Saturday, July 09, 2011

Dalglish Excited By Adam Arrival

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is excited about the impact Charlie Adam will have on the club after the Reds finally signed the Scotland midfielder on Thursday night after a six-month pursuit.

Blackpool held onto Adam in an attempt to remain in the Premier League, but when that failed the player made it clear he wanted a move to Anfield.

That has now become a reality and Dalglish is looking forward to the 25-year-old reproducing the kind of displays which made him a stand-out performer for the Seasiders last season.

"We're delighted our patience has paid off," said Dalglish. "We tried to sign Charlie in January. Blackpool wanted to keep him, which is understandable because they were trying to maintain their status in the Premier League.

"Our interest never went away. Both the club and Charlie have been patient, and then Blackpool's circumstances changed because they were relegated.

"We're looking forward to Charlie being a success here. He made a huge contribution to Blackpool's team last year and we're looking forward to him making the same contribution here. We know what he's got and that's why he was such a success last year in the Premier League."

Having re-signed defender Glen Johnson and Andre Wisdom recently, youngster John Flanagan has become the latest player to agree a new deal.

The 18-year-old impressed towards the end of last season in his seven first-team appearances.

"It's great for everybody," said Dalglish. "Both him and Jack Robinson coming in last year gave the first-team players a lift.

"Obviously Flanno played a lot of games, it never fazed him, he had a great attitude towards it and he made a big contribution. The contract he's got is a reward for the work that he's done. I'm sure he'd be the first one to pay tribute to the work done by the academy staff who've brought him this far.

"They've given him over to us and they've given us a very good player, and it's up to us to try to develop him even further. He just needs to continue to build on the good start he's made. He never got carried away with the success he had and the many complimentary words that were spoken about him, and I'm sure he won't get carried away with signing a new contract.

"Sometimes you rest on your laurels but I'm sure he won't."

Liverpool Interested In Scott Parker

Liverpool has reportedly been monitoring the situation of West Ham midfielder Scott Parker, although they may be about to lose the race for his signature.

According to The Mirror, the Barclays Premier League outfit shown a ‘tentative interest’ in the 30-year-old, but Aston Villa has now emerged as favourites to sign him.

The England international is said to have held talks with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce upon returning to training yesterday, but his future is still yet to be resolved.

Tottenham had been installed as frontrunners to sign Parker after the east London side were relegated, but it has been claimed that Villa are now leading the pack.

Liverpool have been linked with the former Chelsea man for a number of months, but it would seem now seem unlikely that they will formalize their interest - especially after bringing Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam to Anfield.

Aly Cissokho Could Be On His Way To Anfield This Summer

Liverpool target Aly Cissokho has moved a step closer to a summer switch to Anfield after Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign the highly rated Lyon left-back.

The 23-year-old French international was thought to be high on the list of the Eastlands outfit, but according to talkSPORT their interest has waned.

After Roberto Mancini sealed the signing of Gael Clichy from Arsenal on Monday, the Citizens decided to drop their inquiry in the £10million rated Ligue 1 star.

That paves the way for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish to step up his pursuit unopposed as he continues his search for a player to fill the Reds’ left-back void.

Speaking back in April, Cissokho intimated he would consider a move to the Barclays Premier League saying:

"Lyon is a city and a club that I love. I'm happy in France but if I ever had to change clubs I would go to the Premier League because they practice a style of football similar to how I play on the field."

Those comments will encourage Liverpool who recently confirmed the acquisition of long-term target Charlie Adam, joining from Blackpool for an undisclosed fee.

He becomes the Reds’ second summer signing following in the footsteps of Jordan Henderson, who moves to Anfield from Sunderland in a deal worth an initial £16million.

As Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group look to continue funding the overhaul of the playing squad, they will be looking for an immediate return from Dalglish and Co. when the season gets underway in 2011/12.

Pool Eye Reds Starlets understands Blackpool is eyeing moves for Liverpool duo Tom Ince and Gerardo Bruna.

Blackpool is hoping to strike a deal for the pair after selling Charlie Adam to Liverpool earlier this week.

Seasiders boss Ian Holloway is keen to bolster his squad and he is exploring the prospect of taking Ince and Bruna on loan.

However, Blackpool could miss out on Ince as Fulham are hoping to lure the midfielder to Craven Cottage on a permanent deal.

Midfield duo Ince and Bruna have yet to make a first-team appearance for Liverpool's first team and are regulars in the reserves.

Argentine Bruna joined Liverpool from Real Madrid in the summer of 2007 and he is highly-rated within the corridors of Anfield.

Ince, who is the son of former Reds captain, Paul, is also highly-regarded by Liverpool's coaching staff and he enjoyed a spell on loan at Notts County last season alongside his dad.

Liverpool could be willing to loan out the duo so they can get some regular first-team experience under their belt and landing both players would be a coup for Blackpool.

Clichy Reveals Reds Snub

Gael Clichy has revealed he snubbed offers from Liverpool and Roma to join Manchester City.

The France international completed his £7million switch from Arsenal this week after signing a four-year contract with the Eastlands club.

The 25-year-old claims he had talks with Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli about a move to Anfield, while Roma also made him an attractive offer to move to Italy.

However, Clichy claims he made the decision to join City as he wants to continue playing in the UEFA Champions League and be competing for trophies.

"With Liverpool contacts have been very serious," Clichy told L'Equipe. "I had phone calls with Damien Comolli, I knew him for a while.

"Indeed, there was AS Roma too, with a nice project and an exciting proposition. But I wanted to stay in Premier League.

"I like football here and the state of mind. Moreover, City offered me the opportunity to play again Champions League. I don't know if it will be the case during the next two seasons, but next term I will play in it."

Clichy also refuted suggestions he only joined City for financial reasons.

"Money? I would have earned almost the same at Liverpool. The defenders' wages don't evolve a lot," he added.

"I can understand people believe money has been a key factor. It is not the case.

"Manchester City is a big club, with a big team, an ambitious club which wants to shine in any competition.

"Was I fed up to not win any trophy at Arsenal? No. I don't know if City will win anything, and maybe Arsenal will win the title next term.

"But I believe City has better weapons.

"At Arsenal, the end was frustrating. We were in all competitions until March and after we lost the League Cup final, everything collapsed.

"The Manchester City offer came late, but I didn't think a lot."

Jovanovic Meets With Anderlecht

Milan Jovanovic has revealed that he has met with Anderlecht officials to discuss his transfer from Liverpool.

The former Standard Liege forward has already been told that he can leave Anfield for free after just one year, with the Premier League club reportedly prepared to pay off his £60,000-a-week wages.

It is understood a January approach from Wolfsburg was turned down, but FC Brugge and Anderlecht are now thought to have offered Jovanovic a route out of Liverpool, where he has proved a failure under both Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish.

Rafa Benitez, who preceded Hodgson, agreed the deal to sign the Serbian, but he made just five appearances in the Premier League last season and all of those appearances came as a substitute.

It seems certain Jovanovic will leave this summer, particularly with director of football Damien Comolli confirming the club is streamlining their squad, and a return to Belgium is probable.

The 30-year-old has dined with members of the Anderlecht hierarchy and was impressed with what he heard as he considers the next move in his career.

Jovanovic told Sport/Foot Magazine: "I'm still under contract with Liverpool, but we already agreed that I can leave for free and that I can find myself a new club.

"And I can tell you that I already had a meeting with Anderlecht officials, it was quite interesting. I had dinner with the club president and director of sport.

"We will see what will happen, but Anderlecht remains an interesting option."

Poulsen Future Still Unclear

Christian Poulsen still does not know if he has a future at Liverpool, according to his representative.

The Denmark international proved to be a major disappointment in his first season at Anfield, having been signed by former manager Roy Hodgson last summer.

Kenny Dalglish only used Poulsen on six occasions and the 31-year-old did not play again after the 1-0 defeat at Braga in the Europa League in early March.

This, combined with the summer signings of midfielders Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, has been taken as an indication of Liverpool's desire to offload the former Juventus man.

But Poulsen's representative, Jorn Bonnesen, claims he and his client are in the dark, as he told when asked if they knew about Liverpool's plans: "No, we do not.

"Now we wait and see what happens."

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has announced that, following the signings of Henderson and Adam, attention will now turn to selling unwanted members of the squad.

But Dalglish and his players are due to fly to the Far East on Sunday to begin a pre-season tour and Poulsen is expected to travel.

Flanagan Signs New Contract

Defender John Flanagan yesterday signed a new long-term contract at Liverpool.

The 18-year-old and his family were at Melwood to finalize the deal on Friday lunchtime.

It comes after Flanagan impressed during seven first-team appearances at the end of 2010-11.

Director of Football Damien Comolli believes the right-back has a bright future at Anfield.

"The first thing everyone will say is he deserves it because he did so well for us towards the end of last season," he said. "Flanno had a long time left on his current deal but we felt it was the right thing to do, to reward him for what he's done.

"His attitude is absolutely terrific. As you see him on the pitch - committed, dedicated, the intensity of his game - is what he's like off the pitch. He's very professional, he knows how to look after himself and who to listen to, and I think that's why he's improved so quickly.

"He's only 18-years-old and he's still got so much room for improvement in every area of his game - but he's already very good going forward, technically he's very sound. I'm sure in two years' time we'll talk about him having made even bigger progress.

"We're really looking forward to his development and seeing how he's going to do."

Ability Counts At LFC

There's certainly a feel-good factor reverberating around Anfield at the moment, and that was again in evidence on Wednesday night as Liverpool FC hosted their Ability Counts programme end of season awards at the stadium.

A total of seven teams gathered in the Shankly Suite as medals were handed out following another triumphant season across all age groups, while a lucky handful were presented with the Player of the Year accolade for their personal achievements over the course of the campaign.

The Ability Counts program is part of the club's Respect 4 All disability centre, which provides an opportunity to play football to those who are visually impaired, physically disabled, have severe learning difficulties or are wheelchair users.

However, the scheme also has a competitive edge with teams taking part in regional, national and even European competition - to great success.

LFC disability football development officer Mark Bygroves said: "It's the end of season awards night for the Ability Counts squad, which is the competitive aspect of our disability structure called Respect 4 All.

"Ability Counts is an opportunity for everyone to get together, make real friendships and to play competitive football. The Respect 4 All program is all about getting people to take part when previously they never had, whereas Ability Counts is a bit more competitive and provides the opportunity to play in teams and compete in cup competitions and leagues.

"We have seven Ability Counts teams - four adult teams, an U16s team, an U12s team and a girls' side. Tonight was a celebration of their achievements as well as the Player of the Year awards.

"And there has certainly been a lot of achievement over the season. For example, the D Side won the European Cup, the domestic league and the Cup.

"But there has been individual achievement too. A number of our lads have represented England and there have been a lot brilliant friendships formed."