Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rodgers Looking For Players Who Can Play Multiple Positions

Brendan Rodgers says he's targeting players who have the flexibility to play across the pitch for the remainder of the January transfer window, with the Liverpool manager singing the praises of the club's recent acquisition of striker Daniel Sturridge.

Rodgers has long been honest about the fact that the Reds need a serious injection of players in the winter window, after having a disappointing summer and missing out on deadline day target Clint Dempsey.

Sturridge has already been signed for the club and scored twice in two games, but Liverpool is looking to find more reinforcements before January 31st rolls around.

"It's about getting good players onto the field who can fit into the model and the structure," he said in the Liverpool Echo. "The shape of the team you shouldn't see so much when you've got the ball - it's more when you haven't got it.

But Rodgers added: "It's important you have balance as well.

"For me that's the challenge. I want to have good players in the club and keep building our squad, but there needs to be balance as well.

"The players that we're bringing in need to be flexible, be able to play in a number of different positions.

"It's important then that everyone knows their job when they haven't got the ball and we showed that in the second half [against Manchester United]."

Sturridge has so been a wild success so far for Liverpool, with the England international changing the game as he came onto the pitch for the side against United at the weekend.

And though some have criticized Rodgers for not starting the star in the match, he claims that he wanted to make sure Sturridge could handle the pressure amongst a squad who have been putting in promising performances of late.

"Daniel was terrific, but we've won seven of our last nine games so the team has been doing well and the players have been doing well," he explained.

"It's just a feeling that you get.

"Of course if I'd thought he could have lasted the game then we'd have put him in.

"I thought we'd start trying to be solid and tight, while still creating chances, then once the game opened up a bit Daniel could come on with his pace and power and affect the game.

"But I thought he was terrific second half."

Suarez: United Control Media

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has claimed that he receives unfair criticism - declaring that Manchester United control the British media.

Suarez has admitted he 'invented' a foul during a Premier League match against Stoke earlier this season, but believes he was treated unfairly over his controversial FA Cup goal against Mansfield.

The striker scored what turned out to be the winning goal against the non-league side after handling the ball. And in a television interview with Fox Sports Argentina, the Uruguay international has hit out at his critics.

He claimed: "Manchester United controls the media, they are powerful and the media will always help them."

Suarez insists that his handball against Mansfield was accidental, although he admitted to trying to win a penalty against Stoke.

He said: "I don't listen all the nonsense some people say about me. I'm accused of cheating here. People say I throw myself all the time inside the box.

"Let's see: they said that when we played against Stoke, for instance, and in that case they were right. I invented a foul because we were drawing 1-1 against Stoke and I wanted to win.

"Sometimes on the pitch I say to myself: 'What have I done?' But the name of Suarez sells papers.

"The other day, for instance, I touched the ball with my hand accidentally, and I was criticized because I kissed my hand.

"The media make up a lot of things about me because they want to sell papers. I say to the media: You should talk more about football, not about other stuff."

Suarez claims that the media treat South American players such as himself, and Manchester City's Argentinian forwards Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, with a lack of respect.

He added: "When someone comes and says to me something bad about being a South American, I don't cry, because that happens inside the pitch.

"I have my conscience clean. But as I have said: Manchester United controls the media, they are powerful and the media will always help them.

"I can help Liverpool today. We are united and we can play well. Liverpool doesn't depend on me. "It's complicated to play here in England. As Carlitos (Tevez) and Kun (Aguero) have said, it's complicated for a South American footballer to be here as we are treated differently to the local footballers.

"But they have their culture, they are like this, you know. I have to play football, which is what I always wanted, but I have suffered a lot for being a footballer."

Atletico Madrid Target Liverpool Goalkeeper

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina could be a summer target for Atletico Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

The Spaniard has endured a mixed season at Anfield, failing to immediately dislodge Brad Jones once he had recovered from a hamstring injury.

Reina has now regained his place, but he has been linked with a move away from Anfield, with Arsenal reportedly keen on signing the 30-year-old.

And now AS have claimed that Atletico are considering making an offer for Reina this summer.
On-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Coutrois has been first-choice at Atletico for the past two seasons, but the Belgian is expected to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

And Reina is reportedly high on Atletico's list of potential replacements, although Osasuna stopper Andres Fernandez is their prime target.

But the newspaper report that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are weighing up moves for Fernandez, meaning Atletico need a back-up plan - with Reina thought to be a likely candidate.

Liverpool Could Still Sign Wesley Sneijder

Liverpool is reportedly set to step up their efforts to sign Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder during the January transfer window, as the Dutchman's protracted move to Galatasaray stalls.

Sneijder appears destined to leave Inter Milan before the transfer deadline, and had looked set to join Galatasaray after the Turkish club agreed a fee of €10 million for his signature.

However, according to, Liverpool is now back in the race to sign Sneijder as Brendan Rodgers strives to bring further reinforcements to Anfield before the close of the window.

Sneijder reportedly would rather a switch to the Premier League than a transfer to Turkey and is holding out for move to England as Liverpool prepares a financial package to tempt the 28-year-old to Merseyside.

Liverpool, it is claimed, held talks with Sneijder's representatives on Monday and could afford to meet the demands of the player after freeing up the wages of Nuri Sahin and Joe Cole.

Sahin left Liverpool only halfway through his loan from Real Madrid - joining former club Borussia Dortmund - while Cole had his contract terminated, and was allowed to sign for West Ham.

Slovenian Top Scorer Wants To Play For Liverpool

Olimpija forward Andraz Sporar has revealed that it is his ambition to earn a move to Liverpool at some stage in his career, reports Sky Sports.

The 18-year-old has scored seven goals in 20 appearances so far this season, which has seen him rise to the top of the Slovenian goalscoring charts.

And, as Sporar continues to focus on developing his game, and building his burgeoning reputation in his homeland, the talented teenager is not afraid to talk about his desire to one day play at Anfield.

"I'm quite ambitious and my goals are high," he told Sportske Novosti. "I will only be happy when I wear the Liverpool shirt. That is the club I support."

Sporar actually underwent a trial at Tottenham some years back, and is eager to earn himself a shot at the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers is keen to bring in and nurture some of Europe's brightest young talent, and will be encouraged by the Olimpija striker's recent comments, should he wish to take a closer look at him and bring the player to Liverpool in the future.

Liverpool Consider £10m Bid For French Striker

Liverpool is considering making a bid for Moussa Sow, according to reports, with the striker high on Brendan Rodgers' list to accompany Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front.

Sow has long been targeted for a possible Premier League move, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle all being connected to the star over the years, and his move to Turkish side Fenerbahce in the 2012 summer didn't calm the speculation surrounding his future.

The Turkish outfit have insisted that they want to hold onto Sow in the January transfer window, but Talksport are claiming that Liverpool are hoping that an offer of £10 million will turn the 26 year old's head.

The acquisition of Sturridge at Merseyside has so far been a resounding success for Liverpool, with the striker scoring twice in his first two games and having a huge impact when he came off the bench for the side against Manchester United on Sunday.

Working on the striking line up has been a big part of Rodgers' task this January, with the side letting Andy Carroll go out on loan in the summer and failing to find a suitable replacement.

The club is still yet to see the best from Fabio Borini, who has suffered from injuries since making his move to the club to work with Rodgers again.

And while Luis Suarez has been on fire this season for Liverpool, and is a contender for player of the season throughout the Premier League, the striker will need more support if he is to see out the rest of the season.

Sow would no doubt be a good addition to the squad if Rodgers wants even more support than what Sturridge has to offer, and at a price of £10 million he comes under the club's strict budget, which the manager has admitted will be relaxed in the summer.

Lazio Defender Waiting On Liverpool Offer

Mobido Diakite will seemingly not renew his contract with Lazio as he is waiting for an offer from Premier League side Liverpool.

The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has spoken to the Reds already this month over a move.

According to, Diakite has decided not to sign a contract extension and instead wants to wait for an offer from Liverpool.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito has proposed an increase in the player’s wages from €750,000 a year to €790,000 a year plus bonuses, but the defender is still not interested.

Liverpool Turn To Federico Fazio

Liverpool have reportedly turned their attention to Sevilla centre back Federico Fazio after missing out on a deal for Vegard Forren.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is believed to be in the hunt for a new defender this month, and long-term target Fazio has emerged as a cheap option.

The decision to turn to Fazio comes after Liverpool missed out on Molde defender Forren, who has opted to join Southampton instead, while the Reds have also been frustrated in their attempts to lure top target Modibo Diakite from Lazio.

That has apparently led to Rodgers considering Argentine enforcer Fazio, who has been put up for sale by Sevilla, due to their crippling financial problems.

It is understood that German clubs Hamburg and Hoffenhiem have both expressed an interest in the player, but he favours a switch to England, and Liverpool in particular.

According to AS, Fazio could cost as little as £3million, and given his ability to play either as a central defender or holding midfielder, he could add versatile cover to Rodgers’ defence.

Valdes Dismisses Liverpool Speculation

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has dismissed speculation linking him with a January move to Liverpool, insisting he is yet to decide his future.

The Blaugrana shot-stopper has been with the club for over 20 years but his contract expires in the summer of 2014 and talks over a new deal have hit a standstill, sparking reports that he is ready to leave Camp Nou.

However, the 31-year-old insists he has not made a decision about his current situation and took to Twitter to reject rumours of any imminent transfer deal.

"Hi everyone, I want to declare that I haven't said anything regarding my future yet - I will do when the time comes,” Valdes tweeted.

Liverpool has been linked with the goalkeeper amid worries about Pepe Reina’s form, with the Spanish goalkeeper having received criticism for a dip in his performance levels this season.

Were the Reds to move for Valdes, reports have suggested that Barcelona would look to sign Manchester United’s David De Gea as a replacement.

Nevertheless, Valdes added: "Everything that has been said in this respect are speculations."

In his time with Barcelona, Valdes has won La Liga five times, the Champions League three times and the Copa Del Rey twice.

No Regrets About Missing Out On Dempsey

Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, has no regrets losing Clint Dempsey to fourth place rival Tottenham in the summer.

Missing out on the American left boss Brendan Rodgers short of attacking options having let Andy Carroll join West Ham on loan but owners Fenway Sports Group refused to sanction a £6 million deal to sign Dempsey, 29, from Fulham last August, and he ended up joining Tottenham instead.

FSG's policy is to focus on signing players under the age of 24, and it was felt that Dempsey offered little resale value.

One of Ayre's main roles at Anfield is to discuss transfer negotiations and he recently helped sign Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea for £12 million.

"The issue came down to a particular deal and a particular price or structure to that deal. It wasn't right to do it," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Likewise the interest in certain other players wasn't right. Sometimes you have to be stronger for the greater good.

"People may feel they want to criticize the fact we didn't have an additional striker. But at what price would you sacrifice spending for something that is not in the long-term interests of the club versus what we just did, which was getting a great price on a great player in Daniel Sturridge?

"If we had spent that money in the summer then we wouldn't have done that trade recently. It may have left us short, but the pieces just did not come together. We've come through that period now. I still feel it was the right decision."

Borini Vows To Prove Worth To Liverpool Fans

Fabio Borini has vowed to prove himself to Liverpool fans following his return from injury.

The £10.5 million summer signing from Roma, who was a member of Italy’s Euro 2012 squad, struggled to make an impact to the Reds prior to breaking a bone in his foot three months ago, and is yet to score in the Premier League for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

However, after making his comeback as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday and the Italian hopes he can finally display his best form for the Reds

"My Liverpool career is actually starting now, I think,” Borini told the club’s official website. “I'd only played five league games and six or seven games in the Europa League [before the injury], which is not a lot.

"It really starts now with great intensity week in, week out to get playing again."

The Italian revealed his delight at making his return from injury at the weekend, and is now hoping his injury problems can remain just a thing of the past.

"It's great to be back at Liverpool. It was good to come back, especially in a big game and play 30 minutes as we tried our best to get a draw," he said.

"When I was stood on the touchline, I felt good. All the memories of the last three months and the things I've been through went from my mind.

"I put all my worries and the bad things about the injury behind me, and looked forward to all the positive things on the pitch.”

"It was extremely frustrating because in the last three years I have got injured for three months every year in October.

"I haven't played a full season yet because of those injuries, but I hope they'll stop [now]. It's just been bad luck and nothing about me. They've been different injuries each time and not the same."