Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Suarez Set To Sign New Deal

Sky Sports sources understand that Luis Suarez is expected to pen a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

The Uruguay international endured a difficult 2011/12 campaign and was believed to be considering his future at Anfield.

Italian giants Juventus were said to be among those keen to secure the South American's signature.

Liverpool has never offered any indication that a sale could be on the cards, though, with Suarez a key part of their plans heading forward.

He has returned to pre-season training following Uruguay's elimination from the 2012 Olympics, allowing him to get a taste of life under new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

It is understood that Suarez is happy to remain at Anfield and play his part in the club's quest to challenge for major honours at home and abroad.

So keen are club and player to put an end to the speculation regarding his future that a deal could be put in place on Tuesday.

Suarez signed for Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011 on a five-and-a-half-year deal, but fresh terms will bring him in line with the rest of the club's top earners.

Liverpool Consider Move For Real Madrid Midfielder

Nuri Sahin’s queue of potential suitors continues to grow, as Liverpool prepare to enter the race for the Real Madrid midfielder, Spanish reports suggest.

Marca report that the Anfield club is preparing an offer for the Turkey international that will meet the requirements set out by the La Liga champions. Real Madrid are understood to be more favourable to a season-long loan deal, or a permanent transfer which includes a reasonable buy-back clause. Despite only making two appearances last campaign, Real are reluctant to sell the midfielder outright.

Liverpool is prepared to accept Real’s requirements of the deal, as Brendan Rodgers seeks to add to his midfield numbers. Despite constant speculation linking the Anfield club with a move for Swansea’s Joe Allen, the midfielder’s ever growing asking price may dissuade the Northern Irishman from pursuing the deal.

Marca also suggest that Brendan Rodgers’ pre-existing relationship with Jose Mourinho may immeasurably help the Liverpool manager secure a deal for Sahin. Rodgers worked with the Portuguese manager while coaching Chelsea’s reserve side during ‘The Special One’s' tenure as club manager.

Despite playing in midfield for virtually his entire career, Nuri Sahin was recently deployed at left back in game during Real Madrid’s tour of the US. Arsenal has expressed the most notable interest in the tenacious midfielder, and it appeared at one point that an agreement between the Gunners and Sahin’s parent club was in agreement.

Liverpool Must Pay Big Money For Allen, Says Swansea Manager

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has warned Liverpool that they must prepare to pay at least £20 million for midfielder Joe Allen.

Former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has seemingly made 22-year-old Allen a high priority target as Liverpool seek to improve upon their disappointing 8th placed finish last season, but the Anfield club have already seen at least one offer turned down by the Danish manager, as he seeks to hold onto the metronomic midfielder.

Laudrup has identified the big money signings of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in previous years at Liverpool as a benchmark in any negotiations for the Welsh midfielder, and feels that Allen should cost more than the two players.

"He is worth a lot of money because he's a good player," Laudrup told Sky Sports.

"The manager knows him and knows if he wants to change the way Liverpool play he needs a player in the midfield like Joe Allen.

"But he also knows he's very, very expensive. We saw they bought a couple of midfielders in the last few years for a lot of money, but with all due respect Joe is on a level above.

"In my opinion, if one is worth £17m then Joe is worth more, perhaps over £20million. I'm talking as a football man not as a chairman but if the chairman asks my advice then I will tell him the same."

Laudrup also seemed dismissive over any potential cash-plus-player deal for Allen, amid suggestions that Liverpool plan to offer the Swans £12.5 million, in addition to attacking midfielder Jonjo Shelvey on a season-long loan. The former Danish international rejected the idea of anyone not considered good enough for Liverpool’s first eleven joining Swansea.

“If we could have (Luis) Suarez ...,” Laudrup mused, when asked about the possibility of any swap deals. “We have good players here and they have good players, but I can't see a player not in the starting 11 at Liverpool being in the starting 11 in our team.

Liverpool And Arsenal On Alert As Barca Snub Spanish Starlet

Liverpool and Arsenal target Cristian Tello could be on the verge of leaving Barcelona after being snubbed by new manager Tito Vilanova.

The youngster looked set to be the latest star to emerge from La Masia, Barca's famously successful youth academy, under previous manager Pep Guardiola but he has not been given a shirt number in the 25-man squad for the coming campaign.

Atletico Madrid has also aired an interest in taking the 20-year-old on loan if Barca would prefer a temporary deal.

A number of lesser known Barca starlets have been named in the list for La Liga players which add gravitas to the idea that the former Espanyol man could be about leave the Catalan club.

Reds To Consider Agger Sale

Sky Sports understands Liverpool is considering selling Manchester City target Daniel Agger to raise funds for other signings.

As revealed by last week, City has seen two bids rebuffed by Liverpool for Denmark international Agger.

City is expected to come back with a third bid with Roberto Mancini keen to bring the central defender to the Etihad Stadium.

Barcelona are also thought to be watching Agger's situation at Anfield with talks over of a new deal at Liverpool seemingly coming to nothing.

Agger's future has been the subject of speculation for some time and rumours intensified after he was left out of the squad for last week's Europa League victory over FC Gomel.

Liverpool were hoping to keep hold of Agger, but it seems they could cash in on him if City up their bid to £20million, freeing up funds for Brendan Rodgers to strengthen the squad elsewhere.

Rodgers is already thought to be drawing up a list of defensive replacements for Agger should City meet their valuation for the 27-year-old.

Rodgers Identifies Agger Replacement

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is ready to return to former club Swansea to sign Ashley Williams, as Daniel Agger is targeted by Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mail, the former Swans boss - who has also been knocked back in his attempts to entice Team GB star Joe Allen to Anfield - is facing up to the reality of the Danish defender's departure, despite still having two years to run on his existing contract.

Real Madrid have also been monitoring Agger's situation, as Jose Mourinho prepares a bid to rival the £20million that City are ready to lodge.

Williams has been capped 33 times by Wales, and impressed in his debut season in the Premier League. At 28, the uncompromising defender is about to enter the peak of his career, and Rodgers hopes he can play a big part at the heart of the Reds' back line.
Whilst Liverpool are under no pressure to sell Agger, American owner John W Henry is reportedly tempted to sell, despite knocking back two bids by Roberto Mancini.

Agger played no part in the Reds' Europa League tie in Belarus last Thursday, intimating that his long-term future lies away from Merseyside.

West Ham Give Up On Carroll Pursuit

West Ham has informed ESPN that they have given up on trying to sign Andy Carroll after three weeks of chasing the Liverpool striker.

The Hammers were hopeful that an eight-year contract worth £36 million would have tempted Carroll, along with his links to Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce, his former team-mate and manager at Newcastle United.

But the England forward has no intention of moving down to London and a West Ham source told ESPN: "Sadly, it is true, we have conceded defeat in trying to sign Andy Carroll."

The breakdown of the sale of Carroll will make it more difficult for new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to land top transfer targets Clint Demsey and Joe Allen, though the sale of Daniel Agger to Manchester City has been mooted as a way of raising money to fund a spending spree.

Allardyce, meanwhile, has been forced to turn his attentions elsewhere in his bid to find a player to spearhead the Hammers' first season back in the Premier League, with the former Bolton boss thought to have a shortlist of three potential forwards.

Aquilani - No Doubts Over Move

Alberto Aquilani says he had no doubts about leaving Liverpool to join new club Fiorentina in Serie A.

Aquilani completed his move back to Italy last Friday after making only 30 appearances for Liverpool since his £20million move in the summer of 2009, as a replacement for Xabi Alonso.

New manager Brendan Rodgers allowed Aquilani to talk to the Italian side last week after deciding he did not want him as part of his plans for the upcoming season.

Although Aquilani expressed his desire to stay with Liverpool and impress Rodgers, he has admitted he had no doubts about his move back to Italy.

He said: "I had no doubts about Fiorentina because they wanted me and the project here is very interesting.

"Now the most important thing is that I will never return there and I want to concentrate on my new cycle."

Critics of the centre-midfielder have suggested that Aquilani was not fit enough during his time with Liverpool, and as a result was loaned to Italy with spells with Juventus and AC Milan.
However, Aquilani has hit back at these claims, saying: "There's nothing wrong with my condition, I trained well with Liverpool and did the same as my team-mates.

"However the club decided to sell me. I had a great experience in England and if I went back in time I'd do it all again."

Liverpool Shirt Sponsors Accused Of Laundering Money For Iran

According to the banking regulator of New York state, Liverpool shirt sponsors Standard Chartered hid approximately 60,000 transactions worth over $250 billion that it made on behalf of sanctioned Iranian banks and corporations over the past decade. The bank also sought to keep secret similar but less lucrative schemes with Libya, Sudan, and Burma.

Despite being a British bank, in all cases under investigation they routed the transactions through their New York operations, leaving "the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins, and corrupt regimes" according to the regulatory agency. Moreover, there were systematic attempts by the bank to scrub their records of any such dealings, and Standard Chartered is further charged with having created "a formalized operating manual that showed staff members how to strip off any information from the transactions."

Standard Chartered is said to be reviewing their United States sanctions compliance in the wake of these accusations. There is no news as to whether Liverpool will seek a formal statement of apology from the bank for any damage to their brand that might come from being associated with an institution accused of breaking the laws of the country it was operating in to deal with sanctioned regimes and institutions in Iran and elsewhere.