Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Downing Predicts Bright Reds Future

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing says he will be fitter and stronger next season and will learn from the past campaign.

A £20m signing last summer from Aston Villa, Downing struggled to live up to his price tag last season and his first campaign was considered by many as a failure but he does not believe he was as bad as people suggest.

Downing who is currently away with England at the Euro 2012 finals said: "Criticism makes you stronger.

"You are always going to get criticized at a big club like Liverpool but it is a great club to play for.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my first season and I am sure we will be better next year."

Liverpool Enter The Race To Sign Kalou

Liverpool have been named as one of the clubs interested in signing former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou by the manager of German side Schalke.

Huub Stevens has stated that Liverpool are in the running to sign the Ivory Coast international, but he is confident of bringing him to Schalke as he believes he wants to leave the Premier League.

"Liverpool are in the market for him [Kalou], but I know he wants to leave England. That can be an advantage for us," Stevens is quoted as saying in the Metro.

Kalou made the decision to let his contract expire at Stamford Bridge and has now become a free agent after six years at Chelsea in which he won the Premier League, four FA Cup's, the League Cup and the Champions League.

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will certainly be looking to strengthen his squad this summer and Kalou would be an attractive option on a free and with so much Premier League experience.

The 26-year-old struggled to break into the first team at Chelsea last season but his overall record for the club is quite impressive with 60 goals in all competitions.

Race To Sign Ramirez Hots Up

Bologna director Roberto Zanzi has revealed they are negotiating with a top European club over the sale of coveted playmaker Gaston Ramirez.

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

"We are negotiating with an important foreign club for Ramirez," Zanzi said to Italian newspaper Il Resto del Carlino. "But their offer does not satisfy us.

"The deal is by no means close to completion."

Earlier this month, Bologna placed a price tag of over £20million on the 21-year-old Ramirez.

Ramirez joined Bologna from Penarol in 2010 and scored eight goals in 33 league appearances last season to help the Rossoblu finish ninth in Serie A.

The South American is under contract with Bologna until June 2016.

Liverpool Alerted As Dutch International Prepares To Leave Juventus

Eljero Elia has put a number of clubs on alert after revealing that he will be leaving Serie A champions Juventus in the coming weeks after a campaign of personal disappointment.

While Juventus remained unbeaten throughout the season to claim the Italian title, Elia spent the vast majority of the campaign on the bench as he struggled to break into the first team.

The 25-year-old made just four appearances in the league and has now revealed that he is determined to leave in order to find a club where he can play more regularly.

"I'll leave Juventus. I've already agreed with Juventus that I will be joining another club," Elia announced on Dutch TV channel Eredvisie Live. "I just have the desire to start enjoying football again and my agent is evaluating all offers."

Talksport has reported that Liverpool are one of the clubs that has been strongly linked with a move for the Holland international who just missed out on a place in the squad for Euro 2012.

Elia was a member of the 2010 World Cup squad that made the final, but his lack of appearances last season made it near impossible for Ber van Marwijk to pick him for the Euro's.

Liverpool's new boss Brendan Rodgers is yet to make his first signing for the club, but will certainly have been interested to hear the comments of the Juventus winger, as the Reds did struggle in wide area's last season.

Mugubi Linked With Liverpool

English Premier League side Liverpool is reportedly chasing the signature of Kenyan defensive midfielder Victor Mugubi Wanyama.

Sources told that new Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers had included Mugubi in a list of potential signings in the summer and his agent has been in contact with the Celtic's midfielder who is on international duty in Namibia.

"Mugubi has been receiving calls from his agent while in the Harambee Stars camp in Namibia where he has been getting briefings on the interest showed by Liverpool even though there nothing is conclusive yet," the source told

Mugubi was instrumental for Scottish side Celtic last season helping them to a league title and has also been at the core of Harambee Stars’ World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

He moved from Germinal Beerschot to The SPL at the start of last season.

Liverpool Ready Tello Move

Liverpool are ready to offer €10m in order to secure the services of Barcelona front-man Christian Tello, suggest reports in Sport.

The Reds are hoping to convince the Blaugrana youngster, who forced his way into Pep Guardiola’s first team netting seven times in 22 appearances.

New manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to bolster his attacking line for the new season and has earmarked the 20-year-old as a possible incomer.

And the Merseyside outfit will be alerted to the news that the Catalan side are prepared to listen to offers for Tello.

Suso Wanted On A Season Long Loan

Bristol City boss Derek McInnes is looking at Liverpool’s 18- year old wonder kid Jesús Fernández Sáez for a season long loan, suggest reports in the British media. The diminutive Spanish midfielder is yet to make his first team debut for the Reds, but has impressed at youth levels and McInnes thinks the player would provide the ideal dose of flair to his Bristol City midfield.

City is yet to formally approach the Reds for the loan deal, but Liverpool are unlikely to object to a move to Bristol. Saez is still very young and could do with some regular first team action even if it is at a Championship club. Bristol could use some hungry young legs in the middle of the park, having struggled in the Championship last season where they finished 20th, barely avoiding the drop.

Saez could give them that energy they need, while also benefiting from the experience of playing in a physical, tougher and more competitive environment than reserve team football.

The youngster signed his first professional contract, a three year deal with Liverpool on his 17th birthday, and should he impress on loan, a better deal could be in the offing later this year.

Liverpool Consider Cancelling Aquilani Contract

Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani could be freed from his contract in order to leave the club after it emerged that AC Milan was still interested in signing the Italian.

A report in Corriere dello Sport has revealed that Milan want to take Aquilani on another 12 month loan, rather than making an offer to sign him on a permanent contract.

The Italy international was expected to move to the San Siro at the end of his loan but he did not manage to make the required number of appearances to trigger the clause in his contract.

Aquilani has struggled to find a permanent home in recent seasons and has spent time at Liverpool, Fiorentina and AC Milan, but his future is still seemingly unclear.

The report in the Italian paper suggests that Liverpool would like to a permanent transfer for the midfielder, while it states that another option could be the club terminating his contract in order to save paying his wages which would work out to around £9.7million.

It had been suggested that Aquilani could still yet play for Liverpool after they appointed Brendan Rodgers, but it now seems as though this could be the least likely option.

With little interest from other clubs it seems it could be another difficult summer for Aquilani who has been trying to get his career back on track for a number of years.

Gerrard Satisfied After Opener

England has a platform to build on at Euro 2012 after drawing with France in their opening game, according to captain Steven Gerrard.

Joleon Lescott headed home the opener in the 31st minute only for Samir Nasri to beat Joe Hart at the near post with a fine strike nine minutes later.

England tired in the second half and fell deep into their own territory, but they held France out to secure a point from their Group D opener.

"We would have been delighted with a win, but as you saw France have got fantastic players," said Gerrard.

"We caused them as many problems as they caused us so we're satisfied with the performance.

"But we said before the game that win, lose or draw we wouldn't get carried away and that this was just a platform.

Gerrard was impressed by the performance of 18-year-old Arsenal player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was preferred ahead of Stewart Downing on the left flank.

"They're young players, but good players. Wayne Rooney showed all those years ago that if you're good enough, you're old enough," said Gerrard.

"Oxlade-Chamberlain showed that he's good enough for this level.

"He's still got a lot of learning to do, but playing with experienced players he'll get there."