafa Benitez signing still holding a place in the Scottish bosses mind.

"When people talk about next season, I'm surprised they don't give Alberto a mention," he told the official Liverpool website last week.

"Everyone seems to have forgotten about him. I know he has done really well at Juventus this season. When the loan finishes at the end of the season, he reverts back to being a Liverpool player."

The Reds had previously stated that they wouldn't keep hold of the player against his wishes, and with Click Liverpool now claiming interest from the Rossoneri a permanent stay in his homeland seems the most likely resolution for Aquilani.

Liverpool Plot Summer Move To Sign Adel Taarabt

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a move to sign QPR star Adel Taarabt this summer. The Moroccan international has been a big hit since his arrival from Tottenham and is now being trailed by a number of Premier League sides but the links between the 21 year old and Anfield director of football Damien Comolli may give the Merseyside club the edge in the chase for the playmaker’s signature.

Comolli is keen on bringing the former White Hart Lane starlet to Anfield and was the man who brought the young attacker to White Hart Lane in 2007 and is more than aware of what the talented youngster is capable of.

Having more or less secured promotion to the top tier QPR boss Neil Warnock must now try to keep Adel Taarabt at Loftus Road but that may be a tough task given that as well as interest from Liverpool the likes of Newcastle United and a plethora of Serie A side’s have taken a shine to the former Lens man.

Liverpool are looking to bring in more creative talent to their midfield and also have an eye for youthful signings with good sell on value and Adel Taarabt may helpfully fulfil all those criteria. Thus far this season the 21 year old has scored 18 goals and assisted another 15 and was named the Football League Player of the Year as a result.

£10m rated Taarabt can either play in the hole behind the strikers or on either wing and given that the likes of Joe Cole, Maxi, Milan Jovanovic and to a lesser extent, make-shift wide man Dirk Kuyt, have all failed to consistently make an impact, a move for the attacking midfielder would make a great deal of sense.

Dalglish: Joe Cole's Goal Against Birmingham Was Important For His Career

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has hailed Joe Cole for training hard and trying to regain his form, in light of his recent contribution in the club's victory over Birmingham City.

The Reds registered a thumping 5-0 win over Alex McLeish's men last weekend, with the former Chelsea midfielder coming on as a late substitute for Raul Meireles and almost immediately getting his name on the score sheet.

The 29-year-old joined the Merseyside club on a free transfer last summer, but was sent off for the first time in his career on his Premier League debut - against Arsenal.

And the creative playmaker has endured a difficult season since, with an exit from Anfield reported to be on the cards.

"Joe’s goal wasn’t a little ­contribution," Dalglish said, according to The Mirror.

"It could be massive for him because he has not had as many opportunities as he would have liked as he’s been injured and suspended.

"He’s had a difficult time, but it is a great credit to him the way he has been training and working every single day.

"He’s not let it affect him, and that’s all I can ask for – for anyone when they do get their chance to go on and do their best. He is fantastic in training. He plays everything right and doesn’t have a problem."

Amoo Happy To Wait On Future

David Amoo admits he is unsure about his long-term future, but is enjoying his loan spell at Championship side Hull City.

The young striker joined Hull from Liverpool in February and has so far made five substitute appearances for Nigel Pearson' side.

He scored his first goal for the Tigers in Monday's 1-1 draw at leaders Queens Park Rangers and has been tipped to make a permanent move to the KC Stadium.

The 20-year-old was delighted to open his account for Hull and is now waiting to see what will happen at the end of the season.

"It was all about being patient to get my chance in the team," said Amoo.

"I spoke to the gaffer and he said to me just do what you've been doing in training and you'll get your chance and I'm delighted to have got it.

"Regarding my future, we'll see how it goes. It's up to the coaches and they're the ones who see me every day.

"But I am enjoying it at Hull. I've just got to work hard and I've really had a good time here."

13 MPs Sign A Commons Motion Calling For Dalglish To Be Knighted

A parliamentary motion calling for Kenny Dalglish to be knighted has been signed by 13 MPs.

Walton MP Steve Rotheram, a Liverpool FC fan, tabled the motion on the 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, partly in recognition of the Reds manager’s conduct following the death of 96 fans in 1989.

Since then, 13 MPs have signed the paper including Labour politicians Derek Twigg; Dave Watts; Maria Eagle; Alison McGovern; Russell Brown; Bill Esterson; Stephen Twigg; Luciana Berger; Louise Ellman; Joe Benton and Clive Betts.

Conservative MP Therese Coffey, a Liverpool supporter, has also signed.

Mr. Rotheram said this was only a first step and hoped it would bring Dalglish to the attention of decision-makers.