Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Liverpool Plan To Spend On Yaya Toure And Gervinho

Liverpool has identified Yaya Toure and Gervinho as top transfer targets as they look to replace the attacking contribution of Luis Suarez, CaughtOffside understands.

Suarez will complete his move to Barcelona in the next 24 hours, leaving Liverpool with a huge hole to fill and the best part of £75m in spending money.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to use £16m of his newfound transfer kitty to bring Gervinho to Anfield.

The 27-year-old joined Roma from Arsenal just 12 months ago, but he has a buyout clause in his current contract and the Reds are ready to activate it.

Gervinho was one of the best attacking players in Serie A last season, scoring nine goals and providing 10 assists in 33 league games.

The versatile star continued his fine form at the World Cup, where he was directly involved in three of the Ivory Coast’s four goals, scoring two and setting up one.

International teammate Toure was also in exceptional form last season, bagging 20 Premier League goals from midfield for Manchester City.

Toure has three years left to run on his current contract, but he is far from happy at the Etihad Stadium.

He was unimpressed with City’s efforts to celebrate his 31st birthday in May and he has since accused the club of failing to grant him time to spend with ill brother Ibrahim, who died month.

Toure is determined to leave City this summer and, fearing that he could become a disruptive influence, the English champions could reluctantly sell, with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Liverpool all interested.

City would rather do business with PSG because they do not want to boost one of their main domestic rivals.

However, Toure is settled in the north of England and he would prefer a convenient switch to Anfield.

Liverpool is hopeful that a £30m transfer fee will be enough to secure Toure’s services.

The Reds are willing to make Toure the world’s most expensive player in his 30s, as they feel he has the ability to lead them to their first league title since 1990.

Liverpool has also held talks with Chelsea regarding a potential move for 21-year-old forward Romelu Lukaku.

Liverpool Table Shock Bid To Land Marco Reus

Liverpool is reportedly targeting Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus in an audacious £45m raid according to reports in the Guardian.

Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers has bagged a reported £75m from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and has already started to invest well in the summer transfer market having brought in Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana as well as German midfielder Emre Can, but it seems the Northern Irishman has further targets in mind.

Reus is said to be upset that his planned move to Barcelona was shelved due to the Nou Camp side opting instead to bring in disgraced Uruguayan Suarez, and this could leave the impressive attacker’s future at the Westfalenstadion hanging in the balance.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach man moved to Dortmund in July 2012 with Jurgen Klopp’s side at that time the reigning Bundesliga title holders, however the club’s fortunes have faded a great deal since then.

Bayern Munich has marched to back to back domestic titles, opening massive gaps between themselves and their rivals, and to top it all off the Allianz Arena side first snapped up Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund and then this summer welcomed in Klopp’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski on a free transfer.

Reus may feel the time is right for a new challenge and having sworn to never sign for Bayern Munich which could narrow down his potential options.

A move to a resurgent Liverpool could interest Reus and the Merseyside outfit are ready to offer a club record £45m to see the deal done.

Reus can operate in a wide attacking role or in a supporting striker role, and perhaps working well with Daniel Sturridge, and has netted an impressive 42 goals in 90 appearances for Borussia Dortmund.

The cultured forward was named in Joachim Low’s 2014 World Cup squad but suffered an ankle injury in a warm-up friendly just ahead of the tournament that ruled him out of contention.

Liverpool Ready To Trigger £32m Release Clause Of Arda Turan

Liverpool could be set to reinvest £32m from the sale of Luis Suarez to sign Turkish midfielder Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid.

Manchester United and Arsenal both hold a longstanding interest in Turan, but Atletico have always insisted that the player would not be allowed to leave unless his buy-out clause was met.

That has previously prevented any of the Premier League trio making a move for Turan, but reports in Turkey suggest that Liverpool may be ready to trigger the £32m clause.

The Reds are set to pocket £75m from the sale of Suarez, and while Brendan Rodgers has moved quickly to bring in reinforcements, Turan's signing would be one of proven quality.

The 27-year-old was a crucial player in Atletico's rise to prominence last season, but Diego Simeone is aware that he will have to overhaul his squad this summer.

Diego Costa has already agreed to join Chelsea with Filipe Luis also headed for Stamford Bridge, while David Villa has moved to the MLS.

Simeone would be reluctant to lose Turan as well, but Atletico have been linked with a move for Arsenal's Santi Cazorla.

Cazorla could be prised away from the Emirates for approximately £18m, meaning that Atletico could net a £14m profit from the Turan sale to spend on other players.

Liverpool Line Up Jay Rodriguez Move

Liverpool are eyeing a move for injured Southampton star Jay Rodriguez but Brendan Rodgers also remains keen on Swansea's Wilfried Bony and QPR striker Loic Remy.

The Reds have already moved to land Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from St Mary's this summer, and also harbour an interest in Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.

Lovren has been forced to join the Saints on their pre-season tour of Belgium after new boss Ronald Koeman insisted he didn't want any more departures.

But reports suggest Liverpool could be set to test Koeman's resolve with a bid for Rodriguez, as well as refusing to give up on Lovren.

Rodriguez is out until October after suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament near the end of last season that scuppered his World Cup dreams.

But the former Burnley man was in prolific form up until that point and clearly captured Rodgers' attention.

The Anfield club have money to spend after agreeing to sell Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75m.

That has seen the Reds jump to the front of the queue in their bid to land Bony, while they look set to fight it out with Arsenal for the services on Remy.

It now remains to be seen whether Rodriguez remains on Rodgers' wish-list if he is able to land either of Bony or Remy.

Liverpool Dealt Blow In Shaqiri Pursuit

Bayern Munich has ruled out the sale of Swiss attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, who had been the subject of interest from Liverpool this summer.

As reported by Goal, the Merseysiders were willing to pay £15 million for the 22-year-old and held tentative talks with the German champions in June.

But Die Roten are keen to keep Shaqiri at the Allianz Arena – especially with Toni Kroos' future in doubt – and sporting director Matthias Sammer says that the former Basel star will not be allowed to leave the club.

"Xherdan is an important player for the future," the Bayern chief told Kicker. "There are no thoughts at all about selling him."

Shaqiri shone at the World Cup for a Swiss side who were knocked out in the last 16, scoring a superb hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Honduras.

The playmaker had been wanted as part of a new-look Anfield attack in the wake of Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona and had even intimated that he would be open to moving to the Premier League.

But with Bayern keen to retain a player who scored six goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances last season, Liverpool will be forced to look elsewhere.

The Reds are close to capturing Benfica winger Lazar Markovic in a £19.8m deal and the Serbian could be quickly followed by Belgian striker Divock Origi and Southampton defender Dejan Lovren.

Lazar Markovic Arrives In Liverpool For Medical

Lazar Markovic will take Liverpool’s spending towards £60million on Tuesday when he is confirmed as Brendan Rodgers’ fourth summer signing.

The Serbia international arrived on Merseyside on Sunday night ahead of completing a two-part medical at Spire Liverpool Hospital and the club’s Melwood training ground after Liverpool triggered the £20million release clause in his Benfica contract.

Markovic arrived at Anfield later, posing with a club shirt.

Liverpool have been pursuing Markovic all summer – he was a target long before it became inevitable that Luis Suarez would join Barcelona – and they acted quickly to land one of the most highly-regarded young players in Europe.

Markovic, who played a crucial role in helping Benfica win the Portuguese title last season, has agreed a long-term contract at Anfield and he joins Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can as new additions to a squad that finished runners-up to Manchester City in May.

The 20-year-old, a highly-rated left-sided attacker, will not be Liverpool’s final signing of the window by any means, with Belgium striker Divock Origi also close to joining Liverpool, while they are exploring reviving a deal for in Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno.

Liverpool are considering moves for, among others, Swansea pair Wilfried Bony and Ben Davies, QPR striker Loic Remy and they have not lost interest in Croatia defender Dejan Lovren, even though Southampton are standing firm. Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, however, is not a target.

It is set to be a summer of change at Anfield, as a number of players, including Lucas Leiva and Daniel Agger, could leave; while Iago Aspas is set to complete a loan move to Sevilla with a view to a permanent £4.5m deal following talks between the two clubs.

Liverpool returned to training last week and play their first pre-season friendly tomorrow in Copenhagen against Brondby; they then face Preston at Deepdale on Saturday before heading to the United States for a tour, where they will be joined by their six England internationals.

Sevilla Agree To Sign Aspas On Loan

Sevilla have confirmed a deal has been agreed with Liverpool to sign Iago Aspas on a season-long loan.

The Spanish club also have an option to buy the forward, while the move is subject to a medical and the relevant paperwork being completed.

The 26-year-old joined Brendan Rodgers' side from Celta Vigo last June but made just 15 appearances in all competitions last term.

Aspas' only goal during his debut campaign at Anfield came in the 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup third round.

Prior to Aspas' exit, Rodgers bolstered his attacking options last month with the signing of Rickie Lambert from Southampton, although Luis Suarez is on the verge of completing his €94 million move to Barcelona.

Liverpool is also expected to complete a €25m deal for Benfica forward Lazar Markovic. The 20-year-old has already arrived on Merseyside to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms.

Southampton Want Liverpool Full-Back

Southampton is reportedly keen on Liverpool full-back Martin Kelly according to the Daily Mail.

St Mary’s boss Ronald Koeman has to cope with the loss of a number of the squad that helped Southampton to secure an excellent top half finish in the Premier League but will hope to have funds to help strengthen this summer.

Luke Shaw left for Man United and England duo Rickie Lambert & Adam Lallana are Liverpool bound for 2014/15 and a number of others may follow suit though Koeman has managed to bring in prolific Italian Graziano Pelle and has a number of other targets on his summer wish-list including Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry and Cardiff City keeper David Marshall.

24 year old England man Kelly burst onto the scene some years ago but injuries have taken their toll and the emergence of John Flanagan has perhaps left the locally born full-back considering his options.

Brendan Rodgers may be open to allowing the defender to leave, especially if he has designs on bringing a fresh left-back, with Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno said to be close to joining the club.

Kelly is primarily used at right-back but can be used on the left-hand side of the defence and may be seen as a possible replacement for Luke Shaw.

Hughes Hopeful Of Signing Assaidi

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is still hopeful of securing the services of Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi on a permanent basis.

The Moroccan spent last season on loan at the Britannia Stadium and enjoyed a relatively impressive campaign, the highlight of which came when he scored a spectacular goal to give his side a 3-2 win over Chelsea in December.

Hughes is keen to add another winger to his ranks but reports suggest that a move for Assaidi has stalled due to issues over fitness and the club's finances.

"We are where we are on that one," the Potters boss told The Sentinel. "Ideally, if we can do something then, yes, we will.

"He's someone we know and someone we know can have an impact so, yes, we would like to see if something can be done with Ossie but obviously he isn't our player and that means the ball is in Liverpool's court."

Hughes is pleased with Stoke's business so far this summer, which has seen them bring in Mame Biram Diouf, Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell and Dionatan Teixeira, though the former Manchester City and Fulham boss is eager to make further additions before the start of the new season.

"People are coming back from the World Cup so things can move on quite quickly," he added.

"We are still keen to add to the squad if the right quality at the right price is available but we are in a good place because of the early work already done."

Suso Eager For Liverpool Stay

Suso is determined to fight for his place at Liverpool following a season on loan at Almeria.

The 20-year-old Spaniard spent last term in his homeland, making 33 appearances as the La Liga side avoided relegation.

Suso has now returned to Merseyside, and believes he is ready to make his mark at Anfield following a full campaign of first-team football.

"After the season in Spain, I think I have become a better player - I learned a lot," the playmaker told Liverpool's official website.

"Obviously Liverpool are going to sign a lot of players because we are in the Champions League this season, and we have to have a good squad because there are a lot of competitions.

"But if I fight for my place, I do my best every day in training and when I have the chance to come on or start a game, if I do well, I could have chances to play a lot of minutes in the first team."

Suso made his breakthrough at Liverpool as a teenager in 2012-13, as he made 14 top-flight appearances in Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge.

And the Spain Under-21 international says that he has held positive talks with Rodgers about his prospects with the Premier League runners-up.

"I came here in December at Christmas when I had my week of holidays....I came here for two or three days to have a meeting with the manager," Suso added.

"He talked to me, said he was happy with what I was doing and said that this season he wants me to stay here.

Liverpool Starlet Ibe Out To Emulate Sterling

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe wants to emulate the success of Raheem Sterling and break into the first team.

Sterling starred for Liverpool in the second half of last season, scoring nine goals in 33 Premier League appearances as the Reds finished runners-up behind Manchester City and earning a place in England's World Cup squad.

The Three Lions star started 2013-14 at the age of 18, as old as Ibe is now, and the latter is keen to capitalise of Brendan Rodgers's willingness to trust in youth.

"He's only a year older than me so I need to follow in his footsteps and watch all of the other attacking players," Ibe told the club's official website of Sterling.

"He's done well and scored a lot of goals. He's working hard all the time in training and impressing the manager. Because he's young, players are helping him so hopefully they can do the same for me."

Ibe has set his sights on more first-team action at Liverpool this season but knows that the club may make several further additions to their squad after the big-money sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, with Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can already having moved to Anfield.

"For me personally, I'm trying to get into the first team and hopefully get minutes," the youngster continued.

"I'll try to do well in pre-season first and see how it goes. I'm still quite young, I'm only 18 so I need to stay grounded, watch the senior players in my position, keep working hard and hopefully I can do well this season.

"I thought I did well in the last game [a post-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers] and other youngsters did well. It's just about working hard in pre-season and most of all impressing in pre-season and on tour."