Saturday, October 08, 2011

Liverpool Consider £10m Bid For Holland Starlet

Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli has reportedly targeted FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong as a future signing after a number of scouting visits to watch him in action.

The 21-year-old Dutch international has been one of Twente's stand-out players and helped the club win the Eredivisie title in his first season.

His performances have been rewarded with a call-up to the national team and, according to, have caught the eye of Liverpool.

The Reds have assembled a top-quality strike pairing in Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez but support options are limited. David N'Gog was sold to Boton and Craig Bellamy has been brought in as a short-term replacement.

However, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is reportedly eager to sign a younger striker who can enjoy a long-term future at the club, which has led Comolli to de Jong.

The Swiss-born forward is valued at around £10m, a price the Anfield club will be able to meet, while it is thought de Jong would jump at the chance to link up with international team-mate Dirk Kuyt.

Ogbonna Plays Down Reds Link

Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna has admitted he is flattered by the stories linking him with a move to Premier League club Liverpool.

The 23-year-old is of Nigerian descent, but has represented the Italy at Under-21 level and has gained glowing reports for his outstanding displays for the Serie B team.

Newspapers in Italy have reported on interest from Juventus, however, it is the speculation of a move to Anfield which seems to have most enthused the €10million-rated defender.

He told "I am flattered by the interest from clubs, but I will continue to work hard for Torino in Serie B.

"Liverpool is a dream club. If they are interested in me, that is awesome. I love the Premier League and one day I might play in that league.

"We all know that it is fantastic league."

Liverpool Keen On Dan Thompson

Liverpool is the latest Barclays Premier League club to be linked with a move for non-league striker Dan Thompson.

TalkSPORT reports that the non-league 'prodigy' has emerged on Kenny Dalglish's radar in recent weeks, with the Reds looking to add the player to their impressive youth ranks at Anfield.

Both Stoke City and QPR have taken closer looks at the player, with the Potters originally holding pole position to secure the signature of the 17-year-old.

“Something definitely will happen for him, because there are other clubs still sniffing about," said Hampton & Richmond manager Mark Harper last month.

“If it doesn’t then I have already spoken to his agent and asked if he can come back to us. It seems silly that I’m looking to bring some players in on loan, when there is potentially one of our own players available to help.”

However, a deal was not struck between the two parties, and Liverpool appears set to wade into the race to sign the Blue Square South player.

Dalglish spent big this summer on bringing young British players to the club, with £20 million Jordan Henderson the biggest example on Merseyside, following in the footsteps of £35 million Andy Carroll, who was brought to Liverpool in January.

Thompson, unlike the aforementioned pair, would have to work his way towards the Liverpool first team though time with the youth and reserve teams, but will be joining the likes of England youth internationals Raheem Sterling and Adam Morgan should the Anfield switch happen.

Johnson Eyes United Return

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has set his sights on returning to action in next weekend's clash with Manchester United.

Johnson has seen his season blighted by injury this term with his only appearance coming as a substitute in the defeat at Stoke last month.

To compound Johnson's misery he suffered a hamstring injury in that game and has not featured since.

Johnson is back in training and he is hopeful of being available for the visit of United to Anfield on 15th October.

"I'm feeling good at the moment and I've been doing plenty of running," Johnson told the club's official website.

"I've just started doing ball work outside in training so I reckon it won't be too long now.

"I'm working hard and it would be nice to be back in the squad for the Man United game. Hopefully I can make the bench anyway, so fingers crossed."

Martin Kelly Leaves England U-21 Duty With Groin Complaint

The injury bug seems to have bit Martin Kelly again.

The promising Liverpool defender is making a premature return home from England U-21 duty because of a groin complaint.

The 21-year-old played 90 minutes for his country in its 3-0 win over Iceland Thursday and felt some tightness in his groin after the game, the Liverpool Echo reports.

He was sent back to Liverpool so club doctors and staff could assess and monitor his condition.

He will not play for England in Monday’s Euro 2013 qualifier at Norway.

Kelly made his LFC debut in 2009, but it was last season that saw him established himself in the team.

He showed great promise as a center back and fullback under managers Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish only for a torn hamstring he suffered in March to hamper his progress.

He has struggled to reach his top form this season because of recurring hamstring woes.

It is unclear if this groin issue will keep him out of Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United on Oct. 15.

Carragher Enters Final Furlong

The Liverpool vice-captain, Jamie Carragher, has admitted his playing career could be over in one or two year's time.

The 33-year-old has made 676 appearances for the Reds and is highly regarded at Anfield following 14 years of loyal service.

However, Carragher could soon find himself no longer a first-team regular in defence and claims his future is in the hands of his manager.

He said: "Ask (Liverpool boss) Kenny (Dalglish). He picks the team. It will be up to the coaching staff I suppose.

"You want to try to get as much out of your career and play as long as possible.

"The time will come in the next 12, 18 months, maybe two years.

"That won't be down to myself. It will be down to the people around me, the staff, the manager. They will decide."

Carragher has been tipped by some as a future Liverpool manager and he is looking forward to making the transition into coaching.

"Do I want to go in to coaching or management? Yes, I think so," Carragher added.

"I've taken my first steps to coaching and the B license.

"We all love the game, you want to stay involved in the game."

Carragher thinks the presence of foreigners is impeding the development of young English players and hit out at the Premier League for not protecting home-grown youngsters

"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League now. Players at our academy don't get a chance," he said.

"Our academies are not just full of local players. They are full of foreign players too. That's a bit of a problem for me.

"I think no foreign players should leave their country until 18 or maybe 21 and I think I think the academies should be for local players."

Carragher also backed up the view put forward by Paul Scholes that past England squads have been divided.

He remarked: "I saw that. I don't think it was Man United and Liverpool. It was more Man United and the rest.

"They'd all grown up together those Man United players. They had been in youth teams together. They would always sit together at meal times. It was just like the five best mates together.

"They'd all come through together. It was a tight-knit thing. They were best mates. They had a great youth team. It was more of a case of that.

"There were that many of them. They had such a good team. They probably had seven or eight in the squad at the same time.

"It was probably difficult for anyone to break into that little group and get to know them."

Morgan Nets Winner For England

Academy hot-shot Adam Morgan netted the winner as England U19s beat Portugal 1-0 on Friday afternoon.

The striker started the game and fired in the second half to give Noel Blake's side a vital victory in the Limoges Tournament in France.

Conor Coady captained the side and played the full 90 minutes, Jack Robinson played the opening 45 minutes while Morgan featured for 84 minutes.

England's Young Lions drew 2-2 with France in their opening game on Wednesday and now face Ukraine on Sunday.

Liverpool FC Nearing Naming Rights Deal

Liverpool is close to choosing a naming rights partner.

According to the Daily Mirror, the club has narrowed the field down to three companies and is looking for a sponsorship deal that will help fund its future ambitions, which include a new or redeveloped stadium.

Liverpool is thought to be seeking a naming-rights partner "who are prepared to pay at least the equal of Arsenal's record-breaking deal at the Emirates, which was worth around £150 million [$235.5 million]," according to the report.

Arsenal's 15-year deal with Emirates was signed in 2004, two years before the Emirates Stadium opened its doors.

A deal in that range would make building a new 65,000-70,000 seat stadium a likely proposition, as the local council is keen to use a new facility to redevelop part of the city.

It is believed that Standard Chartered Bank, Liverpool's current shirt sponsors, is one of the three companies under consideration.