Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alonso to hold Benitez talks

Liverpool welcomed their Euro 2008 winning Spanish contingent back to Melwood today as Xabi Alonso prepared to hold talks with Rafael Benitez over his future.
Alonso, along with Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa, began pre-season training with the Reds after being given extra time off by Benitez following their European Championship glory.
Liverpool attempted to sell Alonso earlier this summer in order to finance a deal for Aston Villa's Garth Barry and the midfielder will discuss his Anfield future with Benitez today with the 26-year-old desperate to remain on Merseyside.
Meanwhile, reports have claimed that Arbeloa is looking for a move back to La Liga due to 'personal reasons' but the Liverpool Echo states that the Reds have had no indication from either the player or his agent that this is the case.

Liverpool FC star Steven Gerrard joins the grads

FOOTBALLER Steven Gerrard praised fellow graduates for being the real stars of the show as they lined up alongside him to receive their university honours.
Speaking yesterday as he became an honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, the modest midfielder told dons and students he would treasure his Fellowship scroll.
The Liverpool FC captain, said: "I'm really proud to come from this city. I always try to do my best for the city, both on and off the pitch. Everyone in the university family has made me feel so welcome.
"But I want to congratulate all the graduates. I think this day belongs to you more than me.
"I have achieved this with great help from players, coaches, everyone at Liverpool Football Club and my family who were with me from day one.
"You guys have had to work so hard alone to achieve your dream."
The 28-year-old England star was joined by his wife Alex Curran, wearing a smart yellow dress, who sat clapping in the front row as she watched her husband receive his fellowship at Liverpool Cathedral for services to sport.
He was joined by songwriter and lyricist Richard Stilgoe OBE who called him the finest footballer in the world and said he was proud to stand alongside him.
The 55-year-old - brought up in Liverpool and a veteran of the Cavern Club - told graduates to follow the university's motto: Dream, Plan, Achieve.
He said: "But if I've had a good time it's because I've had the dreams and every now and then I've thrown away the plans."
Mr Stilgoe received his Fellowship for services to musical theatre and the education of young people.
Liverpool John Moores University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Brown said Steven Gerrard epitomised the university's philosophy.
He said: "As a young boy he excelled in the sport he loves and ensured his talent was recognised, looking upon challenges as opportunities and pursuing each available avenue.
"As a result he has become one of the best sportsmen in the country, if not the world, with a reputation for integrity both on and off the pitch.
"We are delighted to welcome him into the university family."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Reds keen on PSG ace

Reports in France claim Liverpool have made a bid to lure Paris Saint Germain young striker David Ngog, cousin of Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Ngog, 19, was told last week by head coach Paul Le Guen he can move on subject to a suitable offer be made and it has been claimed that Rafa Benitez has made an offer to sign the Frenchman.
The Reds’ French scout Laurent Viaud, a former Monaco player, is believed to have suggested the club sign the youngster.
The athletic attacker appeared 19 times in the top flight last season, scoring once at Parc des Princes.
Ngog refused to sign a new deal with the capital club and is under contract until 2009. He was not called up to play the friendly with Clermont last Saturday.

Rafa Benitez hopes Gareth Barry will be with Liverpool within a week

Rafa Benitez believes Gareth Barry could be a Liverpool player within a week.
The Anfield boss - who has finally agreed Peter Crouch's £10million move to Portsmouth - expects to conclude the compromise deal that will mean he pays out the £15m that he bid for the Aston Villa midfielder four days ago.
But it will allow include a series of add-ons, such as further England appearances, which will allow Martin O'Neill to claim he got the total of £18m he has held out for all along.
Villa manager O'Neill effectively showed the door to Barry by banning him from any of the club's premises and fining him two weeks' wages - about £60,000 - for the player's criticism of him.
All that remains to be done is for his departure to Liverpool to be announced and O'Neill is understood to be anxious that the matter be resolved so he and his players can focus completely on the forthcoming season.
Liverpool also expect to sign Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri from Palmeiras for £3m shortly as cover for Pepe Reina.
Cavalieri is organising a work permit and will join new signings Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena.
They will be joined by Barry as Crouch bids farewell to Anfield. Liverpool had hoped they could use the England striker in a part-exchange move for Tottenham's Robbie Keane but Crouch has stuck to his guns and his departure will be confirmed within 48 hours..

Wisla Krakow 1-1 Liverpool: Gerrard injury scare for Reds

Steven Gerrard has returned home from Liverpool's pre-season training camp with a groin strain.
The news came after a frustrating week for boss Rafa Benitez, who has been reported to the Premier League by Spurs chief Daniel Levy after publicly declaring his interest in Robbie Keane.
But Benitez insisted the Gerrard injury was a minor hiccup - and remains confident he will land £20million target Keane.
Benitez said: "Steven doesn't have a serious problem but he can't train and we knew he wouldn't be available for this game. In a week he will be okay."
And he shrugged off Levy's comments by saying: "It seems you can talk to a club but you can't say the name. Hopefully next week we will have same new names here."
Without Gerrard, the Reds took a sixth-minute lead when Andriy Voronin converted Yossi Benayoun's cross. Krakow's Tomas Jirsik levelled six minutes later.

Alonso to play for Arsenal?

According to his agent, Arsenal are interested in signing Liverpool and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is looking for a midfielder to replace Mathieu Flamini, who signed for Serie A club AC Milan.
Alonso looked set to move to Italian giants Juventus this summer, but, the club eventually signed Sevilla's Christian Poulsen instead.
Liverpool have valued Alonso at £14 million, and his agent Inaki Ibanez says Arsenal are wiling to pay up. The sale would help fund a Reds move for Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry, who is valued at £18 million.
When asked about a possible Alonso move to the Gunners, Ibanez said: "The player knows about this subject and now the decision lies with Liverpool."
Xabi Alonso's agent has claimed the Liverpool midfielder is aware of interest from Arsenal.
The Spaniard has seen a possible move to Juventus hit the buffers after the Italian giants signed Christian Poulsen from Sevilla.
However, reports continue to suggest that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is prepared to sell Alonso to fund his own spending plans.
Alonso is rated in the £14million bracket and has now been linked with a move to the Reds' Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Up to Liverpool
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is in the market for a midfielder after losing Mathieu Flamini, while Gilberto Silva is set to join Panathinaikos.
Reports in Spain suggest contact has been made between the two clubs and the 26-year-old's agent Inaki Ibanez says the player is waiting for Liverpool's decision.
"The player knows about this subject and now the decision lies with Liverpool," Ibanez told Spanish newspaper Publico.
Alonso's sale would give Benitez the funds to sign Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Keane 'set to join Liverpool'

Reports suggest that Liverpool are close to completing the signing of Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane.
Keane, along with strike partner Dimitar Berbatov, has been tipped to leave White Hart Lane this summer after Spurs boss Juande Ramos admitted that they may have to be sold to balance the books.
The Liverpool Echo newspaper claim that a deal has almost been done and is expected to be completed within the next 48 hours.
"We're going to see how this ends, but we're speaking about two very important footballers," Ramos had told AS.
"For the moment they are with us but, whatever happens, our plan is to have a good squad with a potential that helps us to do better than last year.
"We have to be realistic, see where we start from and who are going to compete with us. Important clubs have been spending a lot of money for years and have a certain advantage, that's why they say they want to sign our players.
"Obviously we understand there's a top four composed of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, who are the ones that qualified for the Champions League in the last few years and challenging them is very complicated.
"Our aim is to finish in this top four, but we are aware of the fact it's difficult and that other teams will fight for the same goal.
"At Tottenham we have had a clear philosophy regarding buying and selling for years. You need to understand that this club is in the transfer market, a company that needs to debrief at the end of the financial year.
"The idea is signing young players, promising and talented ones and, if important offers for older players are made, studying it to see what is the best for the club


Scott Carson has today signed for Barclays Premier League new boys West Bromwich Albion.

The England international goalkeeper has reportedly penned a four-year deal at the Hawthorns after the two clubs struck a deal. Carson made nine Liverpool appearances after signing from Leeds in January 2005. The highlight of his Anfield career came when he featured against Juventus in the quarter-finals of the 2005 Champions League. The past two seasons have been spent on loan at Charlton and Aston Villa, in which time he has won two international caps.