Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dirk Kuyt Backs Brendan Rodgers To Succeed At Liverpool

Dirk Kuyt has backed Brendan Rodgers to be a success at Liverpool, even though he will play no part in the new manager's team at Anfield. The Holland forward has joined Fenerbahce on a three-year deal after finding his first-team opportunities limited last season, ending his six-year stay on Merseyside.

"I think it's great for the club that they have finally announced the new manager," Kuyt told Liverpool's official website. "From what I have heard from [Swansea goalkeeper] Michel Vorm, who is with me in the national team, he is a great manager and he told me he will be perfect for Liverpool and he will definitely lift the club up to a higher state."

Kuyt insisted the appointment of Rodgers was not a factor in his decision to leave. He said: "I just had the feeling that I had to go somewhere else for a new experience after six years. It's not about the new manager. I have great memories from my experience with the club.

"I'm sure Liverpool will improve under the new manager. Liverpool has a great squad of players and I'm sure with this manager they will do well. From the bottom of my heart I wish them all the best, wish the new manager all the best and I hope they will be very successful."

Kuyt, who had a year to run on his Anfield contract, invoked a get-out clause in his contract after a season in which he scored just two Premier League goals. Fenerbahce offered the prospect of Champions League football next season, something not available at Anfield.

"It's a great new experience," said Kuyt. "I had interest from several clubs in Europe and once Fenerbahce came in for me, with the ambition they have as a club, and also by showing how much they wanted me, for me it was an easy decision to make."

Kuyt leaves Liverpool having won just one trophy in six seasons, the Carling Cup last season, when he scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff. Overall, the Dutchman scored 71 goals in 285 games for the Anfield club.

Rodgers Eyes Gylfi Raid

New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted he is ready to steal Gylfi Sigurdsson from under the noses of former club Swansea.

Swansea are close to securing the signing of Sigurdsson, who impressed on loan last season, after agreeing a fee with Hoffenheim and personal terms with the player.

However, Sigurdsson has yet to put pen-to-paper on a deal with Swansea alerting Rodgers to make a move to bring the Icelandic international to Anfield.

As part of Rodgers' move to Liverpool, Swansea has agreed a deal whereby the Reds cannot sign any Swansea players in the next 12 months, but the same does not apply to Sigurdsson.

Rodgers admits that he will allow Sigurdsson to speak to Swansea first, but that if he becomes available he will try to lure him to Merseyside.

While Rodgers fully respects Swansea's wish to conclude a deal, he says he feels compelled to pursue a player whose career has flourished under his charge.

"If he [Sigurdsson] comes onto the market, I have to be interested," said Rodgers

"His initial chat has to be with Swansea, because he had a good period there.

"I said when I had the chat with the chairman (Huw Jenkins) the other day, when I told him I was going to go to Liverpool, that Gylfi came to Swansea because I was there as manager.

"I said to Huw if I speak to the kid I'll tell him to make sure he certainly comes down and speaks to the new (Swansea) manager, whoever that is, and that if he's still not comfortable with that, he's in the marketplace then - and then I have to look at him."

Liverpool Must Cough Up £20m For Ramirez

Bologna has put a price tag of over £20million on coveted playmaker Gaston Ramirez, according to the player's agent.

The Uruguay international has been strongly linked with a move away from Bologna this summer and is a reported target of top European clubs including Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus.

'Bologna wants 25m Euros (£20.2m) for Ramirez but an agreement can be found,' said Ramirez's agent Pablo Betancourt to www.fcinternews.it.

'It is obvious that Bologna would do well from his sale. They would receive 70% whilst 30% would go to (Ramirez's former club) Penarol, as previously agreed.

'German club Wolfsburg has offered 15-18m Euros for Ramirez whilst Zenit St Petersburg have expressed an interest.

'With Liverpool, however, the situation is at a standstill because the Reds are just choosing their coach.'

The 21-year-old Ramirez joined Bologna from Penarol in 2010 and scored eight goals in 33 league appearances this season to help the Rossoblu finish ninth in Serie A.

'Gaston is a very young player and he has done well in Italy,' said Betancourt. 'It is normal that many clubs now want him.

'We must meet with Bologna to understand his situation - there are offers for him and we must see what Bologna wants to do.'

Ramirez is under contract with Bologna until June 2016.

Rodgers Prepares Move For Everton Midfielder

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is reportedly ready to make a contentious bid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini as he looks to add more quality to an Anfield squad that fell further off the top four race last term.

The Merseyside club secured their third successive season without Champions League football last term, leading to the sacking of manager Kenny Dalglish, and his Northern Irish replacement has been charged with the responsibility of improving his playing staff in the pursuit of closing the 17 point gap between their eight place finish and a top four finish.

Rodgers has begun the search for possible additions to his Liverpool squad and has earmarked a move for Belgian international Marouane Fellaini who the former Swansea City boss may feel could be purchased in light of Everton’s protracted financial woes. The former Standard Liege man has been linked with a Goodison Park exit this summer after a solid season in the Toffees midfield last term.

The 24 year old has just completed his fourth season at Everton but has seen David Moyes’s side seemingly reach an impasse due to the club’s inability to improve their squad due to financial constraints that invariably leads to their top talents being consistently linked with moves away.

Rodgers may well feel that Liverpool need more quality added to their midfield and Fellaini’s ability to fulfill dual tasks in that regard make him a very tempting prospect. The powerfully built Everton man offers the tough tackling robust qualities of a defensive midfielder whilst also being able to provide the goal threat and assist making attributes of an attacking midfielder.

Liverpool suffered greatly without injured Brazilian Lucas for more than half of last season, having to turn to inexperienced local born midfielder Jay Spearing, and Rodgers may see Fellaini as a player who can offer added bite when needed. The fact that the likes of Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam both failed to make a consistent impact since their summer moves from Sunderland and Blackpool respectively, may lead the incoming manager to surmise that reinforcements are needed.

Clearly a move from Everton to their local rivals would be a contentious one to consider but if Fellaini felt that the Anfield side had a team in place; a combination of solid financial investment from the club’s American owners coupled with a forward thinking young well respected manager like Brendan Rodgers, to help Liverpool to regain their place as a genuine title chasing outfit then it may be a move the 6ft 4in midfielder would be ready to consider.

Liverpool Spending Spree To Include Joe Allen And Clint Dempsey

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has reportedly identified a host of targets for a summer spending spree that will get his Anfield reign off to an exciting start.

The Northern Irishman is ready to return to former club Swansea in order to bring in Joe Allen for £10 million, while Gylfi Sigurdsson - whom he had on loan at the Liberty Stadium last season - is a £6 million target.

Another player Rodgers is keen to lure to Merseyside is Fulham's Clint Dempsey, who is worth approximately £4 million.

However, Dempsey has been linked to a string of clubs, including Arsenal, this summer with his deal at Craven Cottage having just a year left to run, so the Reds are likely to face stiff competition for his signature.

The Daily Star suggested Rodgers has been given £20 million by the Liverpool board to bring in his top three targets.

He freed up some space in his squad by allowing Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt to leave Anfield after six years in order to join Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

There are sure to be more arrivals and departures as Rodgers bids to revive Liverpool's fortunes following a season in which they finished eighth in the Premier League, 39 points behind champions Manchester City.

Liverpool Attacker Leaves Club After Six Years At Anfield

Liverpool attacker Dirk Kuyt has completed a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce after six years at Anfield.

As reported by BBC Sport, the Dutchman, who joined Liverpool from Feyenoord in 2006, has signed a three-year deal which could take him to the end of his career.

Kuyt, who made over 250 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 71 times, had become a fan favourite at Anfield, but found his first team opportunities limited last season, with then-club boss Kenny Dalglish opting to play Jordan Henderson instead.

The 31 year-old was told earlier in the season that he was free to look for a new club, after being informed that he didn’t feature in Liverpool’s long-term plans.

There had been speculation linking him with a return to Feyenoord, as well as a lucrative move to Serie A with Fiorentina. However, it is Turkish giants Fenerbahce who have won the race for Kuyt’s signature.

Despite his six years on Merseyside, Kuyt won only one trophy, this year’s Carling Cup, in which he came on as a substitute and scored late on.

Injury Woes Anger Gerrard

England skipper Steven Gerrard has spoken of his anger at seeing England's Euro 2012 preparations disrupted by a spate of untimely injuries.

Since naming his 23-man squad for this summer's European Championship, Roy Hodgson's pre-tournament plans have been rocked by regular withdrawals.

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy was the first to fall, after earning his first senior call-up, and Gareth Barry limped out of a friendly outing against Norway.

Hodgson's midfield options were then further depleted when the vastly-experienced Frank Lampard picked up a thigh injury in training.

England headed into their final warm-up match against Belgium on Saturday hoping to avoid any more scares, but saw Gary Cahill suffered a double fracture to his jaw after colliding with Joe Hart.

All of those forced to pull out have been replaced, but Gerrard admits their presence will be missed in Poland and Ukraine.

He said: "Losing Gary is a massive blow. His performances in the last six months have been colossal for Chelsea.

"He was a colossus in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. We needed him.

"I am angry because we have lost some big players with a tournament eight or nine days away.

"That's the blow and that's the price you pay for these warm-up games.

"To do well in these tournaments you have to have your big players and to lose Gary is another huge blow on the back of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry."

But, as regards the challenge by Dries Mertens which led to Cahill being ruled out, Gerrard said: "I don't think you can blame the guy because he was itching to score a goal.

"Maybe he got carried away but I don't think you can put any blame on the kid."

Kelly Gets England Call

Martin Kelly has been called into the England squad for Euro 2012 after the withdrawal through injury of Gary Cahill.

Chelsea defender Cahill has been ruled-out after suffering two fractures of his jaw, during Saturday's win over Belgium.

Kelly will become the sixth Liverpool player in the squad alongside Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson in Roy Hodgson's party.

A statement on the FA website read: "Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will be called into the squad – subject to agreement from UEFA's medical team."

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

Bellamy: I'm In Olympic Squad

Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy has revealed he will be in the Great Britain squad for the Olympics, according to reports.

There are three overage slots available in Stuart Pearce's Team GB squad for the London Olympics later this summer.

And Bellamy claims to have been told he is in line to fill one of those places.

The 32-year-old told The Sun: "I am in the Olympic squad - but I was supposed to keep it quiet.

"It's a different challenge. I had a difficult season with Liverpool but the Olympics is a one-off."

Pearce is set to name his 18-man squad later this week with veterans Ryan Giggs and David Beckham both in contention to join Bellamy in the Olympic squad.