Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Dalglish Wants To Control Transfers

Kenny Dalglish wants the final say on all Liverpool's transfer deals.

And that is believed to be the reason behind the delay in owner John W Henry giving the Scot the Anfield manager's job.

Reds chiefs appointed former Spurs technical director Damien Comolli to head up recruitment last November.

He was brought in to work with former boss Roy Hodgson and in March was made Director of Football.

Henry admitted Hodgson was "surprised" at the appointment.

Dalglish, who took over as caretaker boss in January, is even less keen on the arrangement - even though Henry wants him and Comolli to work together.

Dalglish is an old-fashioned manager who likes to do things his own way and sees no merit in Comolli picking players for him.

He is now making it known he wants control when it comes to player signings.

And it is believed managing director Ian Ayre is aware of his concerns.

Dalglish has been cryptic recently about life at Anfield.

Asked if he was close to the full-time job, he said: "I don't know, I've never asked - maybe goal-line technology will be in first."

No Rest For Carroll This Summer After England Under-21s Call

Andy Carroll is facing a gruelling summer after he was named in England’s provisional 40-man squad for the Under-21 European Championships in Denmark.

Liverpool were hoping the £35million striker, who has already successfully made the step up to the senior international side, would be left out to allow him to rest at the end of an injury-affected season.

Carroll was sidelined for more than two months with a thigh problem at the start of this year and only returned to action against his former club Newcastle last weekend after another spell on the sidelines due to his knee.

However, England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce has dismissed fears over his fitness and selected him for the tournament.

After Liverpool’s final game of the season at Aston Villa on May 22, Carroll is set to link up with Fabio Capello’s senior England squad ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley on June 4.

After that Carroll will fly to Denmark for the European Under-21 Championships in Denmark which start on June 11.

England face group games against Spain, Ukraine and Czech Republic with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals. The final takes place on June 25 – less than a fortnight before the Reds are likely to start pre-season training.

Despite being 22, Carroll is still eligible for the under-21s as it’s based on his age at the start of the year when qualification began.

Pearce, who will reduce his 40-man squad to 23 by June 1, has defended his decision to pick Carroll.

He has vowed to contact Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to justify the inclusion of Jack Wilshere but insists there is need to do likewise with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish.

“I’ve spoken with the players and the important thing is obviously the players,” Pearce said.

“I’ll be speaking to any relevant managers that I deem necessary. With Andy Carroll, I don’t think there’s a relevance, really, to speak with the manager there to be quite honest with you.

“I think Jack Wilshere’s a different situation. I think I will have a conversation with Arsene with respect to him and outline my viewpoint on that. But I think the most important thing is England go with a very strong side and a strong squad and hopefully that stands the players in good stead in the future when they step on the pitch for the senior team.”

Pearce believes both Liverpool and England will benefit from Carroll’s participation in the tournament.

“I’ve been involved in football a long time but I’ve never actually seen a team that gets to a final then decides to drop their best players. I think that’s quite silly,” he added.

“I certainly think football’s about gaining experience at whatever level you have to play and when I look back over the previous winners of the U21 tournament over maybe the last 15 years, all of those winners, if you look a couple of years further on, their national sides at senior level have done particularly well.”

Damien Comolli Looks Sets To Make Move For La Liga Starlet In Summer

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli is set to sanction a move for Athletico Bilbao wonderkid Iker Muniain, according to the Daily Mirror.

Liverpool have reportedly been monitoring the young star for some time, with Muniain being dubbed ‘Bart Simpson’ by his teammates for his similar looks to The Simpsons' cartoon character.

The winger has starred in La Liga this season, and at the tender age of 18, speculation is rife that Comolli and Liverpool are hoping to secure the Spaniard’s signature as early as this summer.

Athletic Bilbao currently sit at seventh on the La Liga table, and while Liverpool can only offer Europa League experience to the youngster over the next season, Comolli reportedly has a master plan of Liverpool qualifying for Champions League in the next two seasons. This will most certainly be brought to the table when Comolli makes his offer for the youngster to move to Liverpool.

According to, Muniain has a buy out clause in his contract for £25 million, and while Athletico Bilbao do not want to lose the youngster, Liverpool are sure to have the money in their budget if Comolli wants Muniain badly enough.

Dalglish Linked With Move For Prolific La Liga Marksman

Liverpool is eyeing Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo.

The People says Sunderland want £15million-rated Sevilla striker Negredo to replace Darren Bent.

But Black Cats boss Steve Bruce knows he faces a fight to sign the 26-year-old Spain forward as Liverpool is also showing an interest.

One wonders quite where Kenny Dalglish would place Alvaro Negredo in his starting line-up, if indeed this source is correct and Liverpool are keen on the Spanish international, however the former Real Madrid man is a consistent goalscorer and may be seen as a third attacking option and a player who can keep Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll on their toes next term.

Real Madrid apparently still have a buy back option and are reportedly considering exercising that option and using the 26 year old to help lure Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero to the Bernabeu, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Sunderland and Valencia taking a keen interest.

Negredo has notched up 65 goals over the past four seasons and is on the fringes of the national team set-up and is strongly linked to leave Sevilla this summer. Sunderland’s need may be more pressing as they appear to have struggled since the sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa.

No doubt Liverpool will look to bring in new additions but most sources state that they are primarily looking for left sided players to fill that ‘problem’ area.

Liverpool, Manchester United & Tottenham Chase Porto Trio

Porto are prepared to listen to offers for their most highly-sought after players, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham all reportedly planning summer raids.

The Dragões have enjoyed a sensational season under the stewardship of André Villas Boas, winning the Primeira Liga with five games to spare, while also setting records in the Europa League.

Porto have one foot in the final of Europe's secondary club cup competition after convincingly beating Villarreal 5-1 in the first leg of their semi-final clash, thanks mainly to the contribution of Falcao.

The Colombian hotshot scored four times in last Thursday's rout, to take his Europa League tally for the season to 15 in 12 games.

Falcao's imperious form has reportedly caught the attention of both Liverpool and Spurs - according to talkSPORT - with both clubs considering summer moves for the 25-year-old.

Liverpool are also said to be pursuing centre-back Rolando, who has been pivotal in Porto's unbeaten title winning run.

Along with Liverpool, Manchester United has also been linked with the 25-year-old Portuguese, who has been valued at around £17 million.

Another player who is an alleged target for United is Brazil international Hulk, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time.

The imposing striker has scored 22 league goals this season and would command a hefty transfer fee should United formalise their supposed interest.

Porto is believed to have lofty valuations for each of their prized assets and, although they don't intend to sell in the summer, they would be willing to entertain offers should Liverpool, United or Spurs decide to make their respective moves.

"The idea is to keep our players because they are all under contract," said Porto president Pinto da Costa.

"If any club is interested we would study their offers - if they are above the release clauses - but we are very quiet."

Liverpool Starlet Leaves 'King Kenny' With Big Decision

Daniel Pacheco watched Norwich City return to the Barclays Premier League last night, six years after they dropped out of the English top flight.

The Canaries have been in fantastic form in recent months, helped by the arrival of Liverpool loanee Daniel Pacheco for the Npower Championship run-in.

The young Spaniard was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory at Portsmouth, a win which secured the Canaries place in second and promotion to the top tier.

It has also led to questions over the player's future, and in particular if he will return to Anfield in an effort to fight for first team football.

Opportunities had been limited for Pacheco at Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish, and the player thanked his Scottish boss last month for giving him the opportunity to play at Carrow Road.

Following last night's result, Pacheco revealed his joy to followers of his page on Twitter: "Thanks NORWICH CITY for let me come here and enjoy that amazing experience, thank you! What a team, and what a boys! And thanks LIVERPOOL!!!"

The lure of first team football could be too much to turn down for the 20-year-old playmaker, and with calls from sections of the East Anglian fans to make the player a permanent addition, Liverpool may be forced into a decision over the his future come the end of the season.

Kenny Dalglish Refuses To Speculate On Liverpool Success

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has refused to consider what could have happened had he been appointed as boss after the departure of Rafael Benitez.

The Scot had expressed a desire to manage the club when the Spaniard parted ways with the Reds, but Roy Hodgson was given the job instead.

But Hodgson's exit after a poor start saw Dalglish return to the Anfield hotseat, and he has since guided the club from a mid-table position up to fifth.

However, Dalglish remains unwilling to cast an eye on what could have been if he had been appointed instead of Hodgson.

"I would rather the 'What if?' was if I had never taken charge," he said, according to the Daily Express.

"Because it would have meant they [the players] were doing a lot better than what we were, still have had the same run and the club would have been more successful than what it is at this moment in time. That's the 'What if?' for me."

Academy Duo Star For England

Academy products Brad Smith and Adam Morgan helped England to a 2-2 draw against France in the European U17 Championships on Tuesday afternoon.

Left-back Smith played the full 90 minutes and pulled off a superb goal-line clearance. Morgan came on after 71 minutes, while Raheem Sterling was an unused sub.

Everton's Hallam Hope and Crewe's Nick Powell were the scorers in Serbia.

Next up for the U17s is a clash with Denmark on Friday.

Ngoo Treble Sinks Wolves

Liverpool U18s are just one win away from the Premier Academy League Group C title following a 4-0 success at Wolves on Tuesday afternoon.

An early strike from Toni Silva and a second-half hat-trick from substitute Michael Ngoo did the damage as the Reds moved to within two points of leaders Everton.

The result means that a victory in the return clash at home to Wolves on Friday will clinch top spot and a place in the play-offs.

The Reds went into the contest in the knowledge that anything other than three points would end their title hopes, but any nerves they may have felt in the pre-match build-up were immediately settled when they got off to the perfect start on three minutes.

Adam Hajdu broke up the play deep in Wolves territory and fed Krisztian Adorjan 20 yards from goal. The Hungarian was thwarted by a defender's touch but when the ball ran free, Silva was on hand to drill an exquisite shot into the far corner.

It gave the visitors the platform they needed and Kristjan Emilsson almost doubled the advantage on 12 minutes but he slipped at the vital moment.

The Icelandic frontman was in again just 60 seconds later but this time his low effort was easily claimed by the Wolves stopper.

The hosts had rarely threatened but as the half wore on they began to create opportunities and Sam Whittle's header off the bar was the closest they came to restoring parity.

Liverpool continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and after Silva saw his rasping shot blocked Henoc Mukendi could only watch on in frustration as a close range flick was well claimed by the 'keeper.

It had developed into a keenly contested match but the half-time introduction of Ngoo helped to restore the away team's dominance.

The towering striker took just two minutes to make an impact, racing onto Adorjan's well weighted pass and coolly slotting home.

With a two-goal cushion to protect the visitors began to drop back allowing Wolves the opportunity to gain a foothold in the game.

John Gorman went close with a well-struck shot from distance while Tyrell Belford had to be alert to tip Liam McAlindon's header over the bar.

The hosts' desire to get back into the contest inevitably led to opportunities on the break for Liverpool and after Adorjan and Ngoo both went close they finally sealed the points when the Hungarian's trademark pass was clinically converted by the former Southend striker.

Hajdu was then denied a goal that would have capped a fine individual display before Ngoo clinched his hat-trick deep into injury-time with a shot that the 'keeper could only parry into the corner of the net.