Friday, June 01, 2012

Reds Agree Rodgers Fee

Sky Sports sources understand that Liverpool have agreed a compensation fee with Swansea for Brendan Rodgers and three of his backroom staff.

The Anfield outfit now look to have removed the final obstacle in their search for a new boss with confirmation of Rodgers' appointment on a three-year deal expected to follow.

The Northern Irishman emerged as the leading candidate for the Merseyside vacancy in recent days after initially rejecting the opportunity to discuss the post.

Kenny Dalglish was sacked by the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group, just over two weeks ago after overseeing a mixed season for the club.

Liverpool added silverware to their trophy cabinet in the shape of the Carling Cup and also reached the FA Cup final, but a dismal performance in the Premier League, where they finished in eighth and 37 points adrift of champions Manchester City, led to Dalglish's departure.

Rodgers has earned widespread plaudits for the style of play he has introduced with Swansea, having been appointed at the Liberty Stadium in July 2010.

The former Watford and Reading boss guided the Swans into the top-flight via the Championship play-offs and then established the Welsh club in the top-flight with an attractive brand of football.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez had also held talks with Reds owner John W Henry before being usurped in the race for the hot-seat by his Premier League rival.

John Barnes Says Brendan Rodgers Will Need Time

John Barnes believes Brendan Rodgers will need time and support if he becomes the new Liverpool manager.

The Liverpool legend has no doubt about Rodgers' ability, but has warned the Anfield faithful they will need to show some patience.

"As far as I am concerned Brendan Rodgers is an outstanding young manager," said Barnes.

Swansea City and Liverpool are in discussions about a compensation package for Rodgers.

The 39-year-old will sign a three-year contract at Anfield and his appointment is likely to be officially confirmed within 24 hours.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed his club and Liverpool are negotiating a compensation package - expected to amount to between £4m and £5m - with Swansea to secure Rodgers' services.

Barnes admitted Rodgers may not have the experience or be the "big-name" appointment that Liverpool supporters were hoping for.

"I think he plays in a very modern and comprehensive way and you can see what he has done at Swansea," said Barnes.

"Of course, [Roberto] Martinez may have started that and he was spoken about and would have been an excellent choice also.

"I think Brendan will do well if people support him. All he needs is to be given time and support.

"The problem that he will have is his inexperience and [that he] is not a big name and hasn't been around for a period of time [so] fans can say he doesn't have the experience.

"For me, it is not important at all. What is important is the quality that he actually has.

"I hope the Liverpool fans get behind him and back him because I think he is a very good manager."

Liverpool sacked manager Kenny Dalglish on 16 May after finishing eighth in the Premier League.

The Reds were 17 points away from a Champions League qualification spot, but won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final.

Northern Irishman Rodgers guided his Swansea side to an impressive first season in the top flight, including a 1-0 win over Liverpool on the final day of the season.

After parting ways with Dalglish, Liverpool embarked on an extensive search for a new manager.

The Reds were linked not only with Rodgers and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, but also former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, ex-England coach Fabio Capello, and Ajax manager Frank de Boer.

Rodgers initially declined the opportunity to speak to Liverpool about the vacancy and instead the club's hierarchy sought a meeting with Wigan's Martinez.

Rodgers's managerial career began at Watford in 2008 after coaching spells at Reading and Chelsea.

His return to Reading was an unhappy one but, after his appointment as Swansea boss in July 2010, Rodgers guided his Welsh side to promotion to the top flight in May 2011, making Swansea the first Welsh team to reach the Premier League.

Liverpool Look To Lure Hoffenheim Star

Liverpool's extensive search for a new manager is over after Brendan Rodgers agreed a three-year deal to take charge at Anfield.

According to the Daily Mail, the Swansea boss will be officially announced as Kenny Dalglish's replacement within the next 24 hours, after he informed his current chairman Huw Jenkins of his desire to move to Merseyside.

Reds owners Fenway Sports Group have made no secret of their recruitment process, as Wigan manager Roberto Martinez also flew out to Miami to be interviewed for the prospective job. But, despite declining Liverpool's initial advances, Rodgers now looks set to be unveiled as the club's new boss.

Swansea will be due compensation in the region of £5million for the loss of the man who has brought unrivaled success to the Liberty Stadium in his two years in charge.

One of Rodgers' first acts as Liverpool manager could be to hijack the south Wales club's move for Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. Having spent the latter part of last season on loan with the Swans, the Icelandic international is poised to complete a permanent £6.8million switch.

But, Sigurdsson is yet to complete a medical meaning the deal is incomplete, and Liverpool could pounce by luring the 22-year-old to Anfield.

Liverpool Star Interested By Juventus

Juventus defender Martin Caceres admits his Uruguayan team-mate Luis Suarez has taken an interest in the Serie A Champions but says he is happy to stay at Anfield.

Suarez has been linked with a shock move away from Anfield as uncertainty continues to surround the next Liverpool manager.

Brendan Rodgers appears to be the strong favourite to take over the vacant managerial post and one of his first jobs could be to persuade Suarez to stay at Anfield.

Juventus have been linked with a move for the prolific forward who still has four-years left on his current deal.

Even though Caceres believes Suarez will remain at Anfield, he reveals the Liverpool forward is following the progress of the Italian giants and has been impressed with them winning the title last season.

Caceres told Italian newspaper Tuttosport: "It's true that Luis and I have talked about Juventus. He has asked me about the club without going into any details.

"I told him that Juventus are a team that always wants to win. He liked what I told him about the club, but he's happy at Liverpool at the moment."

Liverpool Losing Race For Juventus Ace

Liverpool target Eljero Elia looks set to snub a move to Anfield in favour of joining Schalke, reports talkSPORT.

The 25-year-old Dutch international winger is a long-term target for the Premier League side, despite enduring a difficult campaign with Juventus after arriving in Turin in an £8million deal from Hamburg last summer.

Elia has made only four appearances for Antonio Conte's side this season, and is heavily expected to leave Italy in search of regular football.

Liverpool has been touted as a potential destination, but after the sacking of Kenny Dalglish, the English giants have been focusing all their attentions of the search for a new manager, meaning a number of prospective transfer targets have fallen by the wayside.

Now, according to Tuttojuve, Elia is set to return to Germany with Bundesliga outfit Schalke.

Juventus want to recoup the £7.5million paid for the player last August, but may struggle to attain such a fee for a player that has hardly featured in the past 12 months.

Jordan Replaces Lampard At Euros

Liverpool look set to have more players in England's Euro 2012 squad than any other club after Jordan Henderson was called to replace the injured Frank Lampard.

England U21 skipper Henderson had been on stand-by but a thigh strain suffered in training by Lampard means he should now join Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll in Roy Hodgson's party.

A statement on the FA website read: "Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson will be called into the squad - subject to agreement from UEFA's medical team."

Manchester United has the second biggest representation in the squad with four players.

England play Belgium in their final warm up this weekend before beginning their Euro campaign versus France on June 11.

Aquilani Waiting On Reds Talks

Alberto Aquilani is keen to know where he will be playing in 2012/13, but accepts he must wait until Liverpool's managerial situation has been resolved.

The Italy international has been frozen out of the picture at Anfield in the last two seasons, taking in loan spells at Juventus and AC Milan.

It is expected that he will complete a permanent move away from Merseyside this summer, with a number of Serie A sides reported to be keen.

Aquilani is, however, still contracted to Liverpool and must wait to hear whether he figures in the plans of their incoming boss.

The Reds are understood to be closing in on a successor to Kenny Dalglish, with Brendan Rodgers poised to inherit the reins, but Aquilani must wait for that process to be completed before discovering where he stands.

"I need to understand whether there are conditions for an agreement that satisfies everyone," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I'm waiting for Liverpool to decide the name of the new coach, then we will meet in order to understand their plans. Only then will I be able to make the right decision.

"It is important that I have the opportunity to make a contribution, to be able to play well and play regularly."

Aquilani's agent admits he too is waiting on news regarding the Anfield hot-seat before looking into a possible move for his client.

"The situation is that there have been no developments," Franco Zavaglia told

"We must be patient and wait for Liverpool to make a decision.

"There is no problem, but before talking about what Alberto wants to do we must first understand what the British club intend to do."

Lucas Nearing Liverpool Return

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is aiming to be fit for the start of pre-season training as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury sustained last year.

Lucas suffered cruciate ligament damage to his left knee during Liverpool's Carling Cup victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in November, and was required to undergo surgery.

The 25-year-old has not featured since, but recently returned to Liverpool following a sustained spell of rehabilitation back in his native Brazil.

Although the Reds were able to win the Carling Cup and reach the final of the FA Cup in his absence, Liverpool were often seen wanting his assured presence in the centre of midfield.

Lucas, though, is recovering well and has set himself the target of a return this summer and can't wait to play in the red of Liverpool once again.

"I'm in the final stage of my recovery. I've been recovering for six months," he told Brazilian TV channel Sportv.

"I am currently in the physical stage, aiming to be back for pre-season, so that I can be back on the pitch as soon as possible."

Lucas will return to action under a new manager following the sacking of Kenny Dalglish, with Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers set to be named as the Scot's successor on Friday.

Gordon Smith Rules Out Liverpool Role

Former Rangers director Gordon Smith has formally withdrawn his interest in becoming Liverpool’s new director of football.

The Anfield club’s structure is set to be altered in the coming weeks and the Merseysiders’ American owners are keen to introduce three sporting directors to work above new manager Brendan Rodgers.

Names such as Louis van Gaal have been touted as potential replacements for the recently departed Damien Comolli, but former Scottish Football Association chief executive, Smith has ruled himself out of consideration for the position according to his agent Jonathan Hope.

"My client Gordon Smith was in talks via myself for the Liverpool FC director of football role, although Gordon has had no talks with the club, I have," Hope told Sky Sports.

"I have spoken with the general manager on several occasions and I have decided to pull my client away from the role as we have options in the Middle East.”

Despite Smith’s advisor having a heavy involvement with Liverpool in recent times, he does not believe the role to be in the best interests of his client.

Hope continued: "Liverpool has become a second home to me because of my involvement with Vaughan Boxing but as a football prospective I believe this would be the wrong move for my client.

"I am not going to hold any more talks about Gordon Smith joining Liverpool Football Club.

"We have options abroad and I will spend a few days with Gordon and discuss what's best for him and his family.”

Smith has backed his agent to find him a new role in football after he left his post at the Scottish Football Association in 2010.

"Jonathan Hope has been working non-stop to find not just a job, but the right job for me," he said.

"That's important and I commend him for it as that's what being a real agent is all about - client care.

"I respect whatever Jonathan Hope decides."