Monthly Archives: June 2013

Liverpool step up interest in Verona’s Jorginho

Liverpool have reportedly stepped up their interest in Hellas Verona’s starlet Jorginho.

The 21-year-old was born and raised in Brazil but grew up in the Verona youth academy and has chosen to represent Italy over Brazil, where he has one cap so far from the Italian under-21 side.

Jorginho has attracted interest from several top European clubs with AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all reportedly to have sent scouts to watch him play, but Sky Sport Italia have reported that Liverpool are the front-runners for his signature, as they can offer him first team football.

The Anfield side are putting together a bid of approximately 8.5million for the youngster.

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Jorginho-8million transfer target for Liverpool

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Raheem Sterling-Can he make his mark this season like he did in the last?

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Liverpool can still keep Luis Suarez says Jamie Carragher

Recently retired defender Jamie Carragher has stated that Luis Suarez leaving is not a foregone conclusion, despite the Uruguayan stating he is unhappy with life in England.

The Uruguay international has repeatedly spoken of his desire to leave Liverpool while on duty with Uruguay at the Confederations Cup and has even praised Real Madrid, stating it would be a dream to play for them.

Liverpool have had no contact with Suarez or his agent since he left for the Confederations Cup but the club are preparing to meet Suarez in crunch talks when he returns from Brazil. No approach has been made by Spanish giants Real Madrid either.

Despite all the indications pointing to Luis Suarez leaving Liverpool former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is hopeful the Reds can keep hold of the player who scored 30 goals last season.

“I think he might stay. Some big clubs will be interested in him because he is such a top player and that is something we have to accept,” he said.

“We can’t complain about that, we bought him off Ajax.

“He signed a contract last summer and he has a few years left and hopefully we can keep him.

“He is very important. He was probably the best player in the Premier League last season and you want to be keeping your best players, which is what he is.”

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Rob Jones: Martin Kelly one to look out for

Former Reds defender Rob Jones has backed Martin Kelly to get over his injury concerns and become a Liverpool star.

The 23-year-old was expected to develop into a first team regular by now since making his debut in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven. But a string of injury’s have since hampered the full-back’s development.

This coming season Kelly, if he stays fit, is expected to challenge Glen Johnson for the full-back slot, even replace him if he plays good enough.

Rob Jones believes Martin Kelly will make the switch to centre-back in the future, but believes Kelly has a lot offer in the full-back position.

Martin Kelly last season knocked Jose Enrique out of the side forcing England international Johnson to play at left-back, while Kelly was playing at right-back. A serious knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in September then forced him out of the side for the rest of the season.  But Kelly is now ready for pre-season and will challenge Johnson all the way.

“It’s a pity Martin Kelly picked up that injury [against United],” Jones told The Sport Review.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him develop. I think he will move from right-back into the centre.”

He added: “But at full-back, he’s quick and strong. When he was playing at right-back, he was getting forward and he was good on the ball – plus he’s obviously got the height.

“I think he has everything, so I’m looking forward to seeing if he can stay fit. I think Kelly is one to watch out for.”

On Kelly’s injury problems, Jones, who made 243 Liverpool appearances, added: “I know the feeling. I feel sorry for him.

“This can happen to some players. I know the Liverpool staff are working hard on him.

“Sometimes it’s just about strengthening certain areas.

“The last injury was a long-term one. He’ll be working through it all pre-season and hopefully he’ll come back at the start of the season.”

 

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Liverpool considering 5million bid for Gremio defensive midfielder Matheus Biteco

Liverpool impressed with Matheus Biteco

Liverpool impressed with Matheus Biteco

Liverpool are preparing a 5million bid for highly-rated Gremio defensive midfielder Matheus Biteco.

The Reds sent scouts to the Toulon Under 20 tournament to watch the 18-year-old.

The club were impressed with the Brazilian and are preparing to make a bid for the defensive midfielder.

Biteco has just recently turned 18 and by Brazilian law a player under the age of 18 cannot move to another country to play for another club, the same rule that Spanish teams want applied.

Liverpool have a history with Brazilian side Gremio having signed Lucas Leiva in 2007 and former Reds left-back Fabio Aurelia currently plys his trade there.

Biteco made 6 appearances last season, 3 of them were in the starting eleven. The young Brazilian is considered to be a future Brazil star and has already showcased a lot of those abilities in the under 20s tournament, where he was one of the standout players as Brazil went on to win the competition.

Liverpool are thought to want to bolster their defensive options, having already signed Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet. Liverpool have one recognised defensive midfielder in Lucas Leiva, who is struggling to show his best form after a serious knee injury.

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Where do Liverpool still need strengthening?

GOALKEEPER

The simple answer is no. Liverpool have three goalkeepers that are capable of playing in the Premier League Pepe Reina, Brad Jones and new signing Simon Mignolet. Brad Jones never gave Reina the competition that was needed to force him out of the side, but now with 9million signing of Simon Mignolet the Spanish international is likely to be forced out of the side if his form dips, which it has these past three years. Mignolet was Sunderland’s player of the season last season and is probably more likely to start for the first game of the season against Stoke. Reina is likely to stay this season because Barcelona have ended their interest, as Valdes has confirmed he wants to stay for the last year of his contract, but the Catalan club are likely to come back in January or next summer.

RIGHT BACK

Liverpool do not need a new right back as they have Glen Johnson who has proved to be one of Liverpool’s most consistent players, as well as England’s, but his defensive skills still need to improve. A lot of fans have forgotten about Martin Kelly, who missed the whole of last season through injury who is a very talented player and was playing well before getting injured and missing the rest of the season. Now he is fit for pre-season and he will put in a challenge for the right back position, although he can play centre back as well. Last season, before Kelly was injured, Glen Johnson was moved to left-back and Kelly played right-back. Brendan Rodgers will have a tough choice to make for this position next season, with fans saying Glen Johnson needs to get better defensively, with Wisdom another player who impressed last season but is probably not yet ready to be a starter yet.

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Liverpool agree 25million fee for Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Liverpool have reportedly won the race to sign highly-rated Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan according to several Russian sources.

Liverpool’s interest in Mkhitaryan has turned into a bit of a saga with the Armenian international going AWOL from training to force through a move, Shakhtar Donetsk claimed that they had no contact with Liverpool and that Mkhitaryan would be available to sign only at 25million.

It was then reported that a number of clubs were starting to show more interest with reports claiming Borrussia Dortmund made a 19.5million bid which was rejected by the club, Tottenham also showed late interest looking to steal him from under Liverpool’s nose.

The 24-year-old has an outstanding campaign last season scoring 25 goals in 28 league appearances to break the all time scoring record in Ukraine from midfield.

According to reports the deal is set to be officially announced by the end of the week subject to a medical.

Liverpool have so far been very active in the transfer market with the recent acquisitions of Spanish duo Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure for a free transfer and Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, Liverpool are expected to look at their defence after the Mkhitaryan deal is completed.

The Armenian international is seen to be the kind of high-profile capture that Liverpool need to drive them into the top four and Mkhitaryan could be seen as a long term replacement for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

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Man City duo applaud Liverpool’s signing off Kolo Toure

Toure playing for Manchester City

Toure playing for Manchester City

Two of Kolo Toure’s Manchester City colleagues have claimed his level of experience and leadership makes his free transfer to Liverpool an ‘astute’ signing for the Reds.

The Ivorian joined Manchester City from Arsenal in 2009 in a 16million deal and has since gone on to win a championship medal and an FA Cup with the Manchester club before his contract ending.

“Kolo will be a great signing. I think it’s an astute signing by Brendan Rodgers because he has got so much experience,” Barry told LFC TV.

“He will always give 100 per cent, he will never give up. Kolo will win over the fans straight away.

“Losing Jamie Carragher’s experience from the dressing room will be a huge loss for Liverpool and the fans.

“But Kolo, with his experience and his work-rate, the way he goes about his training, will do a good job of replacing him.”

That’s an opinion shared by City teammate Lescott, who had the opportunity to watch Toure at close quarters during their time together in Manchester.

The England international explained: “He’s energetic, he’s full of life and he’s always smiling every day in training.

“I know he’s a good player – he’s quick, he reads the game well and he’s a leader. You can’t replace Jamie Carragher but that will be as close as you’re going to get.”

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Liverpool preparing bid for unsettled PSG defender Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho is stalling over a new contract with French champions PSG.

The French international has been a victim of an elaborate rebuilding process under PSG’s ‘megabucks’ owners, Sakho is currently struggling to gain a first team place in the team with Tiago Silva and former Chelsea defender Alex ahead of him, both being recent signings by the French club.

Sakho has grown tired of constantly being rotated in and out of the team and concedes he needs to be playing regular football if he wants to make it to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 with France. Sakho is considered highly rated within many in the game and is tipped to have a bright future.

Liverpool and AC Milan are both interested in the 23-year-old defender, and are prepared to give him the playing time he wants. PSG, though, want to keep their the highly-rated defender in France.

Sakho said: “I have to take a decision. PSG are my club. I was born here and learnt my football here.

“I want to play for this club my entire life but it has to be clear that I don’t want to sit on the bench.

“I did not play as much I like last season because of the manager’s choices. Every player wants to play every week and I am no different.

“There is an offer on the table. With a new manager (Laurent Blanc), I can talk and see what he thinks.

“I am flattered to be linked with clubs of the history of Liverpool and AC Milan. We will see what happens in the near future.

Liverpool know they need to sign a new defender as Jamie Carragher retired last season and both Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel are both unsettled at Liverpool. Even if Liverpool keep both defenders they still need another defender to challenge Skrtel for a place next to Agger in the starting eleven next season.

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