Thursday, June 09, 2011

Aquilani Courts Inter And Napoli

Liverpool-owned Alberto Aquilani wants to remain in Serie A and “there could be interest from Milan, Inter and Napoli.”

It looks as if Juventus will not take up their option to make his move permanent after spending the season in Turin on loan.

“The issue with Juventus is not definitely closed. They asked for a few days to think about it, but it’s only right for me to seek other options at this point,” agent Franco Zavaglia told Sky Sport Italia.

“If we can’t find any other alternatives, then the player will return to Liverpool.”

Milan has been linked with a swoop for the Italy midfielder, but the representative insists they aren’t the only ones.

“Milan? Alberto can play in all the top level clubs. There could be interest from Inter and Napoli too, but we have to see the technical requirements of the sides. For instance, right now Napoli is pushing hard for Gokhan Inler.

“It’s only natural that Alberto wants to stay in Italy, but he also gets along well in England and the fans admire him.”

Liverpool Set To Swoop For Birmingham's Scott Dann

Birmingham City defender Scott Dann could be on his way back to the Premier League, with Liverpool seemingly leading the chase after failing to sign Blackburn's Phil Jones.

The 24-year-old is said to be desperate to stay in the Premier League after Birmingham were relegated after a miserable finish to the 2010-2011 season.

Arsenal are also reportedly thought to be in the running for his signature, with Arsene Wenger looking to reinvigorate his struggling defence next season; however, this looks unlikely as Dann is a lifelong Liverpool supporter and former season ticket holder, which could work in Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish's favour.

It has been reported that Dann could command a fee of £10 million, somewhat of a bargain price given the big money transfers of Phil Jones [£16m to Manchester United] and Jordan Henderson [£20m to Liverpool].

The former Walsall and Coventry City defender, has made sixty appearances for Birmingham City's first team, and has garnered attention from a host of Premier League clubs despite injuring his knee in January's League Cup semi-final.

Stewart Downing Set To Make Move To Liverpool With Jordan Henderson

After the sensational first deal being confirmed today with Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing will become the second player to make the move to Merseyside, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Downing has long been a target for Kenny Dalglish, with the Liverpool manager deciding between the Aston Villa star and teammate Ashley Young.

Downing is reported to be making the move for £10 million, and Dalglish will see the move as a good coup for the Merseyside club as the Henderson, which will take Liverpool’s spending to a possible collated £30 million so far.

Downing said this week that he was looking to make a move to a higher placed club than Villa, telling reporters: “You just want the best for your career.

“You want to finish with medals at the end of it so, if it’s a step up with Villa or with someone else, I’m ready for it.

“You watch teams in the Champions League and it makes you wish you were there.

“You sit at home and watch it, hear the music come on, you see the teams and you think ‘that’s where you want to be’.

“It’s the pinnacle. It’s the best. It’s the best standard with the best players. It would be nice to taste that one day.”

While Liverpool can’t offer Champions League football for the time being, their January signings of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, along with Dalglish being made permanent manager at the club, have made clear Liverpool’s intentions of challenging for trophies in the next 2-3 years.

The deal with Henderson was a clue into Dalglish’s transfer policy of going for younger, English players, and while Downing is 26-years-old, Dalglish reportedly feels he would fit in well with English teammates Steven Gerrard, Carroll and Henderson.

Liverpool Highlight Nacho Monreal As One Of Top Summer Targets

Liverpool has highlighted Nacho Monreal as a top defender target this summer, according to reports.

The Osasuna left back is now one of two players Kenny Dalglish will choose from at Anfield, according to the Daily Mail, with Lyon star Aly Cissokho the other player cited in the report.

Monreal was first linked with a move to Liverpool back in March, although compatriot Jose Enrique was believed to be the Merseysiders' preferred choice over a move at the time.

However, the link with the Newcastle full back appears to have gone cold in recent weeks, and Barcelona are now thought to be interested in bringing the former Villarreal star to the Nou Camp.

Liverpool are known to be in the market for a player in the position, with Paul Konchesky set to leave the club permanently this summer and teenager Jack Robinson currently holding down the position as first choice.

Despite the England youngster's impressive displays, a more experienced player in the position is believed to be a priority at Anfield and Damien Comolli has been keeping an eye on the player.

The director of football at Liverpool made a personal scouting trip to watch the player, who has four caps for Spain, in March, and Monreal was reportedly placed on a list of potential candidates alongside Enrique, Steven Warnock, Emilio Izaguirre and Oscar Wendt.

It's now claimed that the list is down to two, and Dalglish will be looking to move quickly in his efforts to secure a signing, as he has with Alexander Doni and Jordan Henderson, who is negotiating personal terms with Liverpool on Wednesday.

Roma's Doni 'Happy To Join Liverpool'

Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni’s agent has confirmed “talks with Liverpool. Doni would be very happy to join Liverpool.”

The Brazilian shot-stopper, who in the last two years has been first, second and even third choice at the Olimpico, is available for around £1m.

“I spoke to the club [Roma] on Tuesday and they confirmed they are holding talks with Liverpool to reach an agreement regarding the transfer of Doni,” agent Ovidio Colucci told The Guardian.

“Once an agreement is reached between the two clubs, we will begin negotiating personal terms with Liverpool.

“Doni would be very happy to join Liverpool and play in the Premier League.”

The shot-stopper had been benched under Claudio Ranieri in favour of Julio Sergio, but when Vincenzo Montella took over mid-season his first move was to reinstate Doni.

The 31-year-old has been at Roma since moving from Juventude in 2005 and his contract expires in June 2012.

Kuyt And Suarez Score In Holland-Uruguay Draw

Striker Dirk Kuyt headed a stoppage-time equaliser for 2010 World Cup runners-up Netherlands in a 1-1 draw with Uruguay in a friendly at the Centenario on Wednesday.

Uruguay then lifted the Fraternity Trophy that had been put in play by winning a shootout 4-3 after Robin van Persie had blasted the opening penalty over the bar.

Luis Suarez, Kuyt's Liverpool team-mate, put Uruguay ahead eight minutes from time.

Edinson Cavani pulled the ball back from deep on the left into the middle where Suarez calmly picked his spot to place the ball inside goalkeeper Tim Krul's left-hand post.

When a Uruguay win looked certain, Kuyt glanced a corner to the near post over midfielder Sebastian Eguren and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera into the net.

"I think it was a fair result," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, preparing his side for next month's Copa America in Argentina, told reporters.

In the shootout Krul, who kept a clean sheet on his debut in a 0-0 draw with Brazil in Goiania on Saturday, saved from Ajax Amsterdam's Nicolas Lodeiro but Eljero Elia then missed for the Dutch.

Both sides, meeting for the first time since the Dutch won their 2010 World Cup semi-final 3-2 in Cape Town, had chances with Suarez being denied a first-half goal for offside.

Muslera saved well with his foot from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who was through on goal and Uruguay captain Diego Lugano was lucky to not even be booked for a studs-first foul on Van Persie.

Starlets Jet Off For World Cup

Six of Liverpool's finest Academy graduates today jetted off to Mexico with England for the U17 World Cup.

Winger Raheem Sterling joins striker Adam Morgan, left-back Brad Smith, goalkeeper Tyrell Belford, centre-back Matty Regan and winger Jack Dunn in the England squad.

Left-back Tom King will also be at the tournament having been called-up by Australia.

The U17 World Cup kicks-off on June 18 and the final is in Mexico City on July 10.

England begin their campaign on Sunday, June 19 when they take on Rwanda. Also in the group are Uruguay and Canada.

Community Honour For Carra

Jamie Carragher was honoured for his outstanding charity work in the city by being named Philanthropist of the Year at a glittering ceremony last night.

The Liverpool vice-captain was recognized in the Spirit of Merseyside Awards hosted by the Community Foundation for Merseyside at the Philharmonic Hall.

Cathy Elliott, of the Community Foundation, said: "In difficult economic times, this evening has proven that our communities are strong and that philanthropy is thriving in Merseyside."

Carragher is the epitome of what supporters love to see on the pitch - a local lad who knows just how much Liverpool Football Club means to the people who pay to watch games.

The proud Bootle boy decided, as a way of saying thank-you to the people of Merseyside and all Liverpool supporters, to set up the '23 Foundation' to help give local kids a chance.

The 23 Foundation has helped many local charities in Liverpool and continues to go from strength to strength.

LFC To Kick-Off Tour In Guangzhou

Liverpool FC is delighted to announce the Club will be kicking off their tour of Asia - sponsored by Standard Chartered - with a game in China against Guangdong Sunray Cave on Wednesday July 13.

The Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou will host the match with kick-off at 8pm local time. It is the Reds' first ever game in mainland China. The other match in the tour will be played in Malaysia.

LFC Managing Director Ian Ayre said: "We are very grateful and honoured that the government, local authorities and the football association of China have allowed Liverpool FC to come to China to play in Guangzhou.

"Our football club and the city of Liverpool have great links with China. The city of Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe. As a global football club, it is important to us that we give our fans in China the chance to see the team in action.

"At Liverpool FC we take these games very seriously. This game will be our first as we kick off our preparations for the 2011-12 campaign.

"We will work closely with our main sponsor Standard Chartered to ensure we can deliver our best ever pre-season tour. It's a very exciting time to watch Liverpool Football Club."

Adidas and Carlsberg are official partners of the tour. For the Malaysia leg of the trip, Courts are also official partners.

The Reds enjoy fantastic support in Asia and this summer's visit follows the hugely successful 10-day pre-season tour of Thailand and Singapore two years ago.

Following the game in Guangzhou, Liverpool FC will travel to Malaysia and play a Malaysian XI in the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday July 16.

Manager Kenny Dalglish said: "I'm looking forward to taking the team to Asia. It is great that we can give our supporters in China and Malaysia the chance to watch the team play. Our last tour of Asia in 2009 was a great success and we're delighted to be returning this summer."

Lim Cheng Teck, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Standard Chartered China, said: "Liverpool FC has up to 60 million fans in China alone and we are delighted to be the sponsor for the Club's maiden visit to China. This is a great opportunity for our employees, clients, and community to interact with the players. We wish Liverpool FC a warm welcome to Guangzhou and look forward to a successful pre-season tour."

Paul J. Kam, Chairman of ProEvents Group, added: "We are proud to be appointed as the sole and exclusive tour promoter for the Liverpool FC Asia Tour 2011. This is our first cooperation with Liverpool FC in our 19 years of Asia Tour business and we are pleased to assist them for their Asia pre-season tours. Liverpool FC has already a tremendous fan base in Asia. With this tour we will be bringing them to places where they have never been before with an aim to meet more new friends and supporters."