Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rodgers Rules Out Liverpool Going On A Summer Spending Spree

Brendan Rodgers has indicated Liverpool will not be greatly strengthening their squad this summer due to the club not having a "wheelbarrow load" of money. The new manager, however, claimed that there may be a new signing by the end of this week.

Rodgers, who lost Gylfi Sigurdsson to Tottenham despite managing the Icelander at his previous club, Swansea, said: "We don't have a wheelbarrow load of money, there is not the money flying about people think there is. There certainly won't be as many [signings] as is being labelled out there. There have been a whole raft of players being linked and only a few are real targets for us.

"The reality is we have only made three or four inquiries about players and hopefully can close out one deal this week which will be a real exciting one for the club, one the supporters will absolutely love. We want to work with the great players we have here and make three or four tweaks in relation to the squad that can help the group. We want to be competitive in every game and challenging at the top end."

Sigurdsson opted for Spurs after failing to agree a deal with Liverpool. Rodgers would not offer him better terms at Anfield than those the midfielder agreed when he initially accepted a move to Swansea before the Northern Irishman departed for Merseyside.

"I don't just want to identify a player and then let them come in at whatever cost," Rodgers added. "One of the things which distorts the reality of football is money. I don't see the sense of a player coming in if we have to pay over the odds for him. There are many good players out there but not many who have the courage and bravery to play the way we want to.

"This is a club which is a way of life, it is not just a club where you turn up for two hours training and then go away. You have to be prepared to come into the culture and philosophy of the club and if you don't then it's not a problem, but this is not the right fit for you. I want players that are hungry to succeed and want to match the ambitions of how we want to move forward, and the reality of that is there are very few players who can match that."

Liverpool Make Second Enquiry About Fulham Midfielder

Liverpool is believed to have approached Fulham about the possibility of signing goal-scoring midfielder Clint Dempsey before the start of the new season.

Dempsey was the top scoring midfielder in the Premier League last season as he scored 23 goals in total and it seems he has suitably impressed new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Daily Mirror yesterday reported that Rodgers had made a second enquiry about the availability of the 29-year-old who has just one year remaining on his current deal.

Fulham will certainly want to try and convince Dempsey to sign a new contract but should he indicate that he is ready to move on then they may prefer to sell this summer, rather than risk losing him on a free.

The paper suggests that Fulham will be asking for as much as £10million, but they believe that Liverpool will try to land the United States international for around £6m.

Liverpool missed out on signing one goal-scoring midfielder in Gylfi Sigurdsson, who chose to join Tottenham, and will be hoping that they do not once again miss out to a fellow Premier League side.

Liverpool Alerted As Elia's Move To Werder Bremen Delayed

Eljero Elia's proposed transfer from Juventus to Werder Bremen has been put on hold as the Netherlands international has yet to reach an agreement with the Serie A champions over the termination of his current contract.

Liverpool were thought to interested in the former Hamburg man and may again look to make a move if Elia's proposed switch to the Weserstadion falls through.

The winger passed a medical at the Bundesliga side on Sunday and was expected to sign a four-year deal on Monday. However, the move has now been delayed following the dispute between Elia and Juve.

"The contract between Juventus and Elia has yet to be terminated. That's why he has not signed with us yet," Bremen director Klaus Allofs commented to Bild.

"It's about a few material things. There's nothing we can do about it to solve this. I don't know whether this is insurmountable."

The 25-year-old arrived at Werder Bremen's training camp in Norderney earlier on Monday, but won't be allowed to train until his Juve deal has been settled.

Milan Yet To Make Carroll Move

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers claims reports linking Andy Carroll with AC Milan are wide of the mark, with the Italian outfit having made no contact.

It has been claimed that the Serie A giants are keen to strike a loan deal for the England international after being impressed by his displays at Euro 2012.

Carroll has not enjoyed the best of times at Anfield since completing a £35million move from Newcastle United, but his performances towards the end of last season suggest he is close to recapturing his best form.

Rodgers considers the 23-year-old to be an important part of his plans heading forward and appreciates that transfer gossip will follow good players around.

He told Sky Sports News HD: "He's a good player, Andy. He will always be linked whether he was here or not.

"I have spoken to Andy on his holidays and he knows exactly where he stands. He's a very good young player and he will be linked with clubs like that because he's such a good player."

Asked if Milan had made an approach, Rodgers added: "I haven't heard anything from them at all."

Barcelona Starlet Tello Ends Liverpool Link

Barcelona youngster Cristian Tello has insisted his long-term future remains at Camp Nou, despite rumours linking him with a move away this summer.

Tello, 20, enjoyed a fine debut season for Barcelona, scoring seven times in 22 appearances and earning himself a place in Spain's Olympic squad for this summer's tournament.

The young forward had been linked with a £7 million move to Liverpool earlier in the summer, but has categorically stated that he intends to stay with the Blaugrana this summer.

"I still have a deal with Barca and I intend to spend many more years at this club," Tello said. "I am convinced that this is the right place for me and that I wouldn't be happy at another club."

Liverpool Fail In Real Madrid Bid

Liverpool are thought to have had a bid for Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero rejected, if reports in the The Daily Mail are to be believed.

Brendan Rodgers is looking to stamp his mark on his inherited Reds squad, and is eager to bring new players to Anfield this summer.

Granero is the latest homegrown player to emerge from the Real Madrid Castilla, and has been part of the Santiago Bernabeu first team for a number of years now.

Despite this, Jose Mourinho only selected the Spaniard sparingly in 2011-12, as the likes of Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso got the nod instead in the centre of the park for the Spanish champions.

That said, Madrid is keen to keep their youth product for the time being, and have rebuffed an approach from the Merseyside club.

Arsenal has also been linked with attempts to sign Granero in the past, but for the time being the playmaker’s future appears to be in the Spanish capital.

Rodgers To Test Aquilani's Toughness

Alberto Aquilani may yet have a future at Liverpool, if he can prove to Brendan Rodgers he has the necessary strength of character to succeed in the Premier League.

Rodgers is attempting to mould his squad for the new season, and he expects to announce his first signing by the end of this week. However, there is just as much intrigue in those exiting Anfield as there are those arriving.

Aquilani failed to impress during his first spell on Merseyside, struggling with both form and injury. A loan spell in Italy last season served a reminder of his qualities, but it appears Rodgers wants the midfielder to prove he can stand up to the 38-game Premier League campaign.

"I had a good chat with Alberto the other day, he's a good guy. It obviously hasn't worked out for him here yet but he's a player with the qualities, in terms of technical and tactical ability, to play," Rodgers said during Monday's press conference.

"What's going to be important is that the players have the steel and the mindset to play - that's something I'll find out from all the players during pre-season."

Rodgers also confirmed that talks with Craig Bellamy are heading in the right direction. The veteran forward was a key man for Liverpool last season and, despite niggling injury problems, the Liverpool boss wants him to stay.

"I had a good meeting with Craig last Monday. I've known Craig for a while and we had a good opening conversation. He's 33 this week, so he's pushing on a bit, but he looks after himself well.

"I'll speak with him over the summer and we'll go from there."

Olympic Call For Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been included in Uruguay's 2012 Olympic squad, along with club colleague Sebastian Coates.

A strong 18-man line-up also includes Napoli's in-demand forward Edinson Cavani, who continues to be linked with big-money moves to Europe's top clubs.

Suarez, Cavani and Arevalo Rios have been selected as over-age players.

Suarez's involvement at the London Games means he will miss part of Liverpool's pre-season preparations.

The Reds will, however, believe that his involvement in competitive football can only be beneficial to their 2012/13 plans.

Reigning Copa America champions Uruguay are considered to be among the favourites to claim a gold medal this summer.

They have been placed in Group A for the 2012 football tournament and will face the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and hosts Team GB.

Liverpool Reveal New Mascot

Liverpool will be hoping their new mascot 'Mighty Red' can give them a boost on the commercial front, but he won't be turning up to any matches just yet.

The club's American owners are trying to increase commercial revenue and see the new mascot as a good way to appeal to the younger Liverpool fans.

The reception the big red bird received from kids when he made his debut at a children's party on Sunday appeared to suggest Mighty Red is set to become a hit at Liverpool.

However, it seems it was a good decision not to allow him onto the touchline at Anfield just yet as he didn't go down too well with the older supporters, with some reacting negatively to the new member of Liverpool FC.

One fan told the Daily Mail: 'It looks ridiculous. We'll be a laughing stock if this thing appears on the touchline. It's just more Americanisation of the club.

'While it's fine for the kids - it will be good at children's parties - and is marginally better than the utterly dreadful Olympics mascots, just keep it away from Anfield.'

Although the fan did concede the new mascot was a hit with the kids.

The supporter added: 'I was there for the launch of Mighty Red and he went down brilliantly with the kids, who are the intended targets for this mascot.

'They ran like mad to get their goodie bags off him, they danced around him and queued up to have their pictures taken. They loved him!'

The mascot is based on the symbol that appears on the club's badge.