Saturday, June 30, 2012

Liverpool Eye City Defender

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a move for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott.

According to various English and European publications, new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers keen to broker a deal.

Despite forming part of a City rearguard that helped the club to their first Premier League crown, Lescott could be forced out of the club as Roberto Mancini looks to sign a new centre back.

Mancini is reportedly keen on Liverpool pair Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger with Fabricio Coloccini also on his radar.

While moves for Agger and Skrtel could prove difficult, Rodgers is hoping that the links with other defenders will unsettle Lescott and lead the way to a return to Merseyside.

Lescott joined City for £22 million pounds in 2009 and was one of the stars of England’s journey to the European Championship’s quarter finals.

The 29 year old, who has also played for Wolves, has been capped 20 times for England and scored his first goal for his country in the 1-1 draw with France in the Euro’s.

Reds Chase German International

With Bayer Leverkusen set for a pre-season friendly at Anfield could striker Andrea Schurrle find himself lining up for the home side as opposed to the visitors?

Well that's the feeling of Yahoo Sports at least who believe the Reds are interested in signing the striker for around £12m.

The 21-year-old has previously been linked with a move to Chelsea and boasts an impressive international record of 7 goals in 16 appearances (featuring twice for the German's at Euro 2012).

The former FSV Mainz 05 player only moved to the Bay Arena last summer but did not exactly set the Bundesliga alight with only 7 goals in 31 league starts during his first season at Leverkusen.

Striking reinforcements are thought to be high on new manager Brendan Rodgers' agenda following Liverpool's struggles in front of goal last season.

The club, under predecessor Kenny Dalglish, manager just 47 goals in 38 Premier League fixtures last term and their attacking options have since decreased with the departure of Dirk Kuyt to Fenerbahce.

The Dutchman's move leaves only Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll and veteran Craig Bellamy as notable forward options and Schurrle could be the answer if the story is to be believed.

In addition to an orthodox striking role, Schurrle can also play out on the flank which may make him an even more attractive proposition.

The wide areas are another source of perceived weakness on Merseyside with big money signing Stewart Downing disappointing during his debut campaign after a £20m move from Aston Villa.

Youngster Raheem Sterling offers the only other natural width option currently and on many occasions the likes of Jordan Henderson and Bellamy have been forced to play out of position.

If Liverpool's interest is genuine then they will hope that the presence of former player Sami Hyppia as Leverkusen's manager will aid any negotiations.

Liverpool Set To Lose Deal On Lacina Traore

Liverpool is reportedly about to close a £6.4 million deal on giant attacker Lacina Traore.

The huge six foot, eight inches tall striker, who is originally from the Ivory Coast, currently plays in the Russian Premier League for Kuban Krasnodar.

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is apparently on the verge of securing Traore, who will be his first summer signing since taking over at Anfield.

Rodgers is apparently hoping that the move will dramatically alter what he believes is the Merseyside club’s weakest current position.

The club has already lost some vital players and there are constant reports linking Craig Bellamy with a return to Wales to play for his hometown Cardiff City.

The team has been left limited with just Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez as striking options after allowing forward Dirk Kuyt to leave on a free this summer.

But the club could be given some respite with Traore stepping onto the scene, as the impressive goal scorer has already racked up 18 goals in his first season, ending the campaign as the third highest scorer in the division.

The news follows the reported £20 million signing of 21-year-old Gaston Ramirez.

Rodgers Tracking French Goalkeeper

Liverpool are exploring the possibility of signing France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as Pepe Reina continues to interest AC Milan, according to reports in France.

Reina, who has been at Liverpool since 2005, is on the radar of AC Milan, who are looking to replace the ageing Christian Abbiati.

New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is thought to be scouting potential replacements in the instance that the Spaniard leaves for the San Siro, and French newspaper Le 10 Sport believe he has his sights on Lloris.

Lloris captained France during their disappointing Euro 2012 campaign, and is rated as one of the most consistent goalkeepers in Europe.

The 25-year-old, who has been linked with moves to Tottenham and Manchester United in recent years, has racked up 171 appearances for Lyon since moving from Nice in 2008.

Liverpool & Tottenham Tracking Barcelona Starlet's Movements

Ibrahim Afellay is ready for showdown talks over his Barcelona future - with Tottenham and Liverpool watching developments.

Afellay wants to speak to new coach Tito Vilanova in the next week to discuss his plans for the new season.

Following a surprise switch to the Nou Camp from PSV Eindhoven in 2011, Afellay has failed to shine at Barcelona.

Injuries have halted his progress and he has made just 20 La Liga appearances since moving there - and Afellay is eager to be more involved.

The 26-year-old was given a break after Holland's disastrous exit from Euro 2012 and he's set to return to Barcelona seeking answers.

Liverpool and Spurs, currently fighting it out over Gylfi Sigurdsson, are long term admirers and will keep an eye on the situation with Afellay.

However, as talkSPORT revelead yesterday, the two Premier League clubs will have to fight it out with French side Lille, who have targeted Afellay as a replacement for Joe Cole.

Liverpool Miss Out As Tottenham Land Sigurdsson

Liverpool appear to have missed out on signing Hoffenheim midfielder Glyfi Sigurdsson after it was revealed that he would complete his move to Tottenham in the coming days.

Sky Sports have reported that Sigurdsson has agreed personal terms with Tottenham and will now simply need to pass a medical before being officially confirmed as a Spurs player.

The 22-year-old had appeared on the verge of joining Liverpool where he would have been reunited with his former boss Brendan Rodgers who took the midfielder to Swansea on-loan last season.

Liverpool believed they had beaten off interest fro Swansea, but it now seems as though they have also been trumped by Tottenham who are also expected to name their new manager in the coming days.

Andre Villas-Boas is the favourite to land the job and it seems as though he will be working wit Sigurdsson when pre-season training begins next month.

Hoffenheim agreed to allow Sigurdsson to speak to other clubs in order to push through a move and it seems he will now be playing his football at White Hart Lane.

Keita Not Interested In Liverpool Switch

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita has revealed he will not be interested if Liverpool make an approach for his signature.

Keita, 32, has been linked with a switch to Liverpool for some time, but is quoted as telling reporters: "I won't be going to Anfield."

The Mali international has been heavily involved in Barcelona's incredible success over the last four seasons, pulling on the Blaugrana shirt on 188 occasions as they achieved domestic and continental glory.

Keita has one year left to run on his current deal but has an option to opt out of the final season due to the amount of playing time he received last term.

However, the midfielder revealed last week that he is still hopeful of a new deal at Barcelona and is not unnecessarily worried about the lack of an offer so far.

"I'm waiting to talk to the club to clear up my future," Keita told Marca. "I want to stay at Barca, that's my wish. I'd like to retire at the club and I hope it will be possible. We need to sit down, see what Barca offers and wants and iron out all the details. My family is happy in Barcelona."

Skrtel Has Had No Contact

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is aware of the speculation surrounding his future, but insists he has received no approach for his services.

Transfer gossip continues to suggest that the Slovakia international is a summer target for Premier League champions Manchester City.

Roberto Mancini is said to have set his sights on the Slovakia international as he looks to reinforce his back four.

Skrtel, who joined Liverpool in 2008, has previously stated that it is his intention to remain at Anfield.

He says he is not about to waver in that stance, with no contact having been made by any of the supposedly interested parties.

"In the press there have been rumours about my future," Skrtel said on his personal website.

"I would like to say that so far I have not received any specific offers and I have not been in talks with any club."

Skrtel is currently back in his homeland preparing for the new season, and he is convinced that the 2012/13 campaign will be a productive one for Liverpool - as they begin life under new boss Brendan Rodgers.

He said: "I'm looking forward to the new season very much and believe we will be well prepared for it and it will be better than the last one."

Carragher Relishing Rodgers Era

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher admits he is looking forward to experiencing life under new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers is settling into the Anfield job after his move from Swansea City at the start of the month.

The 39-year-old arrives on Merseyside with a glowing reputation after guiding the newly promoted Swans to an 11th place finish last season, impressing many with their attractive brand of possession football.

Carragher revealed he still has sympathy for former boss Kenny Dalglish, who was sacked in May after the club could only finish 8th, but admits he sees the arrival of Rodgers as an "exciting project".

"We all look at how Swansea played last year - they were a breath of fresh air for the Premier League and I think that's probably one of the reasons why Brendan Rodgers has got the job," said the 34-year-old.

"He has a lot of experience coaching-wise - he's worked with Jose Mourinho. So we're all looking forward to it.

"Obviously we're disappointed for Kenny [Dalglish] and the staff because I got on well with them but we have to move forward and get right behind the manager."

Meanwhile, Carragher has sung the praises of Kop team-mate and England captain Steven Gerrard, who he believes was his country's best player at Euro 2012.

Gerrard was appointed full-time skipper by new England boss Roy Hodgson on the eve of the tournament and played a key role in the Three Lions' run to the quarter-finals, setting up three goals in the group stages.

"Steven Gerrard was England's best player by a long way. There's no debate about that," added Carragher.

"He's created a lot of goals and been an authoritative figure in the middle of the pitch.

"He's been the captain and I'm certain he'll carry on as captain until we get to Brazil."