Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Liverpool Have Agreed A Deal To Sign Pedro Chirivella

Liverpool has snapped up Valencia youngster Pedro Chirivella on a four-year deal, writes The Sunday People's.

The 17-year-old midfield sensation is one of the rising stars of Spanish football.

Valencia is demanding around £3.5million for the player with The Merseyside club offering around £2m less. If no deal can be reached, then a tribunal will set the final fee.

Chirivella was on the verge of joining Barcelona in 2001 after Valencia accepted a bid for him, but the player himself turned down the chance to join the Catalan giants.

The Reds also tried to sign another Spanish youngster, 16-year-old Mario Rodriguez from Real Madrid, but he turned down their offer and agreed a four-year deal at the Bernabeu.

Liverpool Eye Move For Xherdan Shaqiri

Liverpool is ready to approach Bayern Munich to discuss a deal for winger Xherdan Shaqiri.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has turned his attention to 21-year-old Shaqiri, after losing out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund last week.

And after insisting that he remains active in the transfer market for new players, Rodgers is hopeful he will be able to land Shaqiri for a bargain price.

The Switzerland international moved to Bayern from FC Basel last summer, but has failed to establish himself as a regular, and faces an uncertain future under new manager Pep Guardiola.

Shaqiri is expected to meet with Guardiola next week to discuss his future, but it is expected that he will ask for a move away.

Liverpool believes they are in pole position to do business, and would be able to offer the player regular match time in Rodgers’ exciting new-look side.

Bayern is unlikely to part with Shaqiri without a fight, despite splashing out £30million on Mario Gotze this summer, but would be interested in loaning him out.

However, Liverpool is only keen on a cash deal, and will now approach Bayern to talk terms.

Shaqiri, a fast, versatile and skilful left-footed winger, can also play behind a striker or at left-back, and would represent a key coup for Liverpool.

It’s thought that Rodgers would be willing to pay up to £20million to get his man.

Liverpool Ponder Move For Ryan Bertrand

Liverpool wants to convince defender Ryan Bertrand to swap Chelsea for Anfield, as Brendan Rodgers looks to further strengthen his squad.

According to the Mirror, Rodgers sees Bertrand as the perfect addition as he tries to get Liverpool challenging for a place in the Premier League’s top four once again.

The report does not say whether the Stamford Bridge club is open to letting the 23-year-old leave, though it does claim the Blues could use him as bait in a pursuit of Luis Suarez.

It would be a surprise to many if Chelsea were to allow Bertrand to join Liverpool, as he has looked the natural successor to Ashley Cole in the left-back position.

However, Cole is still going strong and first team opportunities are limited for Bertrand, so he may believe it is in his best interest to look for more regular playing time elsewhere.

The report also claims Rodgers has been an admirer of the England international for some time and has worked with him before when he was a youth coach at Chelsea.

The previous working relationship could have some influence in what sounds a difficult sell for Liverpool; Bertrand would be giving up Champions League football and a likely title challenge if he were to move to Anfield.

Real Madrid To Offer Higuain Plus Cash For Suarez

Whether or not Luis Suarez stays at Liverpool, it's clear that this has become one of the most annoying games of Breaking Point in recent memory. Arsenal appear to be one of the guilty parties, with incrementally increasing bids that'll never actually accomplish anything, and Real Madrid, whose interest has been rumored heavily but never confirmed, has been lingering long enough to get some serious side-eye as well. But while we all know that Arsenal's all talk, Madrid are considered to be a realistic destination, and rumors today have the La Liga runners-up set to table a cash plus player bid for Suarez, with Gonzalo Higuain the player in question.

As with so much of this saga, there's nothing concrete to talk about other than people talking, so it's impossible to sift through what's real and what's fabricated. To this point the main outlets that have discussed/predicted the offer are Sky Italia and your aunt's friend's son, neither of whom has the greatest track record when projecting where players will be headed during the transfer market. Especially if your aunt's friend's son is Artur Petrosyan.

But it's an interesting point of discussion and a slightly less annoying (if that exists) twist on a deal that seems never-ending, would cash and Higuain be acceptable? And would the price tag be more important than the player? Right now the figure thrown around is anywhere from €7m to €15m, which, assuming the valuation of Suarez is still €45m, would place Higuain in the range of €30m. That's consistent with previous discussions about the player's value, and would seem to be a decent-enough conclusion to the conversation about the future of Luis Suarez.

Bayern To Launch Suarez Bid

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is set to continue his summer spending spree – by making a concrete bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

The wantaway Uruguayan has repeatedly aired his desire to leave Anfield this summer and has been linked with a number of top clubs.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are all monitoring developments, but Guardiola believes he has a genuine chance of landing the star.

The Bayern manager’s brother, Pere, is Suarez’s agent and SportsDirect News has learned Pep is set to use his family connections to launch a major offer for the 26-year-old.

Liverpool value Suarez at around £40 million, and are likely to dismiss any offers below their asking price.

That leaves only a small number of clubs in the race, with Bayern heading the queue.

Guardiola has been handed a blank cheque to build the squad he requires, and he has already splashed out on midfield pair Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara.

But he also wants to sign a striker, and Suarez heads his shortlist – though he is also said to hold an interest in Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

Liverpool Confirm Arsenal’s Bid For Luis Suarez

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has confirmed the club has received an offer for Luis Suarez from Arsenal, but insists the Reds remain determined to persuade the unsettled striker his future lies at Anfield.

Suarez has made it clear he wants to move away from Merseyside this summer, going on record during several interviews in his homeland to state his desire to play Champions League football.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid have all been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, with the Gunners widely reported to have lodged a £30million bid last week.

Ayre has now confirmed the Londoners made an official offer but has brushed off any suggestion that the Reds are ready to do business.

‘I’ve heard him say it would be great to have an opportunity to play for Arsenal and likewise Real Madrid. But he certainly hasn’t called me up and said he wants to leave,’ Ayre told Bloomberg.

‘We had an offer which is fairly public from Arsenal. We said no to that offer, and as far as we’re concerned he turns up for training when he’s due back. And we’ll move forward on that basis.

‘We get offers for lots of our players at different times. Unless we get to a situation where that player absolutely doesn’t want to be here and we don’t want him to be here then that’s a different kettle of fish.

‘Right now we’d love to see Luis put on a Liverpool shirt for this season and beyond and we hope that once he gets back things will settle down.

‘This is an ambitious young player, he’s talked in the media about wanting to play in the Champions League and all these things. It’s our job to convince Luis that this is the right place to achieve those things.’

Gerrard Extension Confirmed

Liverpool has confirmed that captain Steven Gerrard has signed an extension to his contract which will keep him at Anfield for the next two seasons at least.

The 33-year-old England midfielder has spent his whole career at Liverpool and has clocked up 630 appearances for the club so far, scoring 159 goals.

He signed his new deal at Melwood on Monday morning and is delighted that it has been sorted out before the start of the 2013/14 campaign.

"I think everyone knows what it means to me," said Gerrard.

"It lets me know the club thinks an awful lot of me and want me here. There was a year left (on my contract), which was quite unusual, I think it was the first time I've got that far down into a contract.

"I'm glad it's all done and it's happened at the right time, before the season, so I can just focus on playing as well as I can."

Managing director Ian Ayre added: "It's fantastic for everyone; the club, Steven, and the fans.

"He is, and always has been, such a big part of Liverpool Football Club. Particularly in this day and age, it's rather unique to find a local player who has given his whole career to his club.

"We're pleased today to add an extension to his existing agreement and that keeps him here until the end of his career.

"We've said that what we'll do in two years' time is review it again and see how happy Steven is. We seem to always be happy with him, so hopefully we'll just continue in that vein."

Gerrard made his debut for Liverpool in 1998 and has won the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup twice and League Cup three times during his time at the club.

Hugely popular with the club's fans, he said: "I hope they're really happy (about his extension).

"The relationship is mutual. They have respect for me and they know how much I love them, so it's a two-way thing.

"People talk about my loyalty to the football club, because I've been here all the way through, but the club have been very loyal to me throughout my career and always rewarded me at the right times with deals.

"They've always told me what they think about me and that's very important as a footballer, to know that you're loved."

Gerrard Deal Delights Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his delight after club "icon" Steven Gerrard signed a new two-year contract extension.

Gerrard has spent the whole of his career at Anfield and remains a key part of Rodgers' plans as he prepares for the new season.

"I'm absolutely delighted, as you can imagine," said Rodgers.

"I've talked throughout pre-season about wanting to bring other players into the group, but this was one of the - if not the - most important signings for us.

"He's an icon here at the football club - a real iconic figure for players and supporters.

"I think he's still got a good few years left yet. His level of performance last year was outstanding.

"He's been a great support for me coming into such a club, a brilliant captain, he's got great values and the leadership he provides is second to none.

"Now he can really concentrate on his football and hopefully stay at the level he's been at."

Rodgers admitted he enjoys a strong working relationship with England international Gerrard, who has scored 159 goals in 630 appearances for Liverpool.

"I respect his loyalty and he respects that I am the manager of the football club and make football decisions, but will talk with him," added Rodgers.

"I always work closely with players. We have a good relationship and the door is always open for Steven as the club captain.

"He's the current England captain and one of the best players to ever have graced the Premier League.

"To retain the humility that he has and still have the eagerness to want to improve and be better, he is a real shining light and example for many players."

Philippe Coutinho Inspires Reds To Preston Rout

Philippe Coutinho has been Liverpool FC's top shirt-shifter this summer – shirts with his name on the back outselling even skipper Steven Gerrard.

A few more will fly off the shelves this week after the cultured Brazilian got Liverpool's pre-season program off to a winning start at Deepdale on Saturday.

Coutinho, who ended last season so impressively following his £8.5m switch from Inter, picked up where he left off.

Tripped by ex-Red John Welsh after 12 minutes he picked himself up to slide the penalty comfortably to Declan Rudd's left.

Jordan Ibe, another to end last season on a high, was still on a roll when he dipped his shoulder and flashed a 20-yard shot past Rudd after 36 minutes.

And second half goals for Raheem Sterling – assisted by Aspas – and then a beauty bent in from 20 yards by the Reds new Spanish striker, earned a comfortable victory.

The goals gave Liverpool The Shankly Shield – a prize to commemorate the 100th birthday later this year of the legendary Liverpool manager and Preston player.

New signings Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas all enjoyed a run-out.

Toure played the first 45 minutes and Alberto and Aspas the second 45 in sweltering conditions – while keeper Mignolet managed 80 minutes before making way, to a rousing ovation from the visiting fans, for Danny Ward.

For a team only back in pre-season training for a fortnight, Liverpool's sharpness and precision was impressive.

They passed themselves into trouble from the back in the fourth minute, when Agger's sloppy pass went straight to Chris Humphrey whose cross was just a fraction too high for Joe Garner.

But otherwise Liverpool's control was almost absolute.

Liverpool should have had another penalty when Fabio Borini was pulled down by Paul Huntington but referee Neil Swarbrick wasn't so generous a second time.

And the Italian was handed an even better opportunity after 34 minutes when Jon Flanagan's pass played him clean through on goal but after carrying the ball to within 12 yards of Rudd, he sliced the ball hopelessly wide.

But Ibe's crisp shot gave a true reflection of the Reds dominance.

At half-time both sides made wholesale changes.

Liverpool switched all 10 outfield players, while Preston introduced eight fresh faces.

The second half was a little more competitive, but only a poor touch from Raheem Sterling after Glen Johnson's outstanding pass stopped the winger having a clear run on goal.

He only had to wait 60 seconds for another opportunity, this time Iago Aspas' deft touch sending Sterling clear from the halfway line.

The 18-year-old kept his composure, skirted wide of Stuckmann and slotted the third.

After an assist on his first Reds appearance, Aspas then opened his goalscoring account with a beauty.

The Spaniard turned on the edge of the penalty area and bent in an effort left-footed to seal victory.

Rodgers Hails Aspas After Debut Goal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for the club’s new signings, particularly Iago Aspas, after their 4-0 friendly win over Preston.

The Reds handed debuts to Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto and Aspas at Deepdale with the former Celta man scoring the club’s fourth goal late on.

Speaking after the game Rodgers said he felt the Spaniard would be a bit hit with the Anfield faithful and was delighted with his forward.

"Iago works hard; he's got a trick in and around the box and he excites supporters. He's a good guy and he works very hard for the supporters,” he told LFC TV.

"He drifts well in between the lines and always wants to receive the ball. But what I like is that he wants to score goals. He's looking to create and combine or go solo by himself and get a shot in. His goal was a terrific strike.

The Reds boss also took time out to praise Alberto, who came on at half-time, along with Aspas at Deepdale.

"In the second half I thought the two boys did really well. Alberto fits into the mould of what we're looking to do here,” he said.

“We want technically gifted players who work hard and some of his touches were fantastic. He's incisive with his passing. And so I'm very pleased with him.”

Goalkeeper Mignolet picked up a clean sheet on his first display for the club and was rarely troubled as the Premier League side cruised to victory.

"Mignolet was very confident and very composed. He had a great day today,” said Rodgers.

“Everything he did, he did it well. And he's already integrated really well and I thought he was solid.

"[Kolo] Toure is a very experienced professional. I was actually watching him on ESPN when he played for Arsenal at Anfield in the 2003-04 season. So he's been around for a long time and he's a wonderful player. He's got great experience and he defends really well.”

Mignolet Grateful For Liverpool Welcome

Simon Mignolet has thanked his new Liverpool team-mates for helping him settle in after arriving from Sunderland last month.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper moved to Anfield for a reported £9 million fee in June and put in a solid debut performance during a 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Preston on Saturday.

After the game, Mignolet was quick to heap praise on his new colleagues for the welcome he has received since moving to Merseyside.

"I'd like to thank all the lads in the dressing room and all the coaching staff for the way they have treated me and the way they have handled me since I arrived," he told LFC TV.

"It's gone pretty quick, but I've adapted really well. I've been made really welcome - from the very first day, actually.

"Now I have the tour to look forward to, which is going to be a big experience for me and I am very pleased to be taking part in it."

Mignolet was rarely tested by the League One outfit but was solid when called upon, and now the Belgium international is looking to build on his successful performance.

"I'm very pleased to be out there, to play my first game and then to end up with a great result and a clean sheet. That's obviously what you want," he added.

"We played in front of a full crowd. And that always makes it easier to play, especially if you play the way we did in the first half in front of the Kop and in front of our supporters.

"They support you throughout the whole game and it makes it easier for you to play on the pitch. I'm looking forward to the next time."