Friday, May 27, 2011

Dalglish Confident Of Attracting Star Names

Kenny Dalglish is confident Liverpool can still attract top-quality players despite missing out on European qualification for next season.

The Reds' manager believes the five-time European champions' reputation throughout football will be enough to draw top players to Merseyside.

Liverpool missed out on a Europa League berth on the final day of the Premier League season after they were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur defeated Birmingham City.

"I've heard people say us not playing in Europe means we won't be an attractive proposition for some players. I disagree," the Scot told LFC Weekly.

Dalglish turned around the Reds' season after taking over from Roy Hodgson in January and also oversaw the arrival of striking duo Andrew Carroll and former Ajax star Luis Suarez.

"The history and tradition of this club makes us attractive whether we are or aren't involved in European competition. If a player thinks otherwise we are better off without him."

Liverpool Closing In On £10m Deal For James McCarthy

Liverpool is closing in on making James McCarthy their first summer signing after the midfielder told Wigan Athletic he has his heart set on a move to Anfield, can reveal.

Kenny Dalglish is a huge admirer of the 20-year-old and the Reds are believed to be willing to spend as much as £10 million to land one of the brightest prospects in the Premier League.

Chelsea are also understood to have registered an interest in McCarthy but understands the player has told Wigan executives he wants them to reach an agreement with Liverpool.

Wigan had initially asked for £16m for the Republic of Ireland international but there have been indications that they are now ready to soften their stance, with manager Roberto Martinez promised he can re-invest money raised from player sales.

“It is 90 per cent done, all sides now seem to accept it is going to happen and it's a matter of everyone trying to get the best deal,” a source close to the talks told

McCarthy turned down a move to Merseyside before joining Wigan for £1.2m from Scottish side Hamilton Academical in 2009 as he felt regular football would be better for his development. He now believes he has proven he is ready to take the next step and leave the DW Stadium.

McCarthy is under contract until 2014 but Wigan are regarded as a selling club by other English sides following the high profile transfers of Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios to Manchester United and Tottenham respectively.

While the Latics' financial game plan is based on selling players for a huge project, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group want to build a squad based on the best young British talent.

McCarthy, who was born in Glasgow and can play either centrally or wide, fits that billing and Reds director of football Damien Comolli agrees with Dalglish that he will be a star of the future.

“Liverpool has shown the most interest for quite a while and have convinced him that it will be the best move to fulfil his potential,” the source added. “Being a Glaswegian from a Celtic-supporting family, working with Dalglish is obviously a big factor as well.”

Anfield legend Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson in January and is planning significant moves in the summer transfer market after signing a three-year contract last month.

Along with Comolli, the club has identified a number of targets as they look to bolster the squad by signing at least two wide men, a central midfielder, a left-back and a centre-back.

Aston Villa star Ashley Young is their No.1 target as Dalglish looks to bring in a new winger, with Sylvain Marveaux also expected to arrive from Rennes on a free transfer. The Reds have also registered an interest in £20m-rated Eden Hazard, the attacking midfielder at Lille who is a target for a number of leading European clubs.

Liverpool have shown a strong interest in Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill and Blackburn's Phil Jones, while Newcastle star Jose Enrique is their first choice left-back.

Liverpool FC Put £8m Price Tag On Striker David Ngog

Liverpool has slapped an £8million price tag on striker David Ngog.

The Reds are prepared to sell the 22-year-old Frenchman who is keen to secure regular first team football.

There have been a number of enquiries from clubs across Europe, including Newcastle United, but there have so far been no bids matching Liverpool's valuation.

Ngog has scored 19 goals in 94 appearances for the Reds since his £1.5million move from Paris St Germaine three years ago.

The former France Under-21 international made 18 starts and a further 20 substitute appearances this season but his chances were severely limited following the Reds' £57.8million swoop for strikers Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January.

Ngog was handed just two starts under Kenny Dalglish and both of those came in the Europa League. Five of his eight goals this term came in Europe.

A fee of £8million would represent a big return on Liverpool's investment but they believe it's a fair amount for developing Ngog from an unknown rookie into a relatively experienced top flight frontman.

As well as listening to offers for Ngog, Liverpool is set to step up their pursuit of Aston Villa's Stewart Downing after he shelved contract talks.

The England winger has said he's at “a major crossroads” in his career and has no interest in discussing a new deal with Villa.

Dalglish Given Green Light To Chase £39m Argentinian Assassin

Athletico Madrid chief executive Minguel Angel Gil Marin insists Real Madrid won’t be making a deal with Sergio Aguero.

Gil Marin said that the relationship between Athletico Madrid and Real Madrid means that Aguero won’t move between the clubs.

“[Florentino Perez] has told me he has no intention of signing Aguero and I do not doubt him,” Gil Marin told Spanish newspaper AS.

“Firstly, due to the good relationship we have personally and secondly, due to the clubs' relationship.''

The news that Aguero is no longer moving to Real will no doubt excite Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who has been connected with the Argentinian on a number of occasions.

Aguero has a clause in his contract which states that if a club is willing to offer £39 million, according to the Metro, it will trigger a release in the striker’s contract to allow him to leave.

Chelsea is also in the mix for the star, with Roman Abramovich reportedly seeing Aguero as a good partner for Fernando Torres, and a replacement for Didier Drogba should the striker choose to exit the club.

Manchester City has also shown interest in Aguero, though Liverpool are said to be front runners for the 22-year-old’s signature.

Liverpool Target Could Stay At Wolfsburg

Liverpool target Diego could yet stay at Wolfsburg despite falling out with the management staff.

The Brazilian playmaker, who is understood to be a transfer priority for Liverpool, looked set to leave the Bundesliga after storming out of a team meeting earlier this month following manager Felix Magath's decision to start him on the bench for their next game.

Magath even suggested the club would consider taking legal action against the midfielder, whose conduct came the day before their crucial relegation clash against Hoffenheim which they needed to win to stay up.

Following the incident, Diego was even reported to have said: "I will not stay at Wolfsburg, the whole world knows this."

But Magath has now revealed that Diego's departure is not a foregone conclusion and has hinted that the former-Juventus star still has a future at the Volkswagen Arena.

Magath said: "I'm not interested in his comments.

"I expect him to be there when we start training."

English Eyes On Auxerre Ace understands a host of English clubs are tracking Auxerre midfielder Delvin Ndinga.

Ndinga has impressed at Auxerre in the last couple of seasons after being snapped up from Congolese side Diables Noires.

The 23-year-old caught the eye during Auxerre's Champions League campaign this season and he is establishing himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe.

Ndinga's performances have not gone unnoticed among Europe's top clubs with Manchester United and Liverpool credited with an interest in the powerful midfielder.

The Congo international is under contract with Auxerre until 2014, but they could face a fight to keep hold of him this summer if any of his suitors firm up their interest.

Ndinga's agent, Milan Calasan, has confirmed a number of English clubs are keeping tabs on the midfielder.

"I know a lot of English clubs are watching Delvin," Calasan told

"Delvin has impressed in the Champions League and a lot of teams are keeping an eye on him.

"I believe Delvin would be ideal for England as he has all the attributes to be a success in England and he would love the chance to play in the Premier League."

Dalglish Expects Fergie Plan

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has tipped Sir Alex Ferguson to show his tactical nous in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final.

Manchester United is aiming to win the Champions League for a third time since Ferguson became manager when they face Barcelona at Wembley.

The Spanish champions are expected to win by the majority of the football community but Dalglish remains cautious about the outcome.

The Anfield legend, who helped the Reds win the European Cup three times, told Sky Sports: "Saturday is a huge game for both clubs. Obviously Barcelona you would imagine would be favourites.

Barcelona's strength was emphasized in the World Player of the Year awards with Lionel Messi finishing top with team-mates Andreas Iniesta second and Xavi third.

While Dalglish recognizes the trio's quality, he complimented United's front two of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.

Dalglish said: "When you have three players from one team in the running for World Player of the Year you are a useful side.

"Wayne Rooney is not a bad player either and Javier Hernandez has had a great season. So we can sit back and relax and watch it. It doesn't matter to us."

Benfica Set Coentrao Price

Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira insists Fabio Coentrao would only be allowed to leave for €30million (£26m).

The attack-minded Portugal left-back has been linked with a summer move to Real Madrid, Manchester City, AC Milan,Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

But Benfica are unwilling to allow Coentrao to leave for anything less than £26million.

The club's president, Luis Filipe Vieira, told Portuguese media: "Coentrao can only leave if a club pays €30m, which is his value in the market."

Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha has reported that Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has already agreed a deal for Coentrao.

But Real and Manchester City would have the financial clout to outbid the Anfield outfit if it becomes clear that the 23-year-old is available.

Eljero Elia: I Want Liverpool Move Because They Are The Biggest Club In England

Hamburg winger Eljero Elia wants to move to Liverpool because they are the biggest team in England.

The Daily Mirror reports the 24-year-old was the subject of interest from Reds’ manager Kenny Dalglish in January but Hamburg would not let him go.

Dalglish is reportedly still keen on the wide man and will consider another bid this summer.

The Holland international is still keen on a move to Anfield but Liverpool will face competition from Juventus and Everton for his signature.

Elia shot to prominence under Steve McClaren at FC Twente and secured a £6.8million move to the Bundesliga club in 2009.

But he has now fallen out with head coach Armin Veh and is adamant he will wants to move to either the Premier League or Serie A.

“My agent asked what was going on. It became clear that the management wanted me to play, but Veh refused to play me,” he told NUsport.

“There was enough interest. Liverpool, Everton and Juventus wanted me in the winter, loaning me out initially with an option to buy. Wolfsburg immediately offered €20 million and a top salary.

“Wolfsburg was fighting against relegation, my old coach Steve McClaren was under pressure. However, my instinct said no.”

“Liverpool remains England’s top team and Juventus are still the biggest club in Italy. Bigger than AC Milan, Inter and the rest, but Hamburg did not want to let me go.”

Flanagan's Pride At Award

John Flanagan today spoke of his pride at being named Liverpool's best reserve-team player of 2010-11.

The right-back held off competition from the likes of Suso, Jack Robinson, Andre Wisdom and Daniel Pacheco to claim the award, as voted by the fans in an exclusive poll on this website.

Flanagan picked up 41 per cent of the vote to finish ahead of Suso (30 per cent) and Pacheco (eight per cent).

Speaking exclusively to, Flanagan said: "First of all I would like to thank all the supporters because it is special having them vote for me, especially with me being a local lad.

"It's been a fantastic season for me and the fans are always brilliant with me.

"I would also like to thank Frank McParland, Rodolfo Borrell and Pep Segura at the Academy and our former reserve-team boss John McMahon. They have all been a big help for me."

After being nurtured at the Academy in Kirkby, Flanagan was given his first-team debut by Kenny Dalglish against big spenders Manchester City on April 11 at Anfield.

In what was seen by many as the best debut by a full-back since Rob Jones's display at Old Trafford in 1991, Flanagan played his part as the Reds won 3-0.

He was assured and confident - and such was the level of his performance that he remained in the starting XI for the rest of 2010-11.

He also picked up a Golden Samba, which was presented to him by Red All Over the Land after our final home game of the campaign against Tottenham Hotspur.

Flanagan is currently with the England squad preparing for the UEFA European U19s Championships Elite Qualifying Round Group 2, which takes place in Switzerland between May 31- June 5.

The opening game is against Montenegro on Tuesday, May 5, followed by matches against Switzerland (June 2) and Spain (June 5).

The right-back is joined in the squad by Anfield teammates Thomas Ince, Jack Robinson, Conor Coady, Andre Wisdom and Michael Ngoo.

He added: "At the start of the season I was enjoying playing regular football in the reserves and to then end up in the first team was just amazing.

"The manager Kenny Dalglish has been absolutely brilliant and shown a lot of faith in me. It is a pleasure and a privilege for me to play for him and this football club and I will keep working hard in the future.

"I would also like to thank Jamie Carragher, who has been a big help for me. He always talks to you during the game and is a big inspiration to me."