Friday, August 30, 2013

Luis Suarez Could Return For United Clash

Luis Suarez could make his long-awaited return for Liverpool in the Capital One Cup encounter with Manchester United, if the Uruguay international stays on Merseyside beyond next week's transfer deadline.

The 26-year-old's future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer after stating he hoped to leave Liverpool during the transfer window, with Arsenal and Real Madrid emerging as potential destinations.

Arsenal made two formal offers for Suarez but, with Arsene Wenger now having conceded defeat in his pursuit of the player, Real Madrid would appear to be the only likely candidates to sign him.

Real Madrid, however, remain focused on the acquisition of Gareth Bale in the final days of the window, and would have to shift a number of players before being able to launch a bid for Suarez.

The Uruguayan has now returned to full training with Liverpool after initially being banished from the first-team by manager Brendan Rodgers, and the most likely outcome after September 2 would appear to be him staying with Liverpool.

Should this transpire, Liverpool's match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 24/25 would be the first game in which Suarez would be eligible to play following the end of his 10-match suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic.

A return against Manchester United would seem to be a fitting way for Suarez to re-enter the English game given the controversy he has courted for the duration of his time as a Liverpool player.

Gerrard Confident Liverpool Can Contend For Premier League Title

Steven Gerrard has suggested that he thinks Liverpool can close the gap on Manchester United and Chelsea this season and therefore challenge for the Premier League title, it has been reported.

Sky Sports reported that the Liverpool captain is confident that his side can challenge for the top spot this season and are hoping to continue their 100% start to the season against United at Anfield this weekend.

The article reported comments made by Gerrard to the Liverpool Echo about trying to keep up with teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

He said, “Each year we have been trying to close the gap. That’s something we have been trying to do for a long time, not just with changes in the summer.”

However the midfielder did reveal that this year was different, “It does feel slightly different this year. The team spirit is really good and there is belief within the squad.”

“The changes the manager has made during the summer are really positive and hopefully there are still one or two more players to come in.”

Gerrard is hoping that the team’s recent form winning three on the trot will help them against their old rivals Manchester United, “We know it’s going to be a very tough match, but we’re at home and have got to take the game to them.”

Gerrard has never won the Premier League in his career at Liverpool with his best finish being second in both the 2001-2 and 2008-9 seasons.

Despite not winning the domestic league with Liverpool, he has lifted the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League club at the club.

Liverpool Rushing To Complete Sakho Deal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that Liverpool are looking to add Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho to their squad after watching two of his defenders go off injured in their Capital One Cup tie against Notts County on Tuesday night.

Summer signings Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho both suffered injuries as Liverpool needed extra time to beat Notts County on Tuesday night, leaving Rodgers extremely short of options.

The Daily Mail report that Sakho is Rodgers’ first port of call with Liverpool set to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Martin Skrtel, who has been linked with a move to Napoli this summer, is fit to face United, however, bringing back a possible partnership with Danish defender Daniel Agger, the article suggests.

“Kolo Toure has overstretched his groin, so we need to assess that, which doesn't look so good to be honest,” said Rodgers after the match.

“It was obviously disappointing with Cissokho getting injured so early on - he was distraught coming off as you can imagine.”

Daniel Sturridge scored twice to raise his goal tally to four from three games, whilst Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for his first goal of the season.

Jordan Henderson made sure of the victory in extra time after Notts County had clawed back a 2-0 deficit through Yoann Arquin and Adam Coombes, setting up a possible upset.

Liverpool Make Offer For Ukrainian Star

Liverpool has tabled a £19.7m bid for Dynamo Kyiv striker Andriy Yarmolenko according to reports from Ukrainian newspaper Gazeta.

The 23-year-old is highly-rated in the Ukrainian league and was described by Andriy Shevchenko as a ‘great player.’

He has featured 126 times for Kyiv scoring 44 goals and is a versatile through the middle or as an attacking wide man.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his desire to further strengthen his side before the window shuts in four days and see’s Yarmolenko, who has been capped 32 times for his country, as a perfect acquisition to his squad.

They may have to face a battle with Italian giants AC Milan after Shevchenko recommended the player to his former club.

If the deal does come off, it will cast doubts on the future of Luis Suarez whose future continues to be in limbo following his intentions to leave Anfield before making a dramatic U-turn and stating his desire to stay with the club.

Liverpool Open Talks Over Deals For Alderweireld & Ilori

Liverpool has opened talks with Sporting Lisbon over Tiago Ilori and Ajax for Toby Alderweireld as the club look to strengthen their defensive options.

The Reds, who are already without the injured Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates, lost Kolo Toure to a groin problem this week and are short of centre back cover.

But manager Brendan Rodgers hopes to rectify that with the double signing of Sporting ace Illori and Ajax hard man Alderweireld.

Illori, a Portugal under-20 international, was born in London and is keen to try his hand in the Premier League after breaking through in Lisbon.

Liverpool is believed to be ready to offer £6million for his services, and believe he would accept a switch to Anfield over the Spanish clubs who are tracking him.

A deal for Alderweireld is more complicated, with Atletico Madrid and Roma both already in negotiations over a switch, but the player has admitted his desire to play for Liverpool before – and that could be key.

Liverpool are expected to put in a £10million bid before the weekend, but consider PSG’s Mamadou Sakho as another option if the transfer doesn’t go ahead.

Liverpool & Villa Front-Runners In Ba Race

Liverpool and Aston Villa are preparing bids for FC Porto's Senegalese defender Abdoulaye Ba, according to reports in France.

Ba is understood to have resolved to leave Porto, after spending the vast majority of last season on the bench.

The 22-year-old made just six appearances in the Primeira Liga last year and played eight times for Porto's reserve team, who feature in the Segunda Liga.

Liverpool and Villa are two of several clubs believed to be monitoring Ba's situation at Porto, with French sides Rennes and Nice also having expressed an interest.

Porto are understood to prefer a loan deal but may even consider putting a transfer on hold altogether if fellow centre-back Eliaquim Mangala leaves the club.

Mangala has been strongly linked with a switch to Manchester City, who is reportedly ready to meet the player's buyout clause at Porto, believed to be in the region of £38.5 million.

Liverpool To Make Fresh Bid For Papadopoulos

Liverpool look set to launch a fresh offer for Schalke star Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

The Anfield side has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League side, and his return to fitness could see a flurry of activity to try and secure his services.

Reds Boss Brendan Rodgers is a huge fan of the Greek star, although the Reds have been reluctant to pay the £13m Schalke wanted.

Liverpool are keen to try and land the 21-year-old on a season long loan, with a guaranteed fee of around £12m being mooted if the Greek star can stay injury free.

Papadopoulos was able to make just 10 appearances, down from 29 in 2011, with his long absence caused by the need for a knee operation in November to help deal with a persistent injury.

A national newspaper claims Schalke want to settle for an upfront cash deal but know they will have to compromise over a deal because of the player's long-term injury problems.

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt revealed the club's stance on Papadopoulos' future, saying they were willing to speak to Liverpool if they launch a bid for Papadopoulos.

He said: "There are a lot of clubs to take into account.

"We're going to speak to each other when it takes concrete form.

Liverpool To Miss Out On Juventus Striker

Liverpool and Everton look set to miss out on the signing of Juventus Alessandro Matri after he agreed a move in principle to join Serie A rivals AC Milan, according to talkSPORT.

Brendan Rodgers was known to be a keen admirer of the £10million-rated man, as he looks to add to his already much-changed Liverpool side.

But he won't be signing Matri this summer, alongside Everton manager Roberto Martinez. The newly-appointed Blues manager was also thought to be tracking the movements of the 29-year-old, but it looks like neither side will sign the striker.

Juventus were keen on selling Matri having added former Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez to their ranks this summer. This meant that Matri could not be promised game-time, something that he craves in order to break into the Italian national team.

Matri was also keen on playing Champions League football this season, something that the two Merseyside rivals cannot offer. However Milan can offer this to Matri, having already qualified for the group stages earlier this month.

With both Rodgers and Martinez both having lost out on the Italian international striker, their transfer interest looks set to move elsewhere as they continue to look for players to add to their respected squads.

Gerrard Blames Extra Time For Toure Injury

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes the whole team must accept responsibility for Kolo Toure's groin injury.

Brendan Rodgers' side were cruising 2-0 at half-time of Tuesday's Capital One Cup second-round tie against Notts County before a second-half lapse saw the game head into extra time.

Liverpool won 4-2 in the end, but the victory came at a price as Toure was carried off on a stretcher and is now doubtful for Sunday's Premier League encounter with fierce rivals Manchester United.

And Gerrard believes he and his team-mates have to share the blame for not beating the League One side in normal time.

"There's no doubt playing extra time was a blow for us," Gerrard is quoted as saying by The Liverpool Echo.

"Kolo's injury came in extra time. He wouldn't have done that during normal time. We have ourselves to blame for his injury. We have to take responsibility for that.

"There's an international break coming up, so fingers crossed he doesn't miss that many games for Liverpool."