Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Has To Sell Before He Can Buy Says Liverpool Owners

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) want manager Kenny Dalglish to sell members of his squad before they will allow him to spend the cash again.

The Reds have already embarked in a £40million recruitment drive this summer, resulting in Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Alexander Doni being signed.

FSG is now keen for the club to recoup at least some of the outlay through sales despite the boss still wanting to bring in fresh faces.

Dalglish wants a central defender and a left-back, but his pursuit of reinforcements is only likely to come to fruition once the fringe players have been offloaded.

Paul Konchesky has already been sold to Leicester City for £1.5million but there are more players likely to be heading for the exit.

Liverpool will listen to offers for Christian Poulsen, Brad Jones, Philipp Degen, Emiliano Insua and David Ngog.

Alberto Aquilani and Raul Meireles will also be allowed to leave should Liverpool receive substantial offers, with the Italy midfield player the most likely to depart.

Joe Cole would also be allowed to leave, but Liverpool is discovering that his £110,000-a-week contract is proving a deterrent to interested clubs.

Should Dalglish offload the players he will turn his attention to finalizing deals for Diego Godin and Jose Enrique.

The Anfield boss is satisfied with the business his club has done so far this summer, but he is aware of the need to trim his squad.

“We’re delighted with the work we’ve done,” Dalglish said. “Whether there’s more remains to be seen and depends on players going out.”

Dalglish Considers Shock £5m Bid For Spurs Defender

According to reports in France, Liverpool is considering a shock move for exit-bound Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong.

The Cameroon international, signed from Newcastle in 2009 for £8m, made just seven Premier League starts last season and has grown frustrated at his role within the club.

He made his intentions to leave clear two months ago when he revealed he needed to play regular football.

"I am a guy who simply has to play," the 25-year-old stated. "I would never just sit there and take the money.

"I am reaching an age where, if I don't play week in, week out, and if I don't feel real trust in me, then I can't stay, no matter which club it is. This is the situation at Tottenham. I have to try to find a way out because I have to try to play. The only thing I want is to play."

His exit from Tottenham seems imminent and it was thought he would make a return to France, where he previously played for Metz.

Ligue 1 clubs Marseille and Paris Saint Germain are both reportedly interested in signing Bassong but Liverpool could be ready to swoop in for the former Newcastle centre-half.

It is being claimed that they are ready to offer £5m for his services and hope Spurs are willing to take a small loss to offload Bassong quickly.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is aware that he must sell to free up any more transfer funds having already spent over £100m since New England Sports Ventures took over at Anfield.

Forwards Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez were brought in January while midfielders Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing have been added to the squad this summer.

However, Dalglish knows he must strengthen his defensive options and is reportedly keen on the powerful and versatile Bassong who can operate across the back-line. He would also be a much cheaper alternative to £10m-rated Birmingham centre-back Scott Dann, rumoured to be Dalglish's first choice.

Lawrenson Backs Luis Suarez To Shine For Liverpool

Mark Lawrenson believes Liverpool may have pulled off "the sale of the century" by persuading Chelsea to pay £50m for Fernando Torres.

And the former Reds defender is backing Luis Suarez, who was brought in to replace Torres, to help the club qualify for the Champions League.

Kenny Dalglish paid £22.7m to sign Uruguayan Suarez from Ajax in January with some of the cash raked in from the sale of Torres and has now spent more than £100m revamping Liverpool's squad in readiness for the new campaign.

And while Torres has struggled at Stamford Bridge following his move to London, Suarez has wasted little time illuminating Anfield.

Lawrenson told BBC Sport the two deals could be the key to putting Liverpool back in the top four.

"I do feel the sale of Torres may turn out to be the sale of the century," he said. "I just feel there is something about Torres in his body language and his make-up. He has always been the main man at the clubs he's been at and I look at him and he's not the same player.

"The sale has allowed Liverpool to replace him and rebuild and the American owners have brought more players in as a statement of intent that the club is heading in the right direction again. When the fax came through to say Torres had gone and it was £50m, I would be surprised if Liverpool didn't have a party."

Suarez came at less than half the price but Lawrenson believes the exciting striker, who scored twice in Uruguay's 2-0 win over Peru in the Copa America semi-finals on Tuesday, has the potential to have a similar impact on the Premier League as Cristiano Ronaldo did at Manchester United.

He said: "Suarez is the big one for me. Lots of people have arrived at Liverpool and people have said 'they remind me of Dalglish'. Yet they never were because Kenny was so special. Suarez might just be the closest.

"He's got all the ability in the world and a real mean streak. He is a top player. I think he might be a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United. He could just take off and in a couple of years' time you might be talking about a £60m player.

"Kenny's eyes light up when he talks about him. He's got that little bit of everything and when you see goals like he scored at Sunderland last season you ask yourself 'how's he done that?', which was another trait Dalglish had.

"He's got great ability. He is very aware of everything, a real team player a handful to play against and, like all South Americans, can really look after himself.

"Players like Diego Maradona and Carlos Tevez found themselves getting booted on a regular basis but were tough and could give it back. Suarez is the same."

Striker Andy Carroll arrived at the same time as Suarez, while Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Dowing have also been acquired as Liverpool's new owners, the Fenway Sports Group, back Dalglish heavily in the transfer market.

And Lawrenson believes they can now threaten Arsenal's place in the top four, saying: "I think they have got a chance of the top four because of the players they have signed.

"I'm not sure about Arsenal with all the uncertainty over Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas. They still haven't addressed the problems people have been telling them to address for years, such as in central defence.

"I think the top three might be beyond Liverpool, but I certainly think what they've done so far this summer can put them in contention for the Champions League places again."

Milosevic Keen On Reds Move

Swedish defender Alexander Milosevic would welcome an approach from Liverpool, according to his agent.

Reports in The People claimed that Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has sent scouts to Sweden to watch the player.

As revealed earlier, the 19-year-old is also thought to be interesting a number of other clubs, including Arsenal, Spurs and Sunderland.

With the Reds reported to be monitoring Milosevic, his agent Nenad Lukic told "That is interesting, of course, but before there is a bid there is not much to say.

"I hope that there will be bid, and that it is a bid that AIK find good enough. Before that happens, I can't do anything, I am just his agent."

Lukic has previously stated the teenager should stay another year at his present club, but believes the step up from AIK Solna to Liverpool would not be too big.

"People thought that it would be too big a step for him to go to AIK from Vasalund. It's the same now. Now people know that he made it and I am sure that he would make this too.

"It's not like he will be take a spot immediately, but after a few months, half a year. I can't see any club that he couldn't play for."

Fiorentina Withdraw From Aquilani Race

Fiorentina may be priced out of a move for Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani by the player's wages, according to his agent.

Aquilani, 27, is rumoured to be heading for an Anfield exit this summer as Kenny Dalglish seeks to overhaul his squad.

The Italian spent last season on loan at Juventus but, after they turned down the opportunity to sign him, he has returned to a Liverpool side strengthened by new signings Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam.

Aquilani travelled on Liverpool's pre-season tour of the Far East, but that hasn't stopped continued speculation over his immediate future at the club.

Italian side Fiorentina are said to be one of the clubs interested, but Aquilani's agent Franco Zavlaglia is not sure they have the financial clout to match his £70,000-a-week salary.

"Alberto has a major contract with Liverpool, and Fiorentina operate with certain economic parameters," he said. "I don't know whether the operation is feasible, but over time something (salary) can be skimmed (reduced)."

Wolves Want Jay Spearing On Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in bringing in Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing on a season-long loan deal, according to The Express & Star.

Manager Mick McCarthy has picked Spearing out as one of his targets to add bite to his central midfield.

The 22-year old recently signed an extension to his current deal and is highly thought of by boss Kenny Dalglish, who gave him several starts last season, but he could be tempted to loan him out to gain further experience in the top flight.

McCarthy also tracked Liverpool’s 20-year old centre-back Daniel Ayala while he was on loan at Derby last season, but he has apparently been told by the board that he will have to trim down his squad before he can bring in any new players on a permanent basis after splashing out on Tottenham's Jamie O'Hara this summer.

Anderlecht Keen On Milan Jovanovic

Anderlecht has confirmed their interest in signing Liverpool's Milan Jovanovic - if they can agree personal terms with the Serbian forward.

"We're currently negotiating with Jovanovic, but we couldn't achieve an agreement (yet)," a spokesman for the Belgian side told BBC Sport.

"We're very much interested and the player would like to come."

The 30-year-old Serbia international joined Liverpool in July 2010 but struggled to make an impression.

"Anderlecht is due to contact Liverpool on Wednesday," the spokesman added.

Jovanovic, who moved to Anfield on a free transfer on a three-year deal from another Belgian club Standard Liege, failed to break into the Liverpool first team, making just 15 appearances and scoring four goals last season.

He joined Standard in 2006 and helped them win back-to-back titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Jovanovic, who has also played for Shakhtar Donetsk and Lokomotiv Moscow, made his international debut for Serbia in a 2-0 win over Finland in June 2007 and has won 35 caps.

Liverpool, who have spent approaching £50m on Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam during the summer - are keen to offload a number of fringe players in their squad.

Reds Suffer Waterford Loss

Liverpool Reserves endured a frustrating end to their Irish tour as they lost 1-0 to Waterford on Wednesday night.

The only goal of the game arrived in the second half as the home side netted through a well worked set piece.

Goalkeeper Tyrell Belford was one who didn't deserve to be on the losing side as he made a string of fine saves during the 90 minutes.

The stopper, who was part of the England squad for the U17 World Cup in Mexico, was in great form as a crowd of over 6,000 packed into the Waterford Regional Sports Centre.

Nabil El Zhar was made captain for the night but the Reds found it tough going on a tricky heavy surface that stifled their trademark passing game.

Matty McGiveron was outstanding at the back for Rodolfo Borrell's side but overall it was a disappointing night for the reserves.

The squad has worked extremely hard during the tour and optimism is high ahead of the season as Borrell's side also looks forward to competing in the Next Generation Series.

Seven-up For Rampant U18s

David Moli hit a hat-trick and Adam Morgan grabbed a brace as Liverpool U18s continued their 100 per cent pre-season record with a 7-0 win over Preston on Wednesday afternoon.

The freescoring youngsters were a constant menace throughout and took their tally to 21 goals in just three outings with some superb finishing in front of the watching Kenny Dalglish.

The Reds made a bright start to the proceedings and it was no surprise to see Moli open the scoring on four minutes when he raced through to coolly drill a low shot into the far corner.

The hosts then wasted several opportunities before the No.9 doubled his tally on 36 minutes when he picked up an incisive pass from Nathan Quirk and despatched a low shot beyond Steven James in the North End goal.

Mike Marsh's side should have been out of sight at half-time but any hopes the visitors may have had of staging a comeback were immediately ended following the restart.

Once again Moli was their tormentor-in-chief, showing good composure to round the 'keeper and smash the ball in from a tight angle.

The Reds continued to open up the away side's defence at will and substitute Jack Dunn added a fourth on 55 minutes with a fantastic header from Michael Wilson's hanging cross.

The obligatory flood of changes associated with pre-season affairs did little to quell Liverpool's appetite and Henoc Mukendi's powerful low drive made it five before Morgan hit a late double.