Saturday, December 03, 2011

Liverpool Favourites To Land Crystal Palace Wonderkid

Liverpool is ready to up their interest in Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha after watching the striker put in a fantastic display against Manchester United.

The Reds have been linked with a move for the youngster for a number of months and in recent weeks have seen a host of clubs also register their interest.

The 19-year-old was in superb form in the recent victory over Manchester United in the Carling Cup quarter-final where Liverpool reportedly had a number of scouts watching the forward in action at Old Trafford.

The Daily Mail believes that manager Kenny Dalglish is hoping to tempt Palace to part with striker in January and is ready to bid £5million, which could rise to £8m.

Zaha has been capped twice by the England Under-19 side and this season has been a regular starter for Palace both in the league and in cup competitions.

The striker has scored six goals so far this season and provided five assists as his impressive performances have alerted a host of Premier League clubs.

Liverpool is hoping to continue their policy of signing the best young players after securing deals for Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Sebatian Coates.

Liverpool Prepare To Make £14m Move For Brazilian Midfielder

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is set to step up his pursuit of a new midfielder to replace the injured Lucas and is lining up a move for Shakhtar Donetsk's Jadson, according to reports on

Lucas sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage to his knee during the Carling Cup victory over Chelsea on Tuesday, which is expected to keep him out of action of at least six months.

That has left Liverpool boss Dalglish and the clubs director of football Damien Comolli searching for a replacement once the January transfer window opens for business.

It seems as though both Dalglish and Comolli feel Jadson would fit into the Liverpool set up nicely as he has an eye for goal and would be a like-for-like replacement for Lucas and Steven Gerrard.

The 28-year-old is one of Shakhtar's prized assets and during his time in the Ukraine has helped the side win five league titles and has managed to break into the Brazilian national team.

Shakhtar rate Jadson in the region of £14million and Liverpool are planning to make an offer in the New Year.

Liverpool Push To Front Of Queue For Gaston Ramirez

Liverpool have jumped to the front of the queue for Bologna midfielder Gaston Ramirez.

The Reds’ interest in the Uruguayan starlet has been an open secret for some time, but opposition for Ramirez’ signature has also been on the cards, with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and Sevilla linked with a bid.

But according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Liverpool have stepped up their pursuit of the 20-year-old and have swiftly taken pole position in the race.

Bologna has used the time in between the confirmation of Liverpool’s interest and the winter transfer window wisely, signing Ramirez to a new contract.

The former Penarol schemer is now under contract with the Serie A side until 2016 and Bologna have seen their position strengthened.

Ramirez would surely welcome a switch to Anfield and the opportunity to link up with countrymen Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates on Merseyside.

Ramirez has clocked up eight caps with Uruguay.

Barcelona Superstar Breaks Silence On €40m Move To Liverpool

Despite the fact that David Villa has had a slightly tough time of late at the Nou Camp, it appears as though Kenny Dalglish will not be getting his hands on the Barcelona striker.

Speaking earlier today, the prolific Spain frontman, who has scored over 50 international goals, cooled rumours of an exit.

"I feel important, and even more so when the manager speaks well of me," he explained.

"I've always had the affection of team-mates and especially the public. I noticed it since the day I arrived. So it's not vital that I score.

"I don't give any importance to what is said outside the club. I don't have to be worried about all of this, it's all the same to me. I work so that the manager, my colleagues, the fans and my family are happy, and that's the case."

Last month, top Spanish journalist Guillem Balague explained that Villa, valued at close to €40 million by Pep Guardiola, is struggling to gel with the precociously talented Argentine Lionel Messi.

“It’s important we put David Villa’s circumstances at Barcelona into context,” wrote the Spanish journalist on his personal website. “First of all, yes, I do believe that there is most definitely something to the notion that the footballing relationship between Messi and Villa is not quite as good as it could be.

“David Villa hasn’t been finding the back of the net as frequently as he has done in recent years and it must be remembered that he signed for Barcelona from a Valencia side where he was the focal point of the attack.

“At his former club, when his team had the ball, they worked to find a way supply Villa. Every attack either went through or ended up with David Villa.

“At Barcelona, Lionel Messi is the fulcrum of the attack and his teammates instinctively look to get the ball to the Argentine. For any striker, no matter who you are, that is hard to take.”

In January last year, Liverpool manager Dalglish proved that he is not shy of splashing the cash in order to bolster his attacking options, bringing in both Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez into his squad at a combined weight of around £60 million.

Given that Villa has not been performing up to his normal standards, having netted only five league goals this term, it had been thought that a Premiership move was on the cards before these latest comments.

Suarez In Seventh Heaven

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has voiced his 'huge pride' at emulating former club legends by wearing the number seven jersey at Anfield.

The Uruguay international has followed in the footsteps of Reds heroes such as manager Kenny Dalglish and ex-frontman Kevin Keegan by donning the revered shirt.

Suarez, who arrived on Merseyside from Ajax in January, has described wearing the jersey as a 'privilege'.

He told France Football: "It gives me huge pride.

"When I think about the players who have worn it before, like Kenny Dalglish or Kevin Keegan, it's been legends at the club.

"When I go onto the pitch, I am aware of the privilege I have been given to wear that number."

Suarez says he followed Liverpool even as a youngster and admits securing a move to Anfield fulfilled a boyhood dream.

"When I was a kid playing on the PlayStation, I always chose Liverpool. I've never said it before, but they were already my team at that time," he said.

"It was funny, because at the time I played on the screen beside Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, guys who were at the club when I came.

"To me it was a dream come true."

The Uruguay international admits the Premier League is a far cry from the football he was used to playing in the Eredivisie at Ajax.

"The main difference between Ajax and Liverpool are the leagues," he added. "The Premier League is really intense and very physical.

"In England there are no easy matches - ever."

Suarez is one of just four Premier League players who have made the 23-man shortlist for this year's prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

The striker added of the accolade: "If I'm among the top 10, that in itself would be a great reward."

Dalglish Plays Down Lucas Absence

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has tried to lessen the significance of the loss of midfielder Lucas Leiva by insisting all his players have crucial roles to play.

The Scot has to contend with being without his defensive midfielder for the rest of the season. And while the Brazil international has been key to most of what has been good about the side this season - and last - Dalglish is confident the quality of the team will absorb the loss.

"Every role is important," said the Reds boss "Lucas has had a fair bit of credit and there is not much more we can add to what has happened to him. The (defensive midfield) role is important but every single person in the team has an important role to play. We will make our decisions but we won't disclose how we will solve our problems."

Academy graduate and former reserve team captain Jay Spearing would appear to be the most likely replacement as he shares many of the same attributes as the injured Brazilian.

Spearing deputized for the injured Steven Gerrard at the end of last season and Dalglish rates the 24-year-old, having given him a proper first-team chance when he replaced Roy Hodgson as manager in January.

Another option would be to play summer signing Jordan Henderson in his favoured central position, while Jonjo Shelvey has been recalled from a loan spell at Blackpool as cover.

"We are not going to start dancing on someone's grave; at the end of the day the boy (Lucas) is injured but we have adequate replacements there," said Dalglish, who ruled out a recall for Alberto Aquilani, on loan at AC Milan.

"Jay has done really well since I came in here and we do trust him.

"We believe in him and we will stand by them (the players) as long as they go out there and give what they have to give."

Lucas Thanks Fans For Strength

Liverpool ace Lucas Leiva says fans' support has made him feel stronger after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Tuesday's 2-0 Carling Cup win at Chelsea.

The Brazil international had to be stretchered off in the 70th minute at Stamford Bridge after sustaining the injury in a collision with Chelsea star Juan Mata.

A scan subsequently revealed anterior cruciate ligament damage in his left knee and he is set to undergo surgery, which will rule him out for the remainder of the current campaign.

Lucas told Liverpool's official website: "I didn't realize what an impact my injury could make on the fans. A lot of people have been sending me positive messages, and this makes me feel stronger.

"I know at the moment I haven't had time to think too much about the injury and I am just trying to get everything ready for the operation, but I know when I have difficult times during my rehab one of the things that I will remember will be the messages.

"I want to say thank you very much for all the messages the fans have sent me on the website and on my Twitter page too. I have read a lot of them and all of them have been very positive. They have given me more confidence to come back strongly."

He added: "I have worked hard to get people to believe in me and my football - and I can see the fans appreciate the work I have done.

"Even in difficult times, I have put my head down and worked really hard to achieve things and try to be an important player for the club.

"I want to say many thanks to the fans. There are no words I can say to express how much I appreciate all of the messages and positive thinking all of them are sending to me.

"When I come back onto the pitch, I will repay everything they are doing at the moment for me and keep wearing the shirt with pride.

"They are really important for me because it will be a difficult time and it will be important to have the messages I have received."

Dalglish: Steven Gerrard Will Be Back Sooner Rather Than Later

Steven Gerrard remains sidelined by an ankle infection, but boss Kenny Dalglish insists the Liverpool FC skipper will be back “sooner rather than later”.

The 31-year-old midfielder has been out for five weeks since he was diagnosed with the problem on the eve of the Liverpool FC trip to West Brom in late October.

Steven Gerrard, who hasn't played since the game against Norwich City on October 22, has yet to return to training and will be missing again at Fulham on Monday night.

“Steven is still progressing really well,” Dalglish insisted.

“We have still got to manage it and we are not going to put a date on his return, but it will be sooner rather than later.”

Meanwhile, Dalglish has dismissed suggestions that Liverpool FC could bring Alberto Aquilani back to Anfield in the wake of Lucas Leiva's season- ending knee injury.

The Italian midfielder is on a season-long loan at AC Milan but there is no recall clause in the deal.

Milan has an agreement in place to make the move permanent when Aquilani reaches 25 appearances for them this season.

“If you check the rules, you will see Alberto is not in a position to come back,” Dalglish said.