Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Liverpool Prepare New Downing Bid

Liverpool are set to make an improved £18.5million bid for Stewart Downing.

The Reds are ready to return to Aston Villa with a fresh offer for the England winger after having a £15m bid rejected.

Villa are demanding at least £20m for Downing, who is keen to move to Anfield, and Liverpool hope their increased offer will be enough to clinch the deal.

Liverpool is anxious to move quickly to prevent Arsenal from hijacking their summer-long pursuit of Downing.

They are desperate to land the Villa star to improve their options out wide after missing out to Manchester United and Newcastle on Ashley Young and Sylvain Marveaux.

"We’re happy with the business we’ve done so far," said Reds manager Kenny Dalglish.

"Hopefully we will do some more business before the window closes, but I’m not going to give names because that’s disrespectful.

“We are looking to bring other players in and that could mean we expect some to leave.

“That’s football, but we have a while to go yet and we’ll see what we can do.”

Liverpool Face Competition For Lower League Natural Talent Target

Liverpool target Danny Ings has emerged as the subject of a surprise summer transfer bid from Russian based club Lokomotiv Moscow according to talkSPORT.

The highly rated Bournemouth starlet has been earning rave reviews for his performances on the south coast last season, capturing the interest of a number of Barclays Premier League clubs.

After signing professional terms with the Cherries in 2009, Ings' rapid rise to prominence has not gone unnoticed, with Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said to have deployed scouts to Dean Court on more than one occasion last term.

Dalglish and Damien Comolli, director of football at Liverpool, have pledged to invest in young English talent at Anfield, and proved this with the recent addition of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland, for a fee that could rise to £20million.

However, the Reds' potential plans to engineer a move for Ings could now face competition from Lokomotiv who have also enquired about his availability with a view to making a £1.5million offer.

The Russian outfit is playing in a friendly tournament hosted by Bournemouth this weekend, and Ings' name has been mentioned in conversations between the two clubs.

"When we were arranging the game, Lokomotiv Moscow kept asking if Danny Ings would be playing," confirmed Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell.

"It is obvious that the interest in Danny shown from Premier League clubs has filtered through to Russia and they have been watching his performances on the internet.

"The management at Lokomotiv Moscow are very keen to cast an eye over Danny - he's only young but has already got a big reputation and been linked with Premier League clubs.

"A natural talent like Danny is very hard to come by, and we have to expect this sort of interest in such a good player."

Alexander Doni Set To Undergo Medical At Liverpool

Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni is set for a medical at Liverpool on Tuesday, according to reports.

Sky Sports News suggests the Brazilian is now on the verge of completing his move to Anfield, after initial attempts to sign the 31-year-old were unsuccessful due to a failure to agree personal terms.

Doni is now due to sign for Kenny Dalglish's side this week however, despite the bulk of the playing squad and staff jetting off to Asia on a pre-season tour.

The player's agent also explained on Friday that he believed the Brazilian would join the club this week.

Doni is expected to provide experienced back-up to the long-term Anfield goalkeeper Pepe Reina, while his arrival could spell the end of Brad Jones' short Liverpool career.

Jones was loaned out to Championship side Derby County towards the end of last season, and could leave the club permanently this summer after just one season on Merseyside.

Tigers Wait On Gulacsi Deal

It was revealed at the start of July that the Tigers were closing on a deal for Gulacsi, who has yet to make a first-team appearance at Liverpool.

He has, however, enjoyed loan spells at Hereford United and Tranmere Rovers, and is tipped to be the Tigers' first choice this season.

The Championship club also have former Bristol City goalkeeper Adriano Basso on trial and Hull's head of football operations Adam Pearson expects to secure a deal for Gulacsi.

"If we're successful in completing the deal, he's a keeper with a lot of potential," Pearson told the Hull Daily Mail regarding the Hungarian.

"Steve Walsh watched him a lot last season at Tranmere and he's very highly thought of at Liverpool.

"There were a number of clubs interested in him so if we get the deal over the line, we'll be delighted.

"We're keen to have another keeper to challenge for the No.1 shirt.

"Adriano Basso is in the box seat. He's here and it's up to him to show he can take the role."

Aquilani Agent Denies Fiorentina Interest

The agent of Alberto Aquilani has brushed aside speculation linking the player with a move to Fiorentina this summer.

Reports in the Italian media claim the Viola are considering strengthening their squad by signing the Liverpool midfielder.

However, Aquilani's agent, Franco Zavaglia, told Tuttomercatoweb.it: "His future for the time being is at Liverpool. The player will remain there. With Fiorentina there are no negotiations in place, I have not even been approached by them. They are just rumours."

Aquilani, who spent last season on loan at Juventus, wanted to remain in Italy but received no suitable offers despite making 33 league appearances for the Turin outfit.

The 26-year-old was a reported target of AC Milan and Napoli this summer but announced earlier this month he will play at Anfield next season.

Liverpool signed Aquilani from Roma in 2009 and he is under contract with the Reds until June 2014.

Charlie Adam: I Came To Liverpool To Learn From Some Of The Best Players In The World

Charlie Adam is eager to impress at Liverpool and feels he can improve a great deal as a player by learning from his new team-mates.

The former Blackpool talisman completed his move to Merseyside last week after months of speculation over where his future would lie.

The 25-year-old Scotsman believes the step up in class is only going to help him grow as a player.

"I want to learn. There are some of the best players in the world at the club, so if I can learn from them and I am going to improve as a player,” Adam told reporters.

As much as the former Rangers man is looking forward to playing with his new team-mates, he is also respectful of what Blackpool has done for his career, both in England and internationally.

"Obviously it was tough in January with the decisions, obviously I respected Blackpool," he said.

"But I've been able to come here, thanks to the manager and it is a step in my career that I am looking forward to."

Kenny Dalglish Confident On Fitness Of Absent Pepe Reina

Kenny Dalglish is confident goalkeeper Pepe Reina will be fit for the start of the season – despite the Spaniard missing out on Liverpool’s trip to the Far East.

Reina, Anfield captain Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson were not with the travelling party after the decision was made to keep them at Melwood in order to aid their recovery from injury.

Dalglish shared the disappointment of expectant supporters but says leaving the players on Merseyside was necessary if they are to be fit for the Premier League curtain raiser at home to Sunderland on August 13.

Gerrard is on the mend after a groin operation while Reina is progressing following surgery for a double hernia and the Liverpool manager believes both can be fit for the opening game of the new season.

Brazilian midfielder Lucas and January signing Luis Suarez of Uruguay have also not made the trip as they are on international duty in the Copa America.

“Steven is injured at the moment and that's why he's not here with us,” said Dalglish. “He has made fantastic recovery from his operation towards the end of last season.

“He just needs to get the final couple of niggles out of the way and then he will be fit for the start of the season against Sunderland.

“I know people are disappointed he isn't here with us but the disappointment would be far greater if he couldn't play the first game. That is why he has stayed at home, to rest and to have the best chance of being fit for the start of the season.

“The same situation applies to Pepe - he had a double hernia operation in June. He isn't fit and so had to stay at home. He should be ready for the start of the season.”

Although skipper Gerrard remains Liverpool’s most popular player to supporters worldwide, Dalglish says there is still a huge amount of talent in the squad which has made the 5940-mile trip, via Kazakhstan, to excite the crowds.

“We have some fantastic players here, all of whom have been looking really sharp in training at Melwood,” added the Reds’ boss.

“They've looked fit and looked hungry. Everybody here with us will be given the opportunity of getting some match minutes under their belts. Everybody who is here deserves to be here. Nobody who is here will let us down. We are without a few people because of the Copa America and injuries but the most important people for us are the ones who are here.”

Walton MP Steve Rotheram Wants Meeting With Liverpool FC Over Stadium progress

Walton MP Steve Rotheram has warned that Liverpool FC’s delays in deciding to stay at Anfield or move to a new stadium is causing tensions in the local community.

The Labour MP, who is also a Reds season ticket holder, is in the process of arranging a meeting with the club to discuss the situation.

He said: “We are trying to organize a meeting with owners for an update, the uncertainty for the residents is really starting to cause tensions. I hope that the football club is able to come up with the right decision for the club that helps the area.”

He said he understood that the new owners need time as the decision is crucial to the club and the surrounding area.

He added: “It has to be the right decision for everybody, this is a massive opportunity to regenerate the whole of the north of Liverpool not just Anfield.

“Residents have put up with a lot of issues over the past few years.

“My preference is that the local residents there get something they have been looking for – the opportunity for something to happen in that area.

“The broken promises of the previous owners have come back to haunt the current owners.”

He said he hoped to meet with the club’s hierarchy within the next “two weeks or so” to discuss the stadium question.

Joe Anderson: Don't Blame Us Over Liverpool FC Anfield Redevelopment Saga

Liverpool City council leader Joe Anderson today insisted the local authority is not to blame for Liverpool FC’s problems redeveloping Anfield.

He warned the club it would likely take three years to clear all the hurdles required to stay in its present ground.

In an interview with the ECHO, he spelled out the facts he sees standing in Liverpool FC’s way with one of the most significant being national planning restrictions.

Cllr Anderson said that the extra height of extended stands blocking daylight to nearby homes is a key consideration.

His remarks followed a statement from Liverpool FC chief executive Ian Ayre on Sunday, saying that redevelopment of Anfield was looking increasingly unlikely, due to land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory barriers.

Cllr Anderson said: “You can’t build something right next to someone’s house that blocks day light – whether Liverpool FC like it or not. That is something that exists.

“It existed 10 years ago when they were talking about it then, and it exists today.”

He also said issuing a compulsory purchase order (CPO) is not as easy as many people believe, as there have to be clear regeneration grounds.