By James Carroll in Germany - LFC Official Website
Liverpool have confirmed they have re-signed Fabio
Aurelio after the defender put pen to paper on a two-year deal with
The Brazilian appeared to have brought his Reds career to an end
after leaving Anfield following the expiry of his contract in May.
However, Aurelio was offered the chance to earn a new deal with the
club by boss Roy Hodgson and, after impressing both the technical
staff and medical team at Melwood, has agreed a contract until 2012.
Hodgson told Liverpoolfc.tv: "I asked the club to find out whether
Fabio had found a new club.
"When we ascertained that he hadn't, we invited him back to Melwood
so both myself and my staff, and the medical team could properly
assess the player.
"We were both very impressed and I am delighted we were able to
Aurelio was included in the Liverpool travelling party that set off
for Sunday's friendly with Borussia Moenchengladbach earlier today.
Joe Cole believes Liverpool FC will benefit from
his best years as a footballer and hopes he can help the club end
their long wait for a Barclays Premier League title.
The former Chelsea midfielder’s free transfer arrival at Anfield is
seen as a significant coup by Liverpool FC manager Roy Hodgson, who
only joined the club on July 1 following the departure of Rafa
Cole was expected to remain in London after both Arsenal and
Tottenham Hotspur were linked with him, but despite the prospect of
playing in the Europa League - courtesy of a seventh-placed finish
last term - and uncertainty over the future owners of Liverpool FC,
he opted to move to Merseyside.
Having won three league titles with Chelsea, the last coming in May,
Cole hopes leaving Stamford Bridge will not bring an end to his
But he knows that will not be an easy task as Liverpool FC have not
won a championship since 1990, coming closest to ending that drought
in 2008/09 when they ran were a close second behind Manchester
"The target of a club like this is the number one place," said Cole.
"There was a lot of difference last season but we are starting
afresh and we will be doing everything we can.
"When you play for Chelsea it (winning the league) was expected
"When you come here the whole place is willing it to happen. You can
feel that energy and I just want to do my best for the club and if
that means we can put some pots on the table then that will be
"You just look at the history of the place and it is great that I am
pulling on the same shirt as people like Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes
- great players.
"I am 28 now and coming into my peak years and I want to be at a
club where I am on the pitch as much as possible and helping the
team to really do something special.
"I need to feel my confidence again, get myself back to my best, but
hopefully I can give my best years to this club.
"I wouldn’t have come to the club if I didn’t think we could do
things and I just need time and games and we will all do it
Cole may surprisingly make his debut in Thursday’s Europa League
third round qualifying round tie against Rabotnicki in Macedonia.
Although Hodgson said he was contemplating whether to throw his
World Cup stars back into competitive action against the advice of
the club’s medical staff, Cole hinted that he had already made the
"I am looking forward to it, I can’t wait for the first game. It is
the Europa League game and hopefully I’ll get on the pitch," he
"I like to get three or four games under my belt before I am firing
on all cylinders.
"We’ve had a chat but I don’t like talking about tactics because the
manager will want to keep that close to his chest, but I’m looking
forward to playing.
"Everyone knows I would love to play centrally with Stevie Gerrard
but the manager will decide - I’ll play anywhere because the club
pay my wages and I have respect for my team-mates.
"Whenever I pull on the shirt I will always give 100% but I feel I
can get the best out of myself playing a central role and if I am
given time to bed in I can go beyond the levels I achieved already."
Having already referenced the club’s legends, Cole insisted the
decision to give him the number 10 shirt initially allocated to
fellow new signing Milan Jovanovic, despite being rumoured to be
taking the iconic number seven, was not his.
"I left it up to the club. I didn’t choose," he said.
Javier Mascherano wants to leave Liverpool, the
club's manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed.
Hodgson has been speaking to the Reds' key figures since taking over
from Rafael Benitez at Anfield and while captain Steven Gerrard has
indicated he wants to stay, Argentina skipper Mascherano is keen to
move on, with reports linking him with a reunion with Benitez at
Hodgson has had more positive news from Spain striker Fernando
Torres, who has confirmed his intention to return to the club on
Monday and to remain at Anfield.
'Yes, he wants to leave the club,' confirmed Hodgson when asked
'He has made that perfectly clear. I think he wanted to leave a year
'He wants to leave now but he is contracted to Liverpool so whether
he leaves or not will be our decision.'
Recent speculation suggested Torres was keen to play Champions
League football this season and was considering his options.
Hodgson said that was not the message the club had received from the
'As far as I know he is looking forward to coming back here; he is
back on Monday,' said the Englishman.
'He is enjoying a holiday - a well-deserved break as he has not had
one for three years.
'He is spending a lot of time with his family, keeping a low profile
and as far as I know he is not really speaking to anyone.
'But he has told us that he is looking forward to Monday, looking
forward to getting back to work and looking forward to playing for
Liverpool next season.
'That is what I know so other reports, I would suggest, are
Liverpool's Jamie Carragher is confident star
players Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will "still be involved
at the club next season".
Torres is yet to return from a post-World Cup break but has been the
subject of speculation linking both Chelsea and Manchester City with
British record transfer fee bids.
And despite Gerrard publicly declaring his desire to remain with his
boyhood club for the forthcoming campaign, Real Madrid manager Jose
Mourinho is reportedly preparing a £30million offer.
But Carragher believes, after the signing of fellow England
international Joe Cole and the arrival of new manager Roy Hodgson,
Liverpool's star pair will be around to help them recover from their
disappointing seventh-placed finish last season.
"There's been a lot of negativity and it's been like that for a
while," said the centre-back. "I'm sure that Steven Gerrard and
Fernando Torres will still be involved at the club next season.
"If they are, then the aim for Liverpool must be to get back into
the Champions League."
The 32-year-old added in ZOO magazine: "Liverpool aren't a club like
Real Madrid, who can just throw £100million at it if we don't win
"For clubs like Real Madrid and Inter Milan, it's a disaster if they
don't win the league, so they go out and spend big money on new
"Liverpool can't do that - we have to build. Next season, rather
than thinking too much about the title, we have to concentrate on
getting back into the top four.
"It's a rebuilding process again and hopefully we can get ourselves
right up there.''
Sources close to Javier Mascherano are confirming
the player hopes to leave Anfield this summer and suggest he has
informed the club of that intention.
The midfielder met with new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson earlier
today and heard the 62-year-old's vision for the club but seems not
to have been won over.
The Argentine returned to Melwood from World Cup duty this morning
amidst speculation that he will be leaving the Reds.
Voicemails and texts left on Mascherano's phone failed to elicit a
reply. Though they were not expected to according to Hodgson.
Throughout the summer the midfielder has been linked with moves to
both Barcelona and Inter Milan.
The latter option would see him linking up with former Anfield boss
Rafael Benitez who kept the player at Liverpool 12 months ago when
he was rumoured to want a move away from Merseyside.
Talks about a new deal which was suggested to be signed in a matter
of days stalled towards the end of last season.
"The talks were extremely amicable. It was all done in a very nice
way. Javier made it clear that he wanted to leave a year ago when he
and the chance to go to Barcelona," one source is quoted as saying
before reiterating that it has been the player's intention to leave
for the past year.
"He was asked to stay on for one more year, he agreed, so now it is
time for him to go. It was all very pleasant and it is now a
question of the two clubs who are interested in him making an
acceptable offer to Liverpool."
Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish says he
hopes striker Fernando Torres will commit his future to the club.
The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from Anfield, but
Dalglish said he felt the arrival of new boss Roy Hodgson could
persuade him to stay.
Captain Steven Gerrard has since said he expects to stay at the
club, while Joe Cole has signed from Chelsea.
"When Torres sees that and talks with Roy I'm sure he'll give us
good news," Dalglish told 5 live's Sportsweek.
Hodgson told the News of the World on Sunday that he believed he had
done all he could to keep Torres at Liverpool.
"Unfortunately, I cannot do much more. His beef is with the club and
not me," the paper quoted Hodgson as saying.
Torres has been struggling with injury of late and is currently out
with an adductor problem although the club are hopeful he will be
fit for the Premier League opening fixture against Arsenal on 15
Chelsea are rumoured to be among the clubs interested in the Spanish
World Cup winner, but Dalglish added: "I hope Torres stays. Only
Fernando knows what is going to do. Unfortunately for him he is
injured but he is a fantastic player and is very happy around the
club and the city.
"The fact that Stevie is staying will be a great help and players
like Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey and Danny Wilson means
there is buying for present and the future."
Meanwhile, Dalglish said he was unsure about whether he will return
to football management.
The 59-year-old has been out of management since ending a short
spell with Celtic in 2000.
He was keen on the Liverpool post after Rafael Benitez's exit, but
stepped aside when it became clear he was not in the club
"Whether I would be a manager somewhere else remains to be seen. I
don't know," he said.
"Sometimes you miss the buzz of competing at the top level but you
don't miss it when you lose a game because it can be very lonely."
A Reds player for 10 years and manager between 1985 and 1991,
Dalglish returned to the club last year to take up a senior position
at the club's academy as well as an ambassadorial role at Anfield.
"When Rafa went I offered to help in any way I could," he said.
There was a list made up [managing director] Christian Purslow and I
spoke to a few people.
"After the initial conversations I stepped aside and the board made
the decision who would be the next manager.
"I said I would help in any way I possibly could for Liverpool and I
would have been prepared to be the manager if they wanted that.
"But they didn't want that to happen which is their prerogative and
that is no problem for me.
"I was very happy at the club last year working with the academy and
being an ambassador and it was enjoyable."
Dalglish believes the future is promising for Liverpool after the
team failed to qualify for the Champions League this season.
"Signing Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard coming out with a statement
saying he is staying gives everyone a lift and it wasn't a bad week
for the club," said Dalglish.
"Roy is going to stamp his own authority on the club. It is
difficult at the moment because the players are coming back in dribs
and drabs after the World Cup and you don't have everyone coming
back together it is difficult."
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson says he remains in
the dark as to whether Fernando Torres will commit his future to the
Hodgson has been waiting to hear from the Spanish striker, who has
been widely tipped to depart Anfield over the summer following their
disappointing seventh-placed finish in the Premier League last
season and off-the-field turbulence.
Torres is resting after helping Spain to their first ever World Cup
crown but is in discussions with managing director Christian Purslow
in a bid to sort out his future.
But Hodgson says he has not received any updates from Purslow and
refused to speculate on the outcome of talks, which he hopes will
see the 26-year-old remain at the club.
When asked if he had any updates on the situation, Hodgson told Sky
Sports News: ""No, but Christian might be able to if you got hold of
him. I haven't spoken to him for the last two days he's been
travelling back from Spain where he's been on holiday.
"His holiday has also been taken up a lot of time by discussions
with Fernando and his people, so I'm afraid the only person who can
give you the type of details you require is Christian.
"It would be wrong of me to say too much."
Hodgson is hoping Torres follows the lead of captain Steven Gerrard,
who publicly pledged his commitment to Liverpool after speculation
over his future circulated.
Torres was the spearhead of the Reds' attack last season and his
departure would land Hodgson a hefty blow as he attempts to reverse
the club's decline.
Joe Cole's signing has raised hopes of a revival but Hodgson is
waiting on Torres to emulate team-mate Gerrard and voice his desire
to remain under his stewardship.
"That's what I'm hoping for, yeah," added Hodgson, referring to a
public statement akin to Gerrard's.
"I made it clear from my point of view I'm really looking forward to
working with him and I believe he's a key, key figure at the club.
"I obviously want him to be a part of the team we're trying to build
here and I can only hope he'll buy into what the club is offering
"I don't think there are any worries with him in terms of me
personally or what we're doing. I think the concerns go back once
again to the time before I came to the club."
TEAMtalk's Simon Wilkes feels Wayne Bridge and Klaas-Jan
Huntelaar are very much 'realistic' transfer targets for Liverpool
boss Roy Hodgson.
Roy Hodgson has admitted he has to be 'realistic'
over his transfer targets this summer - but I think the players
Liverpool need are well within his grasp.
The appointment of the former Fulham boss as Rafael Benitez's
successor was greeted with mixed feelings on Merseyside, with some
fans believing he wasn't a big enough name for the Reds.
But the 62-year-old quickly silenced any doubters by first securing
the free-transfer capture of England star Joe Cole, then convincing
talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard that his future lies at Anfield -
two quite stunning coups.
Hodgson has yet to work with the majority of his senior players as
they are still in holiday mode after their World Cup exploits.
But in the meantime he has been busy trying to strengthen the
weaknesses that led to last season's woeful seventh-placed finish in
the Premier League - and he has quickly identified them.
Tabloid talk suggests he will try to prise Wayne Bridge from
Manchester City and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from AC Milan.
If these deals come off, then I may be tempted to agree with Ryan
Giggs' assertion that it would be 'dangerous' to rule them out of
the title race.
With Bridge solving Liverpool's left-back woes and Huntelaar
providing a cutting edge that would ease the goals burden on
Fernando Torres, those two additions would make a huge difference to
an already-strong starting XI.
It is widely known that Hodgson has a warchest of around £20million
to play with this summer - so with only £2million (the rest of the
fee is in future add-ons) of it spent on Rangers defender Danny
Wilson, he still has plenty of room for manoeuvre, especially as
Javier Mascherano has his heart set on a reunion with Rafa which
could cost Inter Milan up to £25million.
Armed with that cash, the possibility of Bridge and Huntelaar
arriving at Anfield this summer would be a very 'realistic' target -
and it would kill two birds with one stone as it would also prove
the club's ambition to Torres.
Giggs admits it's "difficult to say what they are going to do" this
season but I can guarantee it's going to be a less stressful
campaign for Reds fans - and a far more enjoyable match-day
Benitez would more often than not get the fans' backs up with his
'tinkered' team selections, whereas the beauty of Hodgson is he
doesn't put square pegs in round holes.
Gerrard will be handed a central midfield role from where he can
orchestrate wave after wave of attacks, and Joe Cole will be asked
to patrol the left flank from where he found his best form in an
If not Huntelaar, then Torres will definitely have a strike partner
in crime, and if the Reds do kick the season off with Bridge and
Glen Johnson at full-back, plus Maxi Rodriguez and Cole on the
flanks, then the front two will get plenty of top-class service,
something sadly missing last season.
"Two years ago they were close to winning the Premiership and you
can never write them off," concludes Giggs.
With Hodgson at the helm, they might just be worth a punt.
The Anfield boot room, where championships were
once plotted, now serves as Liverpool's press room and sometimes
Rafael Benitez would point to the pictures on the wall.
They showed the team that won Liverpool the European Cup in Istanbul
and Benitez would gesture towards the photographs and remark that
most of these footballers, the ones he inherited from Gerard
Houllier, were not very good. "I wonder how we ever won it," he'd
The squad Benitez left behind is considerably better than the one he
inherited from Houllier, but Roy Hodgson knew it needed breaking up
and rebuilding. With his half-a-dozen languages and his studied,
professorial air, Liverpool's new manager may be the nearest thing
to an English Arsene Wenger, but he has begun his first month in
office with a deft ruthlessness.
A manager's first signing sets the tone. In his first summer,
Benitez brought in four Spaniards -- one of whom, Xabi Alonso, was
exceptional -- and allowed Michael Owen and Danny Murphy, products
of Liverpool's once-flourishing academy, to move on.
Persuading Joe Cole to leave London was an invigorating move. He may
have been a free agent, but he was a name who did not require a
Google search or a subscription to 'Marca' to know who he was and
when he talked of Liverpool being the "biggest club in the world" or
recalling the European Cup semi-final in 2005 "when the atmosphere
made the hair on the back of my neck stand up", he talked the Kop's
Curiously, 'atmosphere' is a word Hodgson uses a lot. More
importantly, Cole secured Steven Gerrard's future. The Liverpool
captain had not enjoyed last season and he had seldom enjoyed
working with Benitez. At 30, he has one move left and did not give
his commitment to Anfield immediately after Hodgson's appointment.
Liverpool's shortlist to find a successor to Benitez was
sufficiently weak for Kenny Dalglish to suggest himself as the new
manager. Gerrard would wait and see, although he did not have to
wait too long. If there is a photograph that sums up Liverpool's
summer, it is the one of England team-mates Cole and Gerrard
grinning as they cycle beside each other at training camp in
It was not a surprise that Emiliano Insua and Fabio Aurelio had been
the first to join Yossi Benayoun on the road out of Anfield. Just as
Wenger seemed unable to bring a high-class goalkeeper to Arsenal,
full-backs were Benitez's blind spot. Josemi, his debut signing for
Liverpool, was the first in a long and dispiriting line, especially
as he lost faith in another academy product, Stephen Warnock, who
was to prove better than those who replaced him.
Wayne Bridge is not the best left-back in England but he is more
consistent than Insua and as good as Fabio Aurelio and, if
Manchester City are spending £17m to bring Aleksandar Kolarov from
Lazio, he would very quickly become a bit-part player at Eastlands.
Meanwhile, the extras in Benitez's productions are being moved off
stage. Albert Riera, who called Liverpool "a sinking ship" in March,
will join Olympiakos for a fee of around £4m in the next few days.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos, a bargain-basement buy from AEK Athens, is
likely to follow him to Greece.
On the other side, Peter Crouch may be persuaded back to Merseyside
or Hodgson could invest £12.5m in Loic Remy, a 23-year-old who
scored 14 times in Le Championnat last season and who is rated by
his club, Nice, as a striker with the pace and potential of a
Thierry Henry or a Nicolas Anelka.
Nevertheless, despite Hodgson's assurances that it was perfectly
normal for Javier Mascherano not to return his calls, it seems
extremely unlikely that the captain of Argentina will be protecting
the back four when Liverpool's season begins against Arsenal.
His agent, Walter Tamar, has talked of the "magical taste" of a
reunion with Benitez at the new European champions, Internazionale.
Frankly, it would be hard for anyone at Anfield to deny Gabriel
Milito's assertion that: "It is unrealistic of Liverpool to think
they can keep hold of him when they can't even offer him Champions
League football ."
As for Fernando Torres, nobody really knows. Perhaps the biggest
factor in Liverpool's favour is that there are few clubs that could
raise the fee for him.
Perhaps that is why there was a realism about Hodgson as he prepared
for his first game, a 0-0 draw against Grasshoppers, last night. "It
is not going to be an overnight thing," he said. "I don't want to
dupe the Liverpool public by telling them that everything is rosy
because Joe Cole has signed. There is a lot more to be done and many
more players needed."
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has revealed the
club remain locked in talks with Fernando Torres over the striker's
Hodgson has been boosted in recent days by the capture of Joe Cole
on a free transfer and captain Steven Gerrard's pledge to remain
with the club next season, and is now hoping Torres will throw his
support behind the new boss.
The Spain striker is yet to report back to the club following his
involvement in Spain's victorious World Cup campaign, but Hodgson is
optimistic the talks will lead to a positive breakthrough.
"Christian Purslow, the club's managing director, has been talking
to Fernando Torres for the last two days so there have been lots of
words. But I haven't spoken to him," Hodgson said in quotes reported
by The Sun.
"I was confident Steven Gerrard would stay with Liverpool because he
is the heart and soul of the club. It would have been a major blow
to lose him. Steven Gerrard has pretty much said he's staying and
that's a big boost.
"It was a major day with the signing of Joe Cole in tandem with
Gerrard saying he is staying. Hopefully he will soon be followed by
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish insisted on the
signing of Danny Wilson from Rangers.
Reds ambassador Dalglish tracked the Rangers kid throughout last
season and urged new boss Roy Hodgson to make Wilson the most
expensive teenager in Scottish football history.
Wilson told the Scottish Sun: "Everybody's told me Kenny's been in
my corner throughout the last few months, that he's wanted me to
come to Liverpool.
"I can't begin to tell you what that means to me, that someone of
the stature of Kenny Dalglish rates me.
"If indeed he has played a big part in this dream move then I have
to thank him for everything he's done.
"For him to think I can play . . . well, that's just something else.
"Every player likes to be told that somebody believes you are good.
If somebody like Kenny Dalglish thinks you are good that's
"I've not spoken to Kenny yet. I'm sure I will at some point and I
can't wait to meet him. He's an absolute Scotland legend and it will
be a thrill for me to hear what he's got to say. From what I believe
he's still heavily involved at the club."
Joe Cole is looking forward to the challenge of
playing for Liverpool, insisting his move to Merseyside was decided
purely on football terms.
The 28-year-old agreed personal terms on Monday after being released
by Chelsea at the end of last season and then flew to the club's
training camp in Switzerland to undergo his physical examination
before penning a four-year deal.
Contrary to reports, the England international has been allocated
the number 10 shirt.
Much was made of the wage demands - reportedly £90,000-a-week - the
England international was making having become a free agent
following his release from Chelsea.
And having previously played for West Ham he was expected to remain
in London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both interested, but was
convinced Anfield was the place to start afresh.
Cole said he remembered the atmosphere when he played at the ground
for Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final of 2005, which
Liverpool won on penalties before going on to lift the trophy in
Istanbul, and was looking forward to experiencing that on a more
"This is a massive club. I tried to take everything out of the
equation, take the financial and location side out and just thought
in football terms," said the England international.
"I thought about the semi-final of the Champions League in 2005 when
I ran onto the field and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
"I was thinking about playing in that atmosphere every week and that
swung it for me.
"I know I have made the right decision and I am looking forward to
"I have played in London all my life. I could have stayed at Chelsea
because the fans loved me and I won things, but I wanted to
challenge myself and when I knew Liverpool were interested it was a
no-brainer because they are the biggest club in the country."
Welcome to us, Joe... (Photo: LFC Official Website)
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has sounded a note
of caution to the club's supporters following the arrival of Joe
Cole formally agreed a four-year deal with the Reds on Wednesday
with the transfer - after the player's release from Chelsea -
heralded as a coup on Merseyside.
Milan Jovanovic has also arrived at Anfield in the summer and a
further addition to Hodgson's squad should come in the form of
Rangers defender Danny Wilson.
Levels of optimism around a side affected by a disappointing Premier
League finish last season and off-the-field wrangles have since been
raised, but Hodgson urged supporters to be realistic ahead of the
"It's not going to be an overnight thing," said the former Fulham
boss of the prospect of turning the club's fortunes around. "Last
season was a very disappointing season for the club in every
respect, culminating in a popular manager (Rafa Benitez) leaving.
"You don't change doom and gloom or disenchantment with a signing or
two. I would never want to dupe the Liverpool public by telling them
all is rosy now because Joe Cole has signed.
"There's a lot more work to do, a lot more players are needed and we
as a football team have got to make certain that when we take to the
field the supporters will see there is something different and that
we are making the biggest effort we can make.
"Then we can only hope they back us like they have always backed the
club in the past."
Hodgson recognises he is working against a difficult backdrop in the
hot-seat but he was eager to unite the club's followers behind him.
He went on: "We have to get a good atmosphere back into the club,
the Liverpool atmosphere that I've known and seen and experienced -
often to my cost - over the years.
"We have to get away from the feeling that everything's not right
and the club is going downhill because that isn't the case at all."
Controversial co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett remain in
charge at Liverpool despite the club being up for sale and Hodgson
is hopeful new investment will be forthcoming soon.
But in the preceding period, the 62-year-old wants to focus on
football matters with Europa League qualifying and the start of the
Premier League looming large.
Hodgson added: "We know the situation with the owners; the club is
for sale and we are trying desperately for the right people to come
in and buy the club.
"In the meantime we are trying our level best to do what we can out
here on the training field and on the field of play to get results.
"I can only hope that the people who watch us are aware of the
situation, that they have their feet on the ground like we've got
our feet on the ground and they give us credit if we deserve any for
the efforts we make on the field."
Liverpool have confirmed Joe Cole has passed his
medical, completing his four-year switch to the Merseyside club.
Cole becomes the Reds' second signing of the summer, arriving on a
free transfer following his departure from Chelsea. The England
international took part in his first training session with the club
at their pre-season camp in Austria on Wednesday morning.
Contrary to reports, Cole has been handed the famous No. 10 jersey
previously warn with great distinction by the likes of John Barnes
and Terry McDermott. The last player to wear the number was Andriy
A statement on the official Liverpool website reads: "Liverpool
Football Club are delighted to announce that Joe Cole has put pen to
paper on a four-year deal.
"The England international has passed his medical and has been
allocated the squad No. 10."
Roy Hodgson believes Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard
have helped put the smile back on the faces of Liverpool supporters
– but admits any gloom will only truly lift once the club’s American
On another busy day for the Anfield outfit, skipper Gerrard ended
speculation over his future by reaffirming his commitment to the
club while Cole underwent a medical in Switzerland before completing
his free transfer following his release from Chelsea.
The 28-year-old has agreed a four-year deal to become Hodgson’s
first signing since taking over from Rafael Benitez earlier this
News of Cole’s arrival and Gerrard’s decision to stay have been
greeted enthusiastically by fans who were fearful of the coming
season after months of uncertainty and the ongoing financial
But Hodgson accepts only the departure of co-owners George Gillett
and Tom Hicks, who have appointed chairman Martin Broughton to sell
the club, will dispel the scepticism of the Anfield faithful.
“What will lift the supporters is if we get new investment,” said
the Liverpool manager. “I know supporters are very anxious for that.
We can’t ever deny it.
“All the time we are in our current situation in terms of
investment, the supporters are going to be sceptical. You can talk
until you are blue in the face but it won’t make any difference.
“The owners are not popular with the fans; the fans want new owners,
they want new investment. The gloom, if there is any, is never
really going to lift until that day comes.
“I’m not going to dupe Liverpool supporters and say that everything
is rosy just because we have signed Joe Cole.”
Hodgson, who will take charge of his first game for Liverpool
tonight in the friendly against Grasshoppers in the Swiss town of
Zug, is acutely aware of the financial constraints currently imposed
by the board as Gillett and Hicks look to address the club’s
But the Liverpool manager believes supporters acknowledge the
predicament and promised to redouble efforts to improve on last
season’s hugely disappointing showing.
“We may have to work for a little bit longer in this situation but I
am hoping that the quality of the performances we are going to give
with the team we put out will cheer our supporters,” added Hodgson.
“We want to show them our club is very much alive and kicking and
who knows? In the future with new investment and a chance to really
compete on that front, we’ll be back in our traditional place.
“In the meantime, I can only hope that our supporters have got their
feet on the ground and the heads around the situation, as I and the
“We can’t turn back the clock and we can’t magic up a different
situation. We work and live in the situation we are in. We will work
very hard in that situation.
“Now let’s hope things will change even more for the better in the
future. In the meantime, we will use what resources we have got and
do the best job we can.
“Knowing Liverpool supporters through the years, the large
percentage of them will appreciate that and give us credit for
have agreed to sell defender Danny Wilson (pictured) to Liverpool in
a deal worth up to £5million.
The 18-year-old, who came through the youth ranks at Ibrox before
penning his first professional contract there three years ago, has
been a target of the Anfield club for several months.
Sky Sports News revealed earlier on Tuesday that Liverpool were in
advanced stages of discussions with Rangers, with only the transfer
fee left to agree on.
And the Ibrox club has now confirmed that Reds are set to complete
the transfer after the youngster was pulled out of the Rangers squad
that flew out to Australia for their pre-season tour on Tuesday.
"We have agreed a deal in principle with Liverpool for the transfer
of Danny Wilson," said Rangers chief executive Martin Bain on the
club's official website.
"Liverpool's offer will see the club receive £2million up front with
add-ons linked to games played, taking the total value of the deal
The deal could be completed on Tuesday night, which would allow
Wilson to join up with Reds at their training camp in Switzerland.
Rangers had expected Wilson to exit the Scottish club after the
defender turned down a new contract offer.
"Danny was entering the final year of his contract with the club and
had indicated that he felt it was in his interests to move on,"
added Bain, who oversaw the £2million sale of midfielder Kevin
Thomson to Middlesbrough last week.
"Given that and the value of the offer from Liverpool, it was deemed
appropriate to accept that offer given the player wanted to go.
"We are aware that with Kevin Thomson and Danny leaving the club in
the last week that there is a need to add to the first team squad.
"Our efforts remain focused on doing that during this transfer
"We have been active in that regard with the resources that we have
and we do recognise that we have to add to a squad that is light in
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has given the
strongest indication yet that he will remain at Anfield as he
welcomed the signing of Joe Cole.
There has been speculation over the Reds midfielder's future this
summer but after meeting new boss Roy Hodgson, Gerrard now appears
set to stay.
"I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately," the 30-year-old
told the club website.
"Having done so I'm very impressed with his plans for the future of
He added: "I only returned to training on Monday at Melwood with
some of the other World Cup players but I can't wait for the new
season to start."
Gerrard has been linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid
during a summer in which he endured a disappointing World Cup
campaign with England in South Africa.
The fact he has broken his silence about his future will go some way
to reassuring Liverpool fans of his future plans, and he explained:
"I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World
Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family."
New Liverpool boss Hodgson greeted Gerrard's apparent pledge with
understandable delight, saying: "It's a great piece of news. There
won't be anyone in Liverpool today who isn't delighted to hear that.
"I'm really pleased about it because I've got great respect for
Steven Gerrard. He's a player who I was really looking forward to
working with when I came to Liverpool.
"It seems now with that commitment that this will happen. It gives
everyone a boost without question.
"It will be a tough season, with a lot of matches and the
disappointment of last season is going to take a while to dissipate,
but it is very good that our best player is still going to be
playing at this club.
"Hopefully with the signing of Joe Cole - and if we are lucky one or
two others, to boost the squad - we will be going into this season's
competition, maybe stronger on paper than we were last season."
Gerrard, along with Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, returned to
training on Monday as they started their pre-season preparations
after three weeks off following England's exit from the World Cup.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard played an
integral role in persuading Joe Cole to sign for the Reds, according
to manager Roy Hodgson.
That intervention is significant as it provides the biggest hint yet
that the 30-year-old is looking to continue his career with his
boyhood club despite speculation about his future.
Gerrard and Reds vice-captain Jamie Carragher made the most of the
time they had with Cole during England’s disappointing World Cup
campaign in South Africa to convince their international team-mate
that Anfield was the right place for him.
Cole was a free agent having been released by Chelsea and Arsenal
and Tottenham, who could both offer Champions League football this
season, were also reported to be interested in signing the
However, Hodgson said Gerrard and Carragher had done a good job in
talking up Liverpool.
“Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard did a good job in selling the
club to Joe at the recent World Cup,” said the Liverpool manager.
“He was undecided about what he wanted to do and to be fair it takes
a bit more selling to persuade a Londoner who has played all his
life in London to move up to Liverpool. The simple solution would
have been to stay in the London area.”
Cole agreed personal terms on a four-year contract yesterday before
flying to Liverpool’s training camp in Switzerland to undergo a
medical and meet his new boss.
“I am pleased to get the player because it is very important to try
to improve our squad as much as we can in order to reach the high
goals we have set ourselves,” Hodgson told talkSPORT.
“It is also pleasing the reaction of the fans has been as positive
as our reaction, so at the moment that is perfect. Now it is up to
Joe to show on the field he is the right man.”
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has warned
their Barclays Premier League rivals they still mean business – and
the signing of Joe Cole proves as much.
Cole agreed terms on a four-year contract yesterday and flew to the
club’s Switzerland training camp yesterday to have a medical.
After a disappointing seventh-placed finish last season, and with no
Champions League football to look forward to in the coming months,
there was a concern Liverpool would struggle to attract top-quality
However, Carragher believes the arrival of his England team-mate
Cole, who was a free agent after being released by Chelsea, shows
those fears are unfounded.
“It’s great news and it is a message that Liverpool mean business,”
said the 32-year-old, who returns to Melwood today with fellow
England internationals Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson to begin
pre-season training today after a three-week rest.
“We have signed a top international player who has been really
important for Chelsea. A lot of clubs wanted to sign him but it is a
real coup that he has chosen to come here and you have got to give
the manager and the board a pat on the back for convincing him to
“Every supporter that I have spoken to is absolutely delighted and
all the players are the same – it’s given everyone a boost, just at
the right time.
“It has been a long summer and we have been in a transitional period
but now the World Cup is out of the way, we can start to look
“The fact we have got him has given everyone a boost around the
city. It’s good news again and, hopefully, there will be more to
come. It’s the kind of signing that we needed to make.”
As far as I can see, Joe Cole has come to Anfield
for all the right reasons.
He’s fully over the knee injury that has blighted him in recent
seasons and has a point to prove.
He just wants to play football now and being Roy Hodgson’s first
major signing since he took charge of Liverpool, he’s going to play
It’s a good bit of business for the club with funds tight as if the
England international was under contract he’d have probably
commanded a fee of well over £10million in the transfer market.
I can’t believe that Cole’s other suitors Arsenal or Tottenham
weren’t able to offer him the kind of wages he’ll be getting at
Anfield – it’s not like he’ll be on ‘megabucks’ in comparative
terms, so after having to deal with all the off-the-field politics
at Stamford Bridge, I’m sure he’s come purely for footballing
Having spent his entire career to date in London, it will have
obviously been a big decision for Cole to uproot his family from the
capital but having played at Anfield for both West Ham and Chelsea
many times over the years he’ll know that Liverpool have got a great
set of supporters who’ll love him and he’s what I’d call a ‘proper
He’s also a ‘European-kind of player’ too in that he can understand
how to operate in a number of attacking midfield roles whether it be
on the left or right wing, off the front man or alongside Steven
Gerrard – presuming he’s still at Liverpool next season.
This will prove useful, especially given that Liverpool have also
acquired the left-sided Serbian Milan Jovanovic this summer in a
deal which was set up before Hodgson’s arrival.
It seems rather uncertain whether Javier Mascherano will be joining
Liverpool’s two ‘Bosman’ signings in the side next season and if he
does want to go – which given all the noises coming out of the
people around him – it looks like he wants to do so then he should
just front up the issue himself and tell the manager.
Hodgson has revealed that he’d sent a text message to the
Argentinian skipper looking forward to meeting up with him at
Melwood but admitted he didn’t expect to get a reply.
If a deal could be struck soon for Mascherano then it would at least
give the manager six weeks to do a bit of wheeling and dealing to
add some more new faces to his squad. Mascherano is very good at
what he does but he’s not a goal scorer and he won’t pass players in
so if I was offered big money for that type of player I’d always
Whatever funds Hodgson gets a fair chunk of them will have to go on
a new left-back with Emiliano Insua now following Fabio Aurelio out
of the exit door.
I can’t imagine Hodgson moving Glen Johnson across to the left as a
long-term solution and given his extensive range of contacts across
Europe I’m sure he’s got a specialist left-back lined up or else he
wouldn’t have sanctioned Insua’s departure.
In the end, it was the football that swung it for
Joe Cole. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were both waving tempting
offers in his direction, but neither club could promise quite the
security that Roy Hodgson was all but guaranteeing at Liverpool.
Not financial security, for he could have earned similar amounts to
the £90,000-a-week deal his agents have negotiated with Liverpool at
either London club.
But Cole wants footballing security, the comfort that comes from
knowing the manager likes you and wants to put you in the team, the
kind of security that Cole once enjoyed at West Ham seven years ago
but he never really felt at Chelsea.
During his seven seasons at Stamford Bridge he yo-yoed in and out of
the team under successive managers from Claudio Ranieri to Carlo
Ancelotti, failing to convince any of them he should be an automatic
Cole started his Chelsea career as understudy to Juan Sebastian
Veron, and ended it as a stand-in for Florent Malouda.
Along the way he filled his trophy cabinet with three Premier League
titles, three FA Cup winner's medals and two for the Carling Cup,
and his bank balance, but he was left frustrated because while his
England mates John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were all key
figures, he was peripheral, a useful man to have on the bench.
Ancelotti claimed at the weekend that Cole's departure was
"economical", but there were also some serious footballing
considerations behind the decision to let the 28-year-old walk away.
Cole wanted to play every game, and his frustration at not doing so
was felt throughout the squad. His replacement Yossi Benayoun,
signed for £5.5m from Liverpool a month ago, will not rock the boat
if he is left out.
At Liverpool, Cole will find in Hodgson a manager who does not tend
to chop and change the side from week to week, a manager who likes
his teams to play a passing game, a manager who values English
talent, a manager who is universally respected by the players under
Cole will also find a club where creative players are idolised by
their passionate fans, a bit like West Ham with knobs on.
This is what Cole craves. As former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp
said yesterday: "He needs to go somewhere, be loved, and play
football and get back to being the Joe Cole we all know and love."
Cole's early career was similar to that of Wayne Rooney. There was a
lot of talk about them before they broke into their respective first
teams at West Ham and Everton, when Cole was 17 and Rooney 16. They
stayed put for a couple of years before moving on to bigger things,
and that's where their stories diverge.
Rooney blossomed at Manchester United into the finest English player
of his generation, while Cole struggled even to find his best
position at Chelsea.
Loved by the fans but not by the managers, in his seven seasons at
Stamford Bridge he took on a variety of jobs, but sadly his most
regular position was on the bench.
Last season, Ancelotti tried him in several different positions,
from playing 'in the hole' behind the strikers to a place out wide
on the right, but Cole never looked convincing, despite moments of
inspiration such as a back-heeled goal in Chelsea's decisive 2-1
victory at Old Trafford last season.
That will be the biggest change for the midfielder at Liverpool,
that he will have a settled role in a settled team.
The most important thing for Cole is that he gets to play. The fact
that it will be in the famous No 7 shirt, as worn by legends such as
Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish, is a bonus.
Who wouldn't be swayed by such a prospect? It's almost as good as
the No 10 shirt with Brazil.
And there is little doubt they will love him on the Kop. No manager
has ever criticised Cole's work rate and commitment, characteristics
that have earned him the adoration of the supporters at both Upton
Park and Stamford Bridge.
If he can also win the love of his manager, then Cole will be in his
element. As Liverpool's most famous sons once sang: "All you need is
The drawback for Cole is that by moving north to Liverpool he is
undoubtedly taking a step down, from the champions to the team that
Chelsea are aiming to win the Champions League this season;
Liverpool are hoping to qualify for it next season.
Skysports.com looks at the positive arguments of
England playmaker Joe Cole's arrival at Liverpool
Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley
or Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane. Who will Joe Cole follow?
It is understood that Liverpool's most recent signing will be handed
the club's famous No.7 shirt if he passes a medical in the next
couple of days to rubberstamp his four-year deal.
Wearing a jersey bearing such distinction is an honour based upon
ability, but it also comes with a pressure and weight of expectation
to meet a set of standards both on and off the pitch.
Keegan and Dalglish made Liverpool's No.7 famous, while Beardsley
followed in the mould. But others, Kewell and Keane, failed through
a combination of factors.
How will former Chelsea star Cole cope? Here skysports.com looks at
the positive arguments of the England playmaker's arrival on
Cole will provide Liverpool with an obvious solution to the
left-hand side of their midfield, which emerged as a problem
position during the last season. Maxi Rodriguez, Yossi Benayoun,
Albert Riera and Ryan Babel all filled the role, but failed to make
it their own. Maxi was adapting to life in the Premier League,
Benayoun has joined Chelsea, Riera still seems to be on his way out
of the club after a fallout with former manager Rafa Benitez, and
Babel prefers to play in attack. Cole will settle immediately on the
left, with vast experience for club and country, and his arrival
will help the sale of Riera, while Maxi and Babel can play in
preferred positions elsewhere on the pitch. Cole can also operate
centrally or on the right and could offer a different option behind
Fernando Torres to give flexibility to Steven Gerrard.
Value for money?
There is an obvious reason why the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal,
Manchester United, AC Milan and Valencia showed interest in
multi-talented free agent Cole, 28, but did not attempt to force a
deal - money. Reports suggest that Cole's agreement with Liverpool
is worth in the region of £90,000 a week and a significant signing
on fee, which other clubs were not prepared to meet. Unquestionably,
that is a lot of money for a player who has struggled with injuries
and could not force a regular place in Chelsea's 2009/10 first team.
However, taking into account the spare cash from the undisclosed
sale of Benayoun, worth an estimated £5.5million, and the loss of
the 30-year-old Israeli's wages, it looks a shrewd swap that sees
Liverpool gain a younger, more talented player.
With Uefa rules on homegrown players in mind, Cole's signing helps
to meet quotas at Anfield. But it also sends an important message to
fans. Merseysiders became disillusioned by the barrage of foreigners
who arrived without impact under Benitez. However, Cole represents a
player who has a point to prove after the disappointing end at
Chelsea and the failure of the 2010 World Cup; a player who is
accustomed to the rough and tumble of the Premier League; and one
who will be entirely committed to the challenge of restoring faith.
It is easy to imagine Cole banging his chest in front of The Kop
next season in a 'You'll Never Walk Alone' gesture that will be
essential after the difficulties of the last campaign. From a
commercial point of view, Cole is also a player who excites.
Liverpool followers will be clamouring to buy new shirts with name
and number prints, which generates profits and makes Anfield more
attractive to prospective new owners.
A message to you, Stevie
Speculation has not stopped about Liverpool captain Gerrard this
summer and manager Roy Hodgson has confessed that he is having to
work hard to convince 'disenchanted' stars that they have a future
at Anfield. Gerrard, though, will certainly view England squad-mate
Cole as a superb signing after watching the playmaker in close
quarters for several years for club and country. It will also be
hoped that Chelsea-target Torres considers the deal as a step in the
right direction. Vice-captain Jamie Carragher should be suitably
impressed, having played in a defence that has conceded four goals
to his new club colleague over the years.
Liverpool now seem well covered in midfield. Milan Jovanovic has
arrived and Joe Cole is definitely a man to open defences and bring
that bit of craft that was missing last season. Hodgson's next task
is to identify a left-back following the departures of injury-prone
Fabio Aurelio and the hapless Emiliano Insua. Paul Konchesky, who
Hodgson knows from Fulham, and Wigan's Maynor Figueroa have emerged
as the rumoured, prime targets and it remains to be seen who will be
the next arrival.
Liverpool have signed Joe Cole on a four-year deal
- subject to a medical - following his release by Chelsea.
The 28-year-old England midfielder left Stamford Bridge in June
after failing to agree a new contract with the Premier League
He was linked to Arsenal and Tottenham but has opted for Liverpool,
who failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Cole's arrival follows winger Yossi Benayoun's move from Anfield to
Chelsea for an undisclosed fee in July.
The West Ham academy graduate becomes Liverpool's second summer
signing after Serbia forward Milan Jovanovic arrived on a three-year
contract from Standard Liege.
Cole joined Chelsea from West Ham for £6.6m in 2003 and scored 40
goals in 282 appearances, winning three Premier League titles and
two FA Cups.
In June he claimed unspecified "political rather than footballing
reasons" had led to his departure, but he insisted manager Carlo
Ancelotti was not the cause of those problems.
"It is not financial and it is nothing to do with Carlo," Cole said
at the time. "I love Carlo. I think he is a top guy and a top
"I loved my time at Chelsea, I love the fans but it is a story for
another day and I will tell it but now is not the time."
After recovering from 10 months out with a ruptured cruciate
ligament, Cole grew frustrated at having to settle for a bit-part
role in his final season at the club.
He was used mainly as a substitute and, when he did play, Ancelotti
often deployed him in a wide position.
Cole, capped 56 times by his country, featured in two of England's
matches at the 2010 World Cup, though on both occasions he was
introduced as a second-half substitute.
"Next season I want to have a fantastic season for England and
whatever club I am at. The next contract will be a footballing
decision," he added earlier in June.
"I want to play in a more central position and I want a manager who
has faith in me."
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who nurtured Cole's early career at
West Ham, had talked of his desire to take the midfielder to White
Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League last season to earn a
Champions League qualifying spot while Arsenal, also admirers of
Cole, would have offered guaranteed Champions League football.
But he opted for Liverpool and new Reds manager Roy Hodgson will
hope to bolster his squad further with a new left-back following the
departures of Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua.
Hodgson is also hoping to retain the services of captain Steven
Gerrard and star striker Fernando Torres, both of whom have been
linked with moves away from Anfield.
And former Liverpool defender Alan Kennedy believes Cole's arrival
could go some way to persuading the duo to stay.
"I'm delighted for the club," Kennedy told BBC Sport. "Roy Hodgson
has persuaded one of the best English players in the game to come in
and that will only be good news for the club and for the players the
club are looking to hold on to.
"I'm sure Roy and Liverpool can get the best out of Joe again, and
hopefully it will result in the club pushing back up the league and
targeting silverware again.
"I've been an admirer of Joe's for the last few years. He is a
player that excites fans and he is a player that we desperately
"We know Joe had a lot of options, especially from London, but he's
looked at Liverpool and maybe thought to himself that he is the guy
who can resurrect the club after what was a terrible season last
"Credit for that has to go to Roy Hodgson, I believe - he is a very
persuasive man and a man well respected in football, so that's
Another former Red, Ian Rush, believes the signing underlines
Liverpool's ability to still compete for the best players in the
world despite not being able to offer Champions League football.
"Liverpool might not have been successful as we would have liked to
have been recently but this shows we can still attract top name
players, whether that's an England international or a foreign
international," said the Welshman.
"This is the signing supporters wanted and it's a big boost for
"You look at last season when we went into it not hoping but
thinking we were going to win the league. This season people are
thinking, 'Are we going to finish in the top four?'
"I think this sends a sign out to Liverpool supporters that the club
do mean business."
Jonjo Shelvey has set a target of making at least
20 appearances for Liverpool next season - although joining the Reds
still has not sunk in.
Shelvey, who completed his move to Anfield from Charlton at the end
of last season, has been training with his new team-mates in
Switzerland and the 18-year-old is confident he can make a swift
impact for the Merseysiders.
"Being at Liverpool is what every kid dreams of," Shelvey told the
club's official website.
"When I was in school and in the playground I used to pretend to be
players like Steven Gerrard, so it's unreal to think I'll be
training with these players day in and day out.
"I'm really excited and can't wait for the season to start now. I
want to get at least 20 games under my belt this season so I can
start getting myself into it.
"I am confident, you have to be. When you are 18 years of age and
you are getting thrown into games at Anfield then you can't have any
fear. You have to go and do what you do."
Shelvey was Charlton's youngest ever player when he made his debut
aged 16 years and 59 days in April 2008 and the England youth
international is relishing the challenge of adapting to life at
"Obviously it's a different lifestyle compared to being at
Charlton," he said.
"The training is harder, everyone is a top quality professional, so
it's totally different. It's different but I'm enjoying it. It's
hard but I'm coping with it and it's good to be here.
"It still hasn't really sunk in now that I could be playing in the
Premier League week in and week out. It's unreal."
Having made his name at Charlton as a goalscoring midfielder,
Shelvey is hoping to be in the thick of things at his new club.
"I'm an all-action player," Shelvey said.
"I can defend, although I'd rather be bombing on to score goals and
"I used to play in the hole behind the striker at Charlton but I
prefer to play in central midfield to dictate the play.
"From watching the Premier League on the television you seem to get
a lot more time and space on the ball compared to League One and
that will suit me.
"I just can't wait to show the fans what I can do."