Friday, July 26, 2013

Liverpool Open To Benzema-Suarez Swap Deal

Liverpool would be open to a cash-plus-player offer for Luis Suarez from Real Madrid that could see Karim Benzema arrive at Anfield.

Starsport exclusively revealed this morning that Suarez was left angered at Brendan Rodgers' latest comments.

The Liverpool boss claimed Suarez owed the fans for backing him when he dragged the club's name through the mud.

Suarez was suspended for allegedly racially abusing Patrice Evra while he is banned for the start of the season after biting Branislav Ivanovic.

Liverpool has rejected a £40m plus £1 bid for Suarez from Arsenal, while Real Madrid are also said to be interested.

Napoli sold their star striker Edinson Cavani to Paris St-Germain for £55m earlier this month and Rodgers wants a similar fee.

But Liverpool would accept a cash plus a player offer, possibly French striker Benzema.

Benzema, 25, would fall down the Bernabeu pecking order if Madrid did bring in Suarez.

Ayre: We Have Rejected Two Arsenal Offers

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has backed up Brendan Rodgers' statements in recent weeks saying that Luis Suarez will not leave the club this summer.

After the close of last season Suarez made it clear that he wanted to leave Anfield this summer, firstly it was because of the English media's treatment of him and now it is said that he wants to compete in the Champions League.

Earlier this week Arsenal lodged a second bid for the Uruguayan which was worth £40m + £1, which was rejected.

However, speaking at a press conference in Thailand whilst Liverpool are away on their pre-season Ayre said that their stance on Suarez's future is unlikely to change.

"The situation with Luis Suarez remains the same," said Ayre. "It's never been our intention to sell Luis,” he was quoted on Sky Sports.

"We have received two separate offers from Arsenal and have rejected both.

"Luis remains a Liverpool player and is here with us in Thailand as part of our squad."

Liverpool will play the Thai national team on Sunday and Suarez will feature at some point, although he is still short of fitness, having been given time off following the Confederations Cup.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said, "He's three weeks in schedule behind other players.

"But one thing about Luis is he loves to play the game, he loves training and working. I'm sure at some stage of the game, he will play a part."

Liverpool Want Luis Muriel To Replace Luis Suarez

Liverpool is reportedly lining up Udinese youngster Luis Muriel as a replacement for Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker has made it clear that he wants to leave the club, with Arsenal seemingly in pole position for his signature.

According to the Daily Star, the Reds will turn to Colombian youngster Muriel if Suarez does leave Anfield.

The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in 22 games for Italian club Udinese last season, following his loan spells at Lecce and Granada.

Suarez seems to be moving closer to the exit door at Anfield after manager Brendan Rodgers insisted that Arsenal will have to increase their offer.

Liverpool And Palace Want Piazon On Loan

Liverpool and Crystal Palace are interested in loaning Chelsea star Piazon for a season.

It has been reported that Chelsea are going to let the young Brazilian go out on loan this season to aid his development, according to the Express.

The article has reported that the decision on where the midfielder goes on loan is in his hands and that this weekend he will look at the clubs interested in him.

The same story revealed that Mourinho has told the 19-year-old that he needs to have one more season developing his game before he will be considered for the Chelsea first team.

Piazon has already spent six months at Malaga last season, but it is believed that Chelsea want the youngster to now go on loan to another Premier League side so that he can get used to the style and pace of the English game.

Therefore, the best options for the player would seem to be Liverpool or Crystal Palace.

The article reported Piazon saying, “To be fair, I think I am too young to be playing at Chelsea. So I’m fine. It’s hard to break into this Chelsea team. It’s good for me to go out on loan.”

Liverpool & Arsenal Tracking Sinan Kurt

Liverpool and Arsenal have joined the battle to sign German starlet Sinan Kurt, according to reports.

The Daily Express cites speculation in the player’s homeland when claiming that Valencia and Porto are also interested in the 17-year-old, who has been earning comparisons with Marco Reus.

Kurt, who has been capped at youth level for his country, is an imposing forward currently plying his trade with Borussia Monchengladbach.

And, a source close to the youngster has confirmed that Kurt is a player big clubs will be keeping a close eye on, and that he has all the attributes to have a wonderful career.

"The big clubs will always previously ran to the young players. Kurt is one of those guys who are seen to have a great career,” the source is quoted as saying in the Express.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger already has a track record of bringing young Germans to north London, with Serge Gnabry and Thomas EIsfeld challenging for first team places at the Emirates Stadium.

Kurt could follow in their footsteps with the Gunners – if Wenger can lure the player to the Premier League.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have less tradition with German players, but one of the finest academies in England at Melwood.

Brendan Rodgers has also shown that he’s willing to bring young players into the Reds’ senior side quickly, and that could be a potential transfer carrot at Anfield.

Liverpool Ahead In Bernard Race

Liverpool has stolen a march on rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in the race to sign Atletico Mineiro playmaker Bernard.

The Brazil international is considered to be one of the hottest footballing properties in the world at this moment in time and a host of European clubs are known to be interested in the 20-year-old.

The youngster contributed to his side’s first Copa Libertadores triumph on Thursday and it is expected that the final will be his final game for the club.

Arsenal had reportedly agreed a deal to sign the midfielder but manager Arsene Wenger dismissed the reports as simply ‘not true ‘ and sources have now told SportsDirect News that Liverpool are now the frontrunners for Bernard.

The player will be allowed to leave the Brazilian club should they receive an offer to the tune of £22 million and the Merseyside club could soon be handed a massive windfall by Arsenal who are looking to sign striker Luis Suarez.

Liverpool has already rejected a £40 million-plus-£1 bid from the Gunner as they value the Uruguay international nearer to the £50 million mark.

Tottenham were interested in the playmaker but have since turned their attention to Valencia’s Roberto Soldado as they look to solve their striker problem this summer.

Arsenal still have Bernard on their radar and Liverpool will also face competition for the Brazilian's signature from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, who recently lost Fernandinho to Manchester City, and Portuguese outfit FC Porto.

Rodgers Confirms Napoli Loan For Reina

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that goalkeeper Pepe Reina will join Serie A side Napoli on loan.

The 30-year-old's future at Anfield has been in question ever since the arrival of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland last month in a deal reported to be worth £9 million.

Rodgers had initially talked up competition for places but also expressed concerns about the financial implications of having the two keepers on the wage bill and, following a successful medical at the Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday, a loan move has now been finalized.

"It was obviously a difficult decision," Rodgers told the club's official website. "From last season, really, as a manager I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club.

"On the football side, we have to protect the team and, at that stage, we started our search for another goalkeeper.

"As events transpired, that move [for Reina] didn't happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No.1 position.

"It's decided he will go to Napoli and we've got two very good goalkeepers still at the football club [Mignolet and Brad Jones].

"As a senior goalkeeper, he needs to be playing. It's a very important year for him with the World Cup next year. It wouldn't have served any purpose, both for the club and him personally, if he'd been the one missing out."

Despite clinching 25-year-old Mignolet on a long-term contract, Rodgers has, however, not completely closed the door on Reina's Liverpool future, adding: "We'll review it after the loan finishes."

Skrtel Happy With Liverpool Competition

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel understands that he won't always be guaranteed a place in the starting line-up at Anfield next season.

Jamie Carragher may have retired at the end of the last campaign, but the arrival of Kolo Toure and the emergence of Andre Wisdom means that Brendan Rodgers will have several top-class centre-backs to call upon this year.

Speaking to The Mirror, the Slovakian international revealed: "Every day is a competition. You need to work hard and show your best every day in training."

But this isn't necessarily a new concept for the man who signed for Liverpool from Zenit Saint Petersburg back in 2008.

"Since I came to Liverpool there have always been three, four or even five players that play centre-back. It isn't easy, but I try to do my best and I try to show my manager that I'm able to play," Skrtel added.

The Reds have yet to concede a single goal in pre-season, which is a good omen heading into a season when they will look to improve on last year's seventh-place finish.

With competition fierce, you can expect that Rodgers will be able to get the best out of his defence, as they all attempt to cement a place in the first-team.

Liverpool Use Technology To Keep Gerrard Fit

Liverpool are among a number of Premier League teams to use revolutionary GPS devices that collect an array of in-depth statistics to improve player's fitness.

The sophisticated gizmos provide excellent data for the performance analysts at the Merseyside club, allowing them to alter training schedules to an individual player and detect any early injuries. Liverpool is not the only club to have started using this high-tech software. Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, West Ham, Norwich, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea, Aston Villa, Cardiff and Crystal Palace all use the devices.

The gadgets are called STATSports Viper units - they can calculate the speed, distance, heart rate, dynamic stress load accelerations and decelerations of each individual player.

The GPS gadgets are also being used in Rugby, and Ireland star Brian O’Driscoll has seen the benefits this software can have on rugby training.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, O'Driscoll said: "The feedback we get is hugely important to our fitness staff in working out the time we spend on our feet on a weekly basis.

"In a nutshell it’s revolutionized professional rugby training."

Information collected on the GPS devices is stored internally and also streamed live to performance analysts and coaching staff on the sidelines.

The feedback acquired from these devices allows coaching staff to set particular goals for individual players, meaning improvements can be made quickly and efficiently.

Sean O'Connor is one of the founders of the GPS software: "The GPS is used by all our clubs every single session.

"The more data you have the powerful it becomes. You establish a profile for each player and know their benchmarks.

"You get incredibly accurate data on players’ movements, efficiency, and biomechanics. Every player has a style of running, how he hits the ground, and if he starts to fatigue you can see slight changes. They start hitting the ground heavier and it’s a sloppier movement.

"It has become part of their kit now, you’ve got your boots, your shinpads, your kit, and your GPS – away you go."

STATSports Viper units have without doubt revolutionized the way training is done in football, it won't be long before we see all professional clubs using these impressive devices.