Monday, November 19, 2012

Giuseppe Rossi Lined Up As An Option For Liverpool

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is reportedly considering a gamble on Villarreal’s Giuseppe Rossi as he bids to solve his striker shortage in January.

The former Manchester United man would be available for a relatively low fee, as he would not be available for selection until March at the earliest as he bids to recover from his second knee ligament injury.

However, according to The People, Rodgers may be prepared to take a punt on the Italian international in the hope that he can help fire the Reds up the table in the crucial final third of the season.

Rodgers currently has Luis Suarez as his only recognized option up front, and admitted that his forward line will be his main priority to strengthen in the New Year.

‘We're looking to do business in the striking department in January,’ Rodgers told TalkSport.

‘The reality is that there was always going to be a bit of movement this season with the club trying to regain some of their money. This season was always going to be difficult.

‘We'll look to do something in the January transfer window, though. There's not going to be wholesale changes in terms of players coming in, that's the reality of where the club is at.

‘We're looking to grow over the next six months, we'll get some reinforcements in January and that will support the group who has been magnificent for me so far.

‘Hopefully in the summer we can build again.’

Rossi has not played a league game for Villarreal in 13 months, but despite his fitness problems, Liverpool will face stiff competition should they decide to move for the 25-year-old, as reports in Italy claim Inter Milan have already agreed a deal with the player.

Bony Tracked By Liverpool

Liverpool scouts ran the rule over Wilfried Bony as Brendan Rodgers makes plans for the January transfer window.

The Vitesse striker is the top scorer in the Eredivisie this season with 12 goals in 12 appearances and has caught the eye of the Anfield hierarchy.

Luis Suárez is the only fit striker currently available at Liverpool, with summer signing Fabio Borini sidelined with a broken foot.

And, according to reports, Rodgers sent representatives to watch Bony in action against FC Twente, although he failed to score in a 0-0 draw.

If the Reds were to express their interest in the Ivory Coast striker they would face competition from Chelsea – who have also been credited with an interest.

Juventus Confident Of Capturing Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is a target for Italian champions Juventus.

According to reports in Turin, the Uruguayan is available at the right price — despite a promise from Brendan Rodgers during the week that Suarez is not for sale.

The player himself has also said he is happy at Anfield and in the summer he signed a new contract that tripled his salary to £120,000-a-week and tied him to the club until 2016.

Juventus are believed to have had an enquiry for Suarez rejected in the summer.

But they are planning to return again in January and believe he could be prised away from Liverpool if the Merseysiders get a healthy profit on the £22.8million fee they paid Ajax for his services in January 2011.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has denied claims that he wants to take Suarez to the Etihad.

But Juve are determined to test Liverpool’s resolve over a striker they would value at £50m.

Chelsea Confident Of Suarez And Guardiola Capture

Chelsea want to sign Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and reckon they can land him by installing Pep Guardiola as boss, writes the Sunday People.

The Uruguayan's agent, Pere, is the brother of the former Barcelona boss, and Anfield officials fear the link will trigger the 25-year-old's exit.

Roman Abramovich wants Guardiola as his next manager, and dreams of linking Suarez with Atletico Madrid's prolific frontman Radamel Falcao - who is believed to be heading to Stamford Bridge in January.

Manchester City will rival Chelsea for the Liverpool star's signature, but the Blues are willing to match the reigning Premier League champions' salary offer, providing they can sell Fernando Torres.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will be determined not to lose Anfield's leading marksman, but even the £50million price-tag hanging over the South American's head is unlikely to put Abramovich off.

Meanwhile, Guardiola is currently enjoying a year-long sabbatical after leaving the Nou Camp in May, and despite strong interest in his services, the Spaniard is refusing to discuss his future until Christmas.

Carragher: Liverpool Can Still Make The Top Four

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes that his side can still make a top-four finish after their victory over Wigan on Saturday.

The win left Liverpool still seemingly struggling in 11th in the Premier League table but in real terms, they are just four points behind usual qualifiers Arsenal.

"We look as if we have not made a good start, but with winning on Saturday, we are not too far behind the top four," the 34-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"It is still up for grabs."

Liverpool are now unbeaten in seven matches and last year’s fourth placed Tottenham are only two points in front of them after their defeat to Arsenal.

"Beside the top two, and even Manchester United lost on Saturday, a lot of teams are dropping points all over the place," Carragher said.

"From our own point of view, we now want to kick on and make a challenge for that top four place because it seems that everyone is throwing it away."

Carragher also praised ‘brave’ boss Brendan Rodgers for bringing in new players and feels that this will benefit the side in the long run.

"The owners have come in and looked at it and thought they want to bring in a new manager who will promote players from the academy, which he has done.

"I think it does take time to settle in. It was difficult to replace players like Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt due to the financial situation in terms of us spending a lot of money in the last few years.

"[Rodgers] has been very brave putting young players in and giving them a chance. Hopefully, we'll see the benefit of that in the future.”

Jose Enrique Dedicates Goal To Unborn Son

Jose Enrique scored his first ever Premier League goal after 161 appearances for Newcastle and Liverpool during the Reds' 3-0 win over Wigan and dedicated his goal to his son, who is set to be born in the coming weeks.

The Spaniard's strike, alongside two from more regular scorer Luis Suarez, sealed a victory that took his side up to 11th in the table after 12 games.

After a tough start for new manager Brendan Rodgers, Enrique feels that a recent upturn in results is a reflection of generally good performances that have not been getting that which they deserve.

"I am very happy, firstly not for my goal, but for the three points. I think we are playing well this season but we deserve more points," the defender, who featured on the wing on Saturday, told the club's official website.

"We have to keep playing like this because then I think the points will come.

"Of course, I am happy for my goal. I have a kid on the way and there are not many weeks left until he is born so it was for him. It is a great feeling."

The former Villarreal defender is not known for his goalscoring and admitted that his celebration reflected as much.

"To be honest, the first thing I wanted to do was put my thumb to my mouth but then I didn't know what to do because I don't really score," he continued.

"But the most important thing is another three points. I am happy about my goal but it's about the team."

Kompany Finds Luis Very Difficult

Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany has explained why he and other Barclays Premier League defenders find it so hard playing against Luis Suarez.

Kompany has established himself as one of the best defenders in world football over the last few seasons but even he admits our Uruguayan causes him difficulties.

Analyzing Suarez's double against Wigan on Match of the Day, the City man said: "I'd definitely class him among the most difficult strikers to play against.

"He's always in movement; he's always looking to run on your shoulder. He does that very well.

"He is also a goalscorer, in my opinion.

"All this just makes it very difficult to play against him."

Kompany saw first-hand how potent Suarez can be when the No.7 tucked a free-kick into the bottom corner in our 2-2 with City earlier this season.

His goals against Wigan kept him at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 10 (13 in all competitions).

Rodgers Explains Tactical Change

Brendan Rodgers has explained the tactical shift that helped Liverpool overrun Wigan at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds were playing out an even first half when, 10 minutes before the interval, the manager decided to swap the impressive Suso for Jordan Henderson.

His side went on to dominate the second half, with Luis Suarez collecting his 12th and 13th goals of the season and Jose Enrique bagging his first for the club in a 3-0 win.

It is not the first time in recent weeks that an early tactical switch has paid dividends, with Liverpool improving after moving to three at the back at half-time in the derby and equalizing after deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

On his latest piece of in-play tinkering, Rodgers said: "I felt that the organization at the front end of the field wasn't what I wanted really, and you make a decision in the game.

"You can let it run but I always try to use my intuition and what I feel is best for the team at that moment. Suso had some nice touches, he nearly scored but that's a part of the game. I just felt that I'd flip the triangle around.

"We were playing two and one, and I felt that it wasn't so good for us when we didn't have the ball. Then just flip the triangle round and two players going to join in, and that seemed to work well for us."

U21s' Six-Goal Thriller With Chelsea

Liverpool U21s let a three-goal lead slip as they drew 3-3 with Chelsea in St Helens on Sunday.

Scotland international Danny Wilson had a hand in the opening two goals when his headers from corners were saved, allowing first Michael Ngoo and then Jack Robinson to fire home the rebounds.

Three minutes into the second half Liverpool were cruising when Krisztian Adorjan headed home a Dani Pacheco cross.

However, half-time substitute Jeremie Boga was to have a major impact for the visitors as he quickly pulled back two goals.

Lewis Baker completed the comeback from the penalty spot after Peter Gulacsi had brought down Patrick Bamford.

Marc Pelosi could have won it for Rodolfo Borrell's side but missed the target when clean through.

The U21s, who were watched by Brendan Rodgers, remain unbeaten in the league this season.