Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Liverpool Could Land Kiev Star For Cut-Price Fee

Liverpool could revive their long-standing interest in Artem Milevskiy after Dynamo Kiev made the Ukraine forward available for transfer.

Milevskiy, who has spent his entire senior career in the Ukrainian capital, is out of contract next summer and Dynamo is looking to sell him in January to prevent him from leaving for nothing in June.

Capped 50 times, the 27-year-old will be available for a bargain fee of £1.6m when the window re-opens in January.

Liverpool has tracked the forward in the past and Brendan Rodgers, who is short of attacking options, could make a move next month.

But if he does he will have to beat competition from across Europe, with Lazio, Fiorentina and a string of Russian clubs monitoring the Ukrainian.

Liverpool Transfer Target Still Dreams Of Premier League Move

Borussia Dortmund forward and Liverpool transfer target Kevin Grosskreutz has admitted he still dreams of a Premier League move.

The 24-year-old was a key player for Dortmund last season - scoring seven goals in 26 league starts - as Jurgen Klopp's side retained the Bundesliga title.

But the Germany international has seen his playing time limited this term, following the arrival of Marco Reus from Borussia Mönchengladbach, and reports have surfaced linking him with a move to Liverpool.

Speaking to, Grosskreutz said: "Of course I'm not happy. Whoever is happy if he doesn't play is in the wrong business. I'm totally unhappy. I want to play, that's all that counts for me."

Reports had claimed that Liverpool were poised to offer Grosskreutz an escape route in January, but the Bundesliga star will not be rushed into making a move to the Premier League, although he admits it's still his dream to play in England.

"I have one-and-a-half years left. I'm taking it easy. We will see. The dream was there, four years ago - it was always my dream. But I do have a contract with Borussia Dortmund. Everything's possible in football but Dortmund is the first club to talk to."

Liverpool is expected to spend in January, and Brendan Rodgers has revealed he has a budget for the transfer window, although he remained coy on his targets.

The Reds boss is desperately short of options up front - Luis Suarez is Liverpool's only fit senior striker - at least until Fabio Borini returns from his ankle injury. And the Anfield boss has the deal with the extra strain placed on his squad by the Europa League.

Clarke Rubbishes Claims That Shane Long May Join Liverpool

West Brom manager Steve Clarke has dismissed suggestions that his forward Shane Long could leave the club for Liverpool in the January transfer window.

Despite suffering back-to-back defeats in the past week to Stoke City and Swansea, the Baggies have been in excellent form this season, still sitting in fifth position in the Premier League.

Republic of Ireland international Long has done his part in West Brom’s rise up the league, hitting seven goals in 16 appearances, leading to speculation that a move to Liverpool may beckon.

Clarke has adamantly denied any truth to such stories, underlining the club’s intention to hold onto one of their prized assets.

"Liverpool need a striker, Shane is playing well, so a lazy journalist puts it together and makes a story out of it," Clarke is quoted as saying in the Birmingham Mail. "Shane is not for sale. And I'd be very surprised if Brendan Rodgers wanted to take Shane anyway.

"People are merely looking at connections and making stories out of it."

Liverpool have been bereft of striking options other than Luis Suarez for most of the first half of the season, leading to the club being linked with a number of forwards in the build up to the January transfer window.

Brendan Rodgers side may have to take on West Ham United with no recognized striker in their ranks this Sunday, with the Uruguay international missing through suspension.

Sturridge Denies Wage Demands Ahead Of Reported Liverpool Move

The representatives of Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge have denied claims that the 23-year-old has demanded £80,000 a week and the assurance that he will be utilized as a centre forward ahead of a potential move to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers is believed to have targeted the England international for a January move as he seeks to strengthen his striking options, having failed to secure a loan move for the forward during the summer transfer window.

Reports this morning suggested that Sturridge had outlined a list of demands for his prospective new employers, a claim that has been swiftly dismissed by his representatives Octagon.

"Daniel Sturridge does not conduct his business in public,” a statement from Octagon read. "He also does not make demands in any negotiation, with regards to salary or his playing position.

"Any contract between a club and a player has to be based on mutual agreement."

The former Manchester City man has made no secret of his desire to play in central striking position. The forward enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Bolton Wanderers in that position during the second half of the 2010/11 season, scoring eight goals in just 12 appearances for the Trotters.

However, Strurridge has spent most of his Chelsea career as a wide attacker, a position he has subsequently taken up in his sporadic appearances for England.

Liverpool Blow As Barcelona Starlet Set To Pen New Deal

Liverpool's hopes of signing Barcelona starlet Cristian Tello have been hit after news emerged that the forward is set to sign a new deal.

Negotiations between the player and the La Liga leaders had become prolonged and for a period it looked like he was destined for the Premier League, with Brendan Rodgers showing interest as well as Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

But the minor contractual issues have now been ironed out by the player's agent Josep Maria Orobitg and the Catalan club's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, according to Spanish paper Sport.

The 21-year-old is expected to put pen to paper on a new deal this week that will keep him at the Nou Camp until 2016.

Rodgers Pleased With Enrique

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the versatile Jose Enrique for his recent performances.

The Spaniard, who usually operates at left-back, was told to step up his game in the opening weeks of the season or face the possibility of leaving the club in January.

Enrique has since risen to the challenge and has been impressive in a wide role on the left side of midfield, starting the Reds' last seven Premier League matches.

Rodgers is pleased with how the 26-year-old has responded to the challenge and believes that playing him further upfield was helpful.

"That was always the idea," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo about playing Enrique in left midfield.

"I felt that he was someone with tremendous ability, but I think its massive credit to him how he has taken on board the chats that we've had and the messages we've given him.

"He has listened and taken it on board, and that's to his enormous credit.

"I think the spell on the left side has made him feel that he can actually get into the box and be a threat in that way. Because when I came here, I wanted my full-backs to do that, to get up there and join in up there. That's vital.

"Jose never really did that at first, to be honest, but now you see he's had that spell on the side. I thought he was sensational [in a 1-0 win against Southampton at home on Saturday].

"He looks more aggressive, and it's fantastic for him. He will be very important in our way of working in the future."

Suso Hails Manager Rodgers

Teenage striker Suso has described Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers as being similar to a Spanish manager, with regards to his 'attention to detail'.

The 19-year-old has been at Anfield since the summer of 2010 - having arrived from Cadiz - and has made 12 appearances for the first team this season in all competitions.

And he believes Rodgers has certainly improved his game.

Suso told the club's website: "He pays attention to detail. If the team makes mistakes in a game or, if he thinks something was wrong tactically, he'll try to fix it by running through those plays again in training

"This way we don't make the same faults again. He's like a Spanish manager.

"He ensures that the players have the ball at almost all times during our training sessions. This is a good tip for anyone - if you're always touching the ball, your control will improve.

"It's not a method you associate with English football training."

Agger - Best Shape Of My Life

Liverpool star Daniel Agger insists he is in the best shape of his life.

The Danish defender has been seen as injury-prone during much of his Anfield career, but he has now played 13 league games in succession - his longest run since joining the club.

Indeed the only game Agger has missed was down to suspension after he was sent off in the opening match of the season at West Brom, and he admits he has changed his approach.

"I always enjoy playing football. It is being on the pitch not outside and the last year or so it has been good for me," said the centre-back.

"You learn all the time when you are playing football and I am doing some different things than I did a few years ago.

"I am trying to look after myself better and it is helping. It is just things like the way you train, work in the gym, how you recover - and I think that is the most important thing.

"It is also helping with the team around us, the physios and the manager giving us time to recover because that is always difficult in this league.

"When you are playing so many games it is hard to recover. You need to use the time well and the manager is really good at that."

Agger scored his first goal of the season to clinch the three points against Southampton and he knows he and his team-mates are going to have to contribute more.

Leading scorer Luis Suarez, who has 10 Premier League goals, is suspended for the weekend trip to West Ham and without another fit recognized senior striker Rodgers will have to find another way of maximizing their chances.

"Everyone knows Luis is a quality player and if you lose one of those it is a big miss," said Agger.

"Hopefully another player will step up because if you want to move up the table not just one player can get goals. It was nice to get on the scoresheet - it is about time - and of course I want to contribute more."

Agger also believes Liverpool are playing better under new boss Brendan Rodgers, even if results have not really backed that up.

After 15 matches of the season Brendan Rodgers' side are 11th on 19 points, 17 behind leaders Manchester United and seven adrift of Champions League qualification having won only four games and drawn seven.

A year ago, under Kenny Dalglish, the team was sixth, 12 points off the top and just three behind fourth place with seven victories and five draws.

There is more of a similarity between the two regimes in relation to their failure to convert chances despite dominating games but Agger thinks they are better now than then.

"The last couple of games we've played really well," said the Denmark captain.

"I think the Tottenham game (a 2-1 defeat last Wednesday) was one of the best games I've played in for a long time - we played them off the pitch.

"Confidence is a big thing here and I think we have it. We are brave on the ball, want to go forward and we are not just playing around and I think that is the difference.

"I think we are creating more chances than last season. I don't see the statistics but the feeling on the pitch is we are creating bigger chances.

"It is difficult to compare two seasons but it is feeling better now."

U21s' Unbeaten Run Goes On

Strikes from Adam Morgan and Krisztian Adorjan ensured Liverpool remained the only unbeaten U21s side in the country and helped Alex Inglethorpe to a 2-1 win over Fulham in his first league game as manager.

The Reds had already won their section of the Barclays Premier U21 league and the clash at Motspur Park was the penultimate game before the elite stage resumes after Christmas.

It took the Reds just two minutes to race into the lead as Morgan grabbed his ninth goal of the season.

The local lad latched onto a perfectly weighted pass from Dani Pacheco and dropped the shoulder to beat one man before opening his body and sliding the ball past Neil Etheridge for 1-0.

Inglethorpe's side were pegged back just before the interval. Corey Woodrow found himself in space inside the Liverpool penalty area, near to the touchline and rather than square the ball, the youngster elected to fire it over Peter Gulacsi from an almost impossible angle.

However, Adorjan soon restored the visitor's lead demonstrating a real striker's instinct to rush into the six-yard box and tap home after Etheridge spilt a powerful Pacheco drive.