Monday, July 21, 2014

Rodgers Has Big Plans For Jordon Ibe

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is eager to see the development of starlet Jordon Ibe, who set up the Reds only goal in last Wednesday night's friendly.

Kristoffer Peterson, 19, scored the equalizer against Brondby early into the second half, but credit has to go to Ibe for his trickery down the left wing to assist the goal.

The 18-year-old winger assisted seven in all competitions last season, getting on the scoresheet three times, and Rodgers admits there's a lot more to come from the youngster.

"It's going to be interesting for me to look at his development over pre-season," Rodgers said.

"You saw on Wednesday night that he's a really exciting young player. He's still only 18 years of age.

"He had a wonderful piece of skill and run for the goal, a good assist. That's something that we're looking to improve in Jordon - to score more goals and assists.

"He's disappointed with his first touch when he was through on goal. He's an exciting talent who is very good in the one-v-one and works very hard at his game.

"We give him time; I don't necessarily need young players to be ready at 17 or 18, but certainly by 20 or 21, we want them to be ready.

"He's a different type of player [to Raheem Sterling], but certainly both players like to beat people and commit defenders. They are very aggressive with the ball. It's just looking at the next stage of his development so hopefully he can consistently do that."

PSV Eindhoven Reach Agreement To Sell Zakaria Bakkali

PSV Eindhoven are aiming to sell starlet Zakaria Bakkali this summer and have accepted a bid from an unnamed club for the 18-year-old.

The highly-rated forward sees his contract at the Philips Stadion expire next summer, meaning he could well exit for a club of his choice in 2015.

PSV are keen to realize some value from the Belgian and have decided a sale in the current transfer window would be the best state of affairs.

And according to the Eindhovens Dagblad, PSV have accepted an offer for Bakkali from an unnamed club.

The name of the club has not been disclosed, but Liverpool are known to be seriously interested in Bakkali.

The ball is now in Bakkali's court to either accept or decline a move to the unnamed club, as PSV look to finally resolve the question of whether he is staying or going.

Bakkali made 16 appearances in the Eredivisie for PSV last term, scoring three goals, while he also featured in four Europa League games.

The 18-year-old has long been tipped for the top and even has a senior Belgium cap to his name.

Loic Remy Heading To America To Seal Liverpool Move

Loic Remy will complete his £8.5million Liverpool move in America this week.

The QPR striker is expected to join up with Liverpool on their pre-season tour.

Remy, 27, will fly into Boston later this week if everything goes to plan to officially become Brendan Rodgers' fifth summer signing.

The France forward is close to agreeing personal terms and neither parties can forsee any issues.

Remy will offer Rodgers another attacking option following Luis Suarez's £75m move to Barcelona.

It takes Rodgers' spending to over £60m already this summer.

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic have already arrived to bolster their squad. But the Kop boss is not ready to stop there with at least three more names are expected to arrive.

Southampton defender Dejan Lovren is still on their radar and Liverpool are increasingly confident of agreeing a deal with the Saints.

Swansea left back Ben Davies is being chased as the Reds tussle it out with Tottenham for his signature.

Rodgers is also hoping to land a marquee signing to fill the void left by star striker Suarez.

Lovren Move To Liverpool Imminent After Southampton Accept £16m Bid

Dejan Lovren is set to join Liverpool from Southampton in the next 24 hours.

Reports earlier today suggested that the Saints were preparing to let Lovren leave as they lined up a bid for Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar.

But reports in Croatia suggest that a deal is now imminent and could be confirmed as soon as this evening.

It is thought that 25-year-old will now sign a four-deal at Anfield after the Reds agreed to fork over £16m for the former Lyon star.

Lovren has been agitating for a move after seeing some of the Saints top talent follow Mauricio Pochettino out the Saint Mary's exit door.

Earlier today Ronald Koeman told Fox Sport: "Ron [Vlaar] would definitely be an option.

"But I think he won't be cheap right now. Let's just wait and see.

"We just have to wait how it develops.

"For now, Dejan can still play with us. I don't want to lose him but, if he leaves he will only go for a top price."

But it seems that Liverpool have now met Southampton's demands and Lovren now looks set to join former Saints teammates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana on Merseyside.

Man City Defender Wants To Join Liverpool On Loan

Former England defender Micah Richards is hoping that Manchester City will allow him to join Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur or Newcastle United on loan this season, according to The Express.

Richards made just two Premier League appearances last term – both of which came before Christmas.

With Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta ahead of him in the pecking order, Richards appears to be surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.

Multiple clubs have expressed an interest in signing him, but all have been put off by City demanding a £7m transfer fee for the 26-year-old, who has just 12 months left to run on his current contract.

Richards is desperate to get back to playing regularly and he is apparently ready to ask City to let him leave on loan, with Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle all keen takers.

However, City may be reluctant to sanction a loan deal, as it would effectively equate to releasing him on a free transfer.

Richards has spent his entire senior career with City, having made his first-team debut back in 2005.

He made his full international debut in 2006 and he has been capped 13 times to date.

Richards also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Liverpool Target Fiorentina Goalkeeper Neto

Liverpool has switched their attentions away from Michel Vorm – and are poised to take Fiorentina keeper Neto to Anfield, according to reports.

Brendan Rodgers is looking for another goalkeeping option for next season as he prepares his squad for Champions League. Brad Jones is not good enough to regularly challenge Simon Mignolet for the first-team squad, though he has looked good in cup competitions last season.

Pepe Reina spent last season on loan at Napoli, working alongside Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. His loan deal was expected to turn into a permanent one as both Reina and Benitez had hinted at the prospect during the course of last season.

However, Napoli and Liverpool are now unable to reach a conclusion because of differences in fee demand, and possibly Reina’s heavy weekly wages. Right now, the goalkeeper is on his way with the club to the USA for their pre-season tour. Reina said that he is ‘raring to go’ and he loves the city.

‘I still have two years on my contract with Liverpool, I was there for eight years, I love the city and the people there have treated me very well,’ said Reina.

‘Last year I ended up at Napoli, it went very well for me there and I grew as a player but now I’m going back to Liverpool and raring to go.’

Despite his encouraging comments, the Spaniard’s future is uncertain with the club as it could be difficult to persuade him to be a second choice to Mignolet.

Liverpool was looking at Swansea’s Michael Vorm as the goalkeeper they wanted to bring in to the club. But the Dutchman is now close to a move to Tottenham. It looks like Brendan Rodgers has shifted his attention to Norberto Neto, who plays for Fiorentina in Serie A.

The 25-year-old made 35 league appearances and help Fiorentina finish fourth in the 2013-14 campaign. He did not have a good start to the season and was criticized for his performances. However, he really stepped up his game after that and received plaudits for his composed shot-stopping.

Former Fiorentina goalkeeper S├ębastien Frey said about the player, “I trained for a few months with Neto and he has a natural explosiveness, while I think the Italian school helped him grow even more. He can become one of the best goalkeepers in Serie A.”

Although the player is keen on a stay in Florence, it doesn’t look like the club has the player in their long-term plans. The club signed Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from Steaua Bucharest, which further puts his spot in jeopardy.

They are yet to offer him a new contract, despite the player telling the club he is willing to. Neto has just one year left on his contract and might be an easy target for the Reds.

The Brazilian would come as a second-choice goalkeeper to Liverpool, if Reina departs the club. His arrival would mean that the Reds have a quality goalkeeper for their European competitions. Moreover, Simon Mignolet needs competition so that he doesn’t become complacent, something he was guilty of last season. Neto would not command a huge fee and could prove to be a good addition to Liverpool.

Everton And Liverpool Close In On MK Dons Youngsters

Everton are closing in on MK Dons starlet Brendan Galloway while Liverpool want to sign Dele Alli from the Dons.

Eighteen-year-old Galloway has asked to leave the League One club amid interest from a host of Premier League sides.

The Dons, who handed Galloway his debut at 15, will seek a substantial compensation fee for losing the England Under-19 midfielder.

Galloway made 13 appearances for MK Dons last season, scoring in their FA Cup clash against Halifax in November.

The youngster was sent off in his last appearance of the campaign.

Dele Alli, another wonderkid to emerge from the club’s academy, could also go – with Liverpool long-term admirers.

The 18-year-old was a mainstay in the Dons XI last season, making 37 appearances and scoring seven goals.

Sunderland Still Confident Of Signing Fabio Borini

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is still confident he will land Fabio Borini in a £14m deal, despite the striker flying out on a pre-season tour with Liverpool.

The two clubs have agreed the fee for the Italian forward, but last night he was with the Reds in America.

Poyet is planning to speak to Borini and his representatives today to thrash out personal terms and get the transfer finalized.

Although some Black Cats fans are worried the deal is floundering, the Sunderland boss remains relaxed and optimistic he will land the 23-year-old.

Borini scored 10 goals on loan at Sunderland last season and Poyet is desperate to get him back to the Stadium of Light for the upcoming campaign.

And Poyet said: "What I can inform you is that we have agreed terms with Liverpool for Fabio.

"It's an ongoing thing. We've done the steps that we needed to do properly, but the next step is that we are still waiting for the correspondence.

"Then we will go on from there, doing everything official, in the right way.

"I think Fabio's impact is clear, as is the reason why we want to spend that quantity of money. We know how much he can give us because we know him perfectly. It would be perfect for us.

"I'm really calm regarding Fabio because as everyone knows, it's not about numbers or quantity, it's more about the quality of your signings.

"I'm delighted with what we've done so far.''

The Sunderland manager is expected to speak with Borini's agents soon and if terms are agreed, the Black Cats will fly the striker back from America in order for him to join them on a training camp in Portugal this weekend.

Napoli Close In On Lucas Leiva Loan

Napoli are close to completing a loan deal for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, Goal understands.

The Serie A side has reached an agreement with Liverpool over a season-long move for the Brazilian, who could reunite with former Anfield boss Rafa Benitez at Anfield.

The deal would also involve a permanent transfer clause, which would be triggered once Lucas has played a certain number of games for Napoli.

But the Italian club is keen to lower the potential transfer fee, with Liverpool understood to want £10 million for the 27-year-old.

Lucas moved to Anfield from Gremio in 2007 and became a regular fixture in the Liverpool side under Benitez, though injuries have stalled his career.

But the signing of Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, and the return to fitness of Joe Allen, who was also signed by current Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, could see Lucas's first team opportunities limited next season.

Liverpool has also completed the signings of Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as former Benfica winger Lazar Markovic.

Goal understands the Merseyside outfit is also close to completing the signing of Loic Remy from QPR as Rodgers prepares his squad for Champions League football and the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

Suso Sees Future At Liverpool

Suso is determined to impress manager Brendan Rodgers during preseason and earn a place in the Liverpool team.

The 20-year-old signed for Liverpool from Cadiz in 2010 but has struggled to make an impact at the club and last season he was loaned out to Almeria, where he scored three Liga goals.

After netting an excellent strike for Liverpool in their 2-1 friendly win over Preston on Saturday, Suso has said he sees his future at Anfield.

The Spaniard told Liverpool's official website: "I really want to be here and play for Liverpool and I'm trying to do my best every day in training and show the manager what I'm capable of.

"I learned a lot during my loan spell and I was playing regular football. I'm not really a young player anymore so I've got more responsibilities now and I will work as hard as I can to try and get a chance."

On his strike, Suso added: "It was a very nice moment for me. I've been waiting a very long time to score a goal and I'm happy. The team put in a good performance and we have to be happy.

"I've been waiting so long now to score a goal for Liverpool. Last season while I was on loan in Spain I was watching Liverpool play on the TV and wanting to score a goal for them and now I've got one."