Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dalglish Trims His Squad As Aquilani And Cole Heading For Anfield Exit

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is ready to offload two of his Anfield flops in the coming days as both Alberto Aquilani and Joe Cole edge closer towards loan moves.

Both players have found themselves frozen out during their time on Merseyside and it seems as though Dalglish does not have room in his squad for either midfielder.

Aquilani appears on the verge of joining Italian champions AC Milan after his agent, Franco Zavaglia, claimed that a season-long loan deal should be tied up within the next 48 hours.

“The involved parties are working on this case, and between Wednesday and Thursday, everything will be decided,” Zavaglia told the Daily Mirror.

Milan chairman Silvio Berlusconi also admitted that the club were currently negotiating a deal to bring the £17million midfielder back to Serie A. "We are negotiating for Aquilani. I like him a lot, he’s an interesting player.”

It has always seemed likely that Aquilani would once again be allowed to leave Liverpool after Dalglish brought two more central midfielders to the club.

However, many pundits believed that he would keep hold of Cole, who has also struggled to make an impact since making the move to Liverpool from Chelsea.

Cole struggled to force his way into the starting line-up under Dalglish as both Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt were preferred in wide positions. With the arrival of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, his opportunities appear to have been limited even further and a loan move now appears the most likely outcome.

Premiership newboys QPR seem the most likely candidates for Cole, after Tony Fernandes took control of the club and made funds available for manager Neil Warnock.

The London club also revealed that they would be willing to pay a significant portion of the player’s wages that are believed to be around £90,000-a-week.

“We could probably afford 30 or 40 per cent of his wages now,” admitted Fernandes. “The chairman knows all my targets and we will be discussing them. He’s off to Malaysia, but is contactable.”

John Barnes: He’d Be A Fantastic Signing For Liverpool

Liverpool legend John Barnes believes that Bolton defender Gary Cahill would be a fantastic signing for the Reds. He told talkSPORT:

“Cahill is a fantastic player and I’m surprised there have not been more noises made about him. There are a lot of clubs looking for centre-backs and he’d be a fantastic signing for Liverpool. Another striker would be nice, but defensively is where we really need it [strengthening]. And Cahill would be perfect.”

Cahill has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal but nobody has made a move for the 25 year old as of yet.

Liverpool & Spurs To Battle Real Madrid For French Wonderkid

Liverpool and Tottenham are set to battle Real Madrid for the signature of highly-rated teenager M'Baye Niang, The People has reported.

The 16-year-old forward is reportedly being tracked by the two Premier League clubs and both are hoping to bring him to England. However, Real sporting director Zinedine Zidane is also aware of Niang and is keen to take him to Spain.

Despite his young age, the striker is part of the Caen first-team and has made the starting line-up in the club's first two games this season. He has also represented France at Under-16 and Under-17 level.

His bright start to his career has alerted Liverpool, Spurs and Real but Caen are reluctant to sell him. Real, though, are thought to be keen on reaching an agreement that would see Niang continue his development in France before moving to the Bernabeu when he is older.

Liverpool and Tottenham would need to make an even better offer if they are to convince the promising youngster to snub Real and opt for a move to England.

Liverpool Target Coates Set To Decide Future

In-demand Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates says that he expects his future to be decided this week, after widespread reports in Tuesday's newspapers claimed Liverpool would secure his signature.

Coates, 20, plays for Uruguayan champions Nacional and enjoyed a starring role in his country's Copa America winning side. The 6' 6'' centre-back had been linked with Juventus, Lazio, Porto and Benfica, before Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool arrived on the scene.

It is believed Liverpool, who offloaded Sotirios Kyrgiakos on Monday, hold the edge due to Coates' friendship with international team-mate Luis Suarez.

A bid of £12 million is expected to land the youngster, who would represent a cheaper option than Bolton's Gary Cahill. Coates admits he wants his future decided before the end of the week.

"This week I will talk about offers and decide whether to go or stay here," he told Ovacion.

Coates' father and agent Peter is currently understood to be in Europe discussing his son's future. Further quotes attributed to the player claim he will sign for a "great club" in the near future.

Dalglish Lines Up Shock Move For Former Liverpool Striker

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is preparing to make shock move to bring Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy back to Anfield, according to reports in the Daily Mail.

Bellamy seems surplus to requirements at Eastland's having been left out of Roberto Mancini's 25-man squad for the Premier League campaign and is not allowed to train with the first team.

Last term the Welsh international spent the whole season on loan at Championship club Cardiff City.

A number of clubs have been linked with Bellamy during the course of the summer including, Sunderland, Stoke, Bolton, Everton and Celtic.

However it now seems as though the 32-year-old striker could return to Anfield, with Dalglish keen to bring in back up for Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, as Dirk Kuyt and David Ngog are being linked with moves away from the club.

During his first spell with the Reds Bellamy spent a season at the club between 2006-07 and made 41 appearances for the club in all competitions and scored nine goals.

It is believed the Welsh striker will be available on a free transfer as City want to get him off their wage bill.

Last season whilst on loan at Championship side Cardiff, Bellamy made 36 appearances in all competitions and scored 11 goals.

Inter Make Kuyt Offer

Dirk Kuyt's agent claims Inter Milan has made an offer for the Liverpool forward.

Inter are looking for striking reinforcements with Samuel Eto'o poised to join Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and Kuyt is on their list of targets.

The Italians have held a long-term interest in the Holland international and they tried to sign Kuyt last summer while former boss Rafa Benitez was still in charge at the San Siro.

Kuyt's representative Rob Jansen admits the 31-year-old needs to think about the offer from Inter.

"Inter Milan have made an attractive offer for Dirk and he has to think about it," Jansen told RTV West. "However, the two clubs have yet to agree a deal."

It is unlikely Liverpool would be willing to sell Kuyt as he enjoyed a strong second half to last season and he was rewarded with a contract extension to keep him at Anfield until 2013.

Kuyt was left out of Liverpool's starting line-up for the opening draw at home to Sunderland, but he returned to the first XI for the weekend win at Arsenal.

Striker Backs Exeter City To Spring Carling Cup Shock Against Liverpool

Striker Daniel Nardiello says there is no reason why Exeter City can't recreate one of the greatest moments of his career against Liverpool tomorrow.

The former Manchester United trainee was in the Barnsley side which completed a huge FA Cup shock when they beat the Reds 2-1 at Anfield in 2008, thanks to Brian Howard's dramatic injury-time winner in front of the Kop.

And Nardiello says the Grecians have what it takes to help him maintain his 100 per cent record against Liverpool when they visit St James's Park for their Carling Cup second round tie.

"I have played them once before and won with Barnsley, so it would be nice if we could do it again. It was one of the best games I have ever played in and there's no reason why we can't do the same," Nardiello said.

"It's brilliant, we couldn't have had a better draw – with that and Plymouth in the other cup the following week, it's fantastic for us.

"It's a massive game. Hopefully they are going to bring some players down and we are just going to go for it because we have got nothing to lose. I think we will all go out there and enjoy it.

"I don't think you can totally relax but you can definitely enjoy the experience, enjoy the atmosphere and it's just a great day for the fans, players and the club. A couple of the lads support Liverpool so we can't wait for it.

"I'm a Man United fan so I would always like to get one over on the Scousers!"

Nardiello will be hoping to retain his place in the starting XI for tomorrow's game. The forward started at Preston North End on Saturday – his first game since picking up a hamstring injury on the opening day of the season at Stevenage – and he completed the full 90 minutes.

The 28-year-old reported that he felt no effects of the physical problems which have hampered his start to the campaign during the match at Deepdale, so is looking forward to continuing his return to full fitness by playing at least some part against Liverpool.

Nardiello said: "I only had my first full training session on Friday and I did a little bit last Thursday. I had a bit of cramp at the end of the game but it's 90 minutes under my belt and it's a step forward, so hopefully I can carry on and get some more minutes against Liverpool and then there's a big game against Chesterfield.

"When we were down to 10 men the manager told me to stay in the middle, to not run around. It did me a favour. It conserved my energy and I managed to get a few chances.

"I got a full 90 minutes, which I wasn't expecting at all, so it was brilliant for me after the injections I have had in my back. Hopefully I can build on that now. I feel fantastic, it's just my fitness now. My back and my hamstrings feel great."

Nardiello's return to fitness coincided with strike partner Guillem Bauza's own inclusion in City's starting line-up for the first time.

That means the Grecians' strikers crisis is slowly abating, as Richard Logan is also in contention to be involved against Liverpool following a hamstring strain of his own.

But one player who is highly unlikely to face the Premier League giants is full-back Steve Tully after the 31-year-old was harshly sent off for bringing Neil Mellor down in the box on Saturday.

As a result City's vice-captain is suspended from tomorrow's game and Nardiello admits he has a lot of sympathy for his teammate.

"In my opinion, and a lot of the lads' opinions, I don't even know what the referee's seen (to send Tully off).

"Even their defender said to me 'that's a bit harsh' (when the referee awarded a penalty) and then to get the red card as well? I don't know what they were thinking, but these things happen," Nardiello said.

"It's very harsh for Steve to miss the Liverpool game, but that's what happens now. It's a horrible game to miss but we will have him back for the important game next Saturday."

Liverpool Defender Completes Move To Bundesliga Side Wolfsburg

Liverpool have confirmed that defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos has left the club and joined Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.

The stopper has signed a two-year contract with Wolfsburg and has been brought in to bolster a backline that has conceded five goals in just two league outings.

Kyrgiakos was impressed by Wolfsburg’s Bundesliga title success in the 2008/09 campaign and he is fit, ready and eager to impress under manager Felix Magath.

“Wolfsburg is a good club,” he told the club’s official website. “The championship in 2009, I’m still fresh in my head.

“I’m here to play – if possible in every game. I’m fit, but the coach decides when and if I get to play.”

Liverpool Pushed Carroll Too Hard Last Term, Says Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish has claimed Liverpool put too much pressure on Andy Carroll to return from injury last season but will witness a marked improvement in the £35m striker now that his fitness levels have increased.
Carroll has made a slow start to his Liverpool career since becoming the most expensive British transfer in January, scoring twice in nine appearances last term following his move from Newcastle United and being withdrawn in the 71st minute of Saturday's win at Arsenal as Dalglish capitalized on the dismissal of Emmanuel Frimpong by introducing Luis Suárez from the bench.
The England international arrived at Anfield with a thigh injury that delayed his Liverpool debut by five weeks, however, and then damaged his knee at Arsenal in April. And Dalglish has taken responsibility for Carroll's failure to make an impression last season, with the exception of a commanding performance against Manchester City, with an admission the striker was brought back from injury prematurely.
"Andy's fitness is an improvement since last season because he was never really fit when he came here," said the Liverpool manager, whose substitutions worked to perfection against Arsenal with Raul Meireles and Suárez instrumental in the late victory.
"We pushed him in probably earlier than we should have last season and it wasn't particularly fair on him. It's best to judge him when he's fully fit. Last season, we were a wee bit unkind on him and asked a bit too much of him. This season he certainly looks a lot fitter. Andy is 22. Every time he'll play, people will ask if that's the best he can be. But you never stop. You always want to improve."
Carroll is the most expensive part of Liverpool's £110m recruitment drive in 2011 and with £58m recouped through the sales this year, the club remains keen to offload several players deemed surplus to requirements before the close of the transfer window.