Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gerrard Expects Trophy Push

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes it is only a matter of time before the club start challenging for trophies again.

The Reds have been on a downward spiral in recent seasons although the return of Kenny Dalglish to Anfield following the departure of Roy Hodgson picked things up last term.

Gerrard is confident Liverpool will be mixing it at the top of the Premier League during the next campaign after improvements of late.

"What I can say to the fans is that Liverpool will be back among the trophies sooner rather than later because we are moving in the right direction," he said.

"We have got fantastic players, the structure of the club is healthy from top to bottom and when that is the case then the team won't be too far away from winning."

The 31-year-old England international insists Liverpool will win the title again at some stage.

He added on "We will get the championship again. It's difficult to say when because that adds a lot of pressure to the team."

Liverpool Still Interested In Sunderland Target Connor Wickham

Liverpool is still in the hunt for Connor Wickham, despite Sunderland moving ahead in the race for the Ipswich striker.

According to, the Merseysiders remain 'very keen' on the teenager, although Sunderland have already entered into talks with the Tractor Boys over a proposed £13 million deal.

Wickham has been on the radar of Liverpool for a number of months - while some reports have suggested he favours a move to Anfield - as Fenway Sports Group look to fulfil their pledge to invest in young talent.

But Sunderland have shown a more serious interest in the 18-year-old, with the Black Cats determined to spend the £20 million made on the sale of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool.

It is unlikely, however, that Liverpool will let Steve Bruce and Co. have a free run at Wickham, with the Reds expected to eventually table an offer of their own.

Ipswich boss Paul Jewell has previously stated that the Suffolk side have valued their prized asset at £15 million, with no club thought to have so far matched that figure - although Liverpool have already demonstrated their willingness to spend big in order to land their targets.

Along with Liverpool and Sunderland, Arsenal and Tottenham are thought to be tracking Wickham, who scored nine times in the Npower Championship last season.

Reds Offer Shelvey Sweetener understands Liverpool are offering Jonjo Shelvey to Blackpool on loan in a sweetener to land Charlie Adam.

Liverpool are determined to win the race for Adam after seeing bids rejected for the Scotland international in the January transfer window.

Blackpool is resigned to losing their prize asset following their relegation from the Premier League, but they are holding out for the highest offer for Adam.

Aston Villa and Tottenham are both thought to be keen on Adam, while Manchester United have been keeping a watching brief on the former Rangers man.

However, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has made Adam one of his top summer transfer targets and is prepared to offer Shelvey in part-exchange to make the deal happen.

Liverpool are unwilling to meet Blackpool's valuation of Adam and are hoping the offer of Shelvey in a season-long loan deal will tip the balance in their favour.

Adam is believed to be keen to make the move to Liverpool having made Anfield his first-choice destination from his list of suitors.

Liverpool Look To Raid £7m England International From Premiership Rivals

Having given up hope of signing Jose Enrique and Gael Clichy, Kenny Dalglish has apparently turned his attention to securing the services of Wayne Bridge.

Bridge, moving to West Ham United on loan at the end of last season for 15 league appearances, proved that he still has a lot to offer in the top tier of English football.

The 30 year-old also won 36 caps for England prior to announcing his international retirement in 2010, experience that will stand him in very good stead at Anfield.

As a package, Bridge will be very good value and is thought to be available for around £7 million.

Dalglish's search for a left-back has been very well chronicled in the English press over the past months.

Newcastle's Spaniard Enrique had been strongly earmarked for a Merseyside move, with Kop legend Phil Thompson even stating that "the deal was done" some time ago on Norwegian television.

Such rumours were fuelled by the uncertainty Alan Pardew.

"When you have only got a year left on a player of his ability, of course you are vulnerable, and I think it's nervous times for us on him," the Magpies boss stuttered.

Then, as recently as this month, stalling contract negotiations at The Emirates had led many to believe that a swoop for Clichy was on the cards.

However, it now seems as if Dalglish has singled out the man he wants to fill the void in his squad and will open talks with Bridge in the coming week.

Liverpool, Manchester United And Chelsea All Tracking Hicham Khaloua

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are all monitoring the progress of Spanish starlet Hicham Khaloua, according to reports.

SkySports claim the English trio sent scouts to watch the teenager over the weekend, with the 16-year-old representing a regional Murcia side in-front of the watching entourage.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is also thought to be interested in the player, who is of Moroccan descent but is a Spanish citizen.

Due to his age, 16-year-old Hicham is not able to sign professional forms yet, and would therefore be able to move to England for a relatively small fee from second division Cartagena.

Other Spanish sides interested in the striker, who scored over 40 goals at youth level last season, including Barcelona, Malaga and Real Madrid.

The player would be a fine addition to any of the academy sides in the Barclays Premier League, with Liverpool boasting one of the best in the country based at Melwood.

Current rising stars include Raheem Sterling, Connor Coady and Adam Morgan, whilst Liverpool has several players currently on international duty with the England U17 side.

Additionally, manager Kenny Dalglish has handed first team opportunities to several youngsters, with Jack Robinson and John Flanagan just two players to have recently graduated to the Liverpool senior side.

Working alongside director of football Damien Comolli, Dalglish has highlighted young players to build for the future of Liverpool on Merseyside, and Hicham would undoubtedly fit the bill.

Manchester United and Chelsea are unlikely to let the player join their rivals without a fight though, with both clubs boasting fine youth teams of their own for the striker.

The lure of Old Trafford and the history of Manchester United would make them a fine option for any young player, and Sir Alex Ferguson has a track record of developing young talent at the club.

Chelsea, under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, are also expected to target young players at Stamford Bridge, and have targeted young player in the Roman Abramovich era as shown through Gael Kakuta and Lucas Piazon.

SkySports goes on to claim that Hicham could well make a move to England despite the options in his homeland, and the addition would be a coup for whichever club can secure the signature.

Doni Breaks His Silence On Liverpool Move

Roma keeper Alexander Doni has said that his proposed move to Liverpool earlier this month failed to go ahead because the club expected him to take a sixty per cent pay cut.

Doni failed to agree personal terms with Liverpool and decided to remain in Italy instead. He has now broken his silence on the issue explaining that he could not afford to take such a huge drop in his wages.

“I have only received an official offer from Liverpool,” Doni told Italian newspaper Il Tempo. “But I could not accept those conditions. I would have had my salary cut by 60%.

“After signing a five-year contract extension with Roma in 2008 and having given a knee for Roma’s cause, I am unwilling to give away money.”

Liverpool Set To Rival Bolton For Middlesbrough Ace Williams

According to reports Bolton Wanderers face competition for Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams.

The Daily Mail claims Premier League giants Liverpool are monitoring the player’s situation at Middlesbrough with a view to a possible move.

The Australia international is a confirmed target for Wanderers boss Owen Coyle, who worked with Williams when he was at the helm at Burnley.

Coyle is understood to be looking at sealing a £2.5 million deal.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is believed to be already resigned to losing Williams in the summer.

Liverpool Players Excited About China Tour

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says it’s important the club and the players keep the relationship with their Chinese followers ‘strong’ ahead of their Asian pre-season tour.
The club will play matches against Guangdong Sunray Cave and an Malaysian XI this summer as part of their preparation before the new season.
And Gerrard says the players love playing in front of their Chinese supporters.
"It's important we go over there and share some time with our fans in China," said the skipper.
"We love them as much as they love us and it's important for the club that we keep the relationship strong.
"The lads have already been talking about going over there and hopefully we can play well and win for them."

England Players Gripped By Fear - Carragher

Former England defender Jamie Carragher admits players suffer from a fear factor when they are playing for the national team.

Carragher came out of international retirement when he was selected by England manager Fabio Capello for last year's World Cup campaign in South Africa. However, England experienced a woeful tournament and crashed out 4-1 to Germany in the last 16, leading to a torrent of criticism for both players and management.

The Liverpool defender though claimed players are on tenterhooks when they play for England and feel less pressure when appearing for their clubs.

''One mistake and you could be absolutely slaughtered,'' Carragher told BBC Radio 5 live. ''At your club, you know you will not be criticized as much and perhaps three days later there will be another game.

''With England, it could be months before you have another fixture. There is a fear at times when playing for England.''

He added: ''The intensity of the press does get to the players. Sometimes I think players would prefer the press guy to think they had played well, rather than the manager.''

Carragher also claimed the players were bored in South Africa where they spent most of their day in a hotel, saying: ''You stay in a hotel all day but you are at a World Cup for a long time and should be able to experience different things.

''I wouldn't want players holed up. Take away the boredom, embrace the country we are in more. You never see anything.''

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp echoed Carragher's sentiments.

''I spoke to a few players who said they were sat in their rooms waiting for the day to pass. Some said they were bored out of their brains.''