Ex-Liverpool FC striker Besian
Idrizaj dies of a heart attack
Liverpool are mourning the loss of former striker Besian
Idrizaj, who died of a heart attack this morning.
The 22-year-old spent three years at Anfield after signing
from LASK Linz in the summer of 2005 but failed to make a
senior appearance for the Reds and joined German side FC
Eilenburg, following loan spells with Luton Town, Crystal
Palace and Wacker Innsbruck.
Reports in the attacker's native Austria claim that he died
in the early hours of Saturday morning at the family home.
Hailed as one of his nation's most promising players,
Idrizaj arrived on Merseyside on the back of a glittering
U17 European Championships in 2004 but a series of health
problems led him to collapse on a number of occasions and
restricted his short-lived career.
Following his move to Innsbruck, he moved to Blackburn
Rovers before making just three appearances for Championship
outfit Swansea City last season.
Whilst he never made a lasting impression on Kopites, some
supporters will have fond memories of his 23-minute hattrick
in a pre-season friendly against Wrexham in July 2007.
Johnson happy working with Capello
Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson is pleased to have the
confidence of England boss Fabio Capello.
Steve McClaren's ill-fated reign in charge of England put
Johnson's international career on hold, but the full-back
has been a regular in the Three Lions' set-up since Capello
took control in January 2008.
"It's always nice when a manager shows he believes in you -
it gives you that extra bit of confidence," he said.
"There are times when I have a licence to get forward, and
help the team out in an attacking sense, but a defender's
primary objective is to defend.
"Fabio is a great manager and a nice man. He's fantastic
with the lads. He let's everyone know when it's time to
knuckle down and get the job done and I think the boys have
responded to that. His training regime is spot on and his
tactics are second to none.
"Fabio tells us regularly that on our day we can beat
anyone. He gets the best out of the boys and has definitely
instilled a lot of confidence in the squad. I've been lucky
enough to work with some great managers like Jose Mourinho,
Harry Redknapp, Rafa Benitez and Fabio.
"They are all very different and have their own ideas but
from them all."
Nando makes fitness vow
Fernando Torres has spoken of his determination to be fit
for Spain's World Cup campaign when it gets underway against
Switzerland on June 16.
The Liverpool striker underwent knee surgery last month and
admits he's been frustrated by injury troubles this season.
However, Torres is working around the clock in order to be
fit for La Furia Roja's clash with the Swiss next month.
"It is true this season has been complicated by injuries.
It's been difficult and a shame I've not been able to play
more games and score more goals,"
said El Nino.
"It hasn't been perfect and the only thing now is to think
about the prize of being in South Africa.
"I need to be positive and think there is the World Cup to
come, which is now the most important thing.
"You wait four years for it and if things go well I don't
intend to miss it."
(LFC Official Website)
Rosell wants Torres top of
Barcelona shopping list
Barcelona have joined the battle for Liverpool striker
The Daily Mail says Chelsea and Manchester City had already
expressed their desire to buy the £70million-rated Spaniard
but now Sandro Rosell, the president-elect of Barcelona, has
made contact with Torres’s representatives and has been
encouraged by the response.
Agent sparks questions over
Benayoun’s Liverpool FC future
Yossi Benayoun’s Anfield future has been
plunged into doubt after his agent revealed he could be
tempted by a move to Roma.
The Israeli midfielder was mysteriously left out of
Liverpool’s squad for the final game of the campaign at Hull
City last weekend.
Benayoun – who only signed a new deal 12 months ago –
claimed after the 2-0 defeat against Chelsea on May 2 that
he did not know whether he would still be at Anfield next
Now Ronen Katzav has suggested a switch to the Eternal City
would appeal to Benayoun, even though he insists there has
been no approach from a side chasing the Serie A title.
“We have not been contacted by Roma,” Katzav said. “We know
about an interest from Roma, and there has been plenty of
talk about this.
“But we have not had any contact with the directors. Roma
would be nice but my client has a contract with Liverpool
and he is fine in England.”
Premier League chief backs Liverpool's
Spirit of Shankly campaign
Liverpool fans group Spirit of Shankly claim the Premier
League has given its blessing to Liverpool fans to continue
their campaign against the club’s owners, Tom Hicks and
Members of SOS, the Liverpool supporters union, met with
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore at the
league’s Gloucester Place headquarters in London yesterday
to air their concerns about the way in which the club
is being run.
And while the Premier League reportedly backed the ongoing
protests, they claim the debts amassed by Hicks and Gillett
are currently sustainable.
Liverpool is currently £237million in the red. Concerns grew
stronger recently with the revelation the Anfield club
registered record annual losses of £55m for the year ending
July 2009 and is paying £110,000 a day in interest payments.
SOS spokesman, Jay McKenna, said: “Richard Scudamore
suggested we keep on campaigning. He understood the fans are
unhappy and want some answers. That was a positive to come
from the meeting.”
Mascherano talks on hold
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano’s contract
negotiations are unlikely to be resolved until after the
The Argentina captain has been in discussions over a new
deal for three months and it was anticipated an agreement
would be reached by the end of the season.
He was expected to follow the lead of goalkeeper Jose Reina,
who signed a new six-year contract last month, but so far
nothing has been finalised.
And with the players having been released by the club for
the summer – which for many means preparations for next
month’s World Cup – it seems likely Mascherano’s improved
contract will not be sorted until the middle of July
at the earliest.
Back in March, manager Rafael Benitez said he expected the
midfielder to sign his new deal by the end of the Barclays
Premier League campaign.
Now that has not happened it leaves open the prospect that a
good tournament for the 25-year-old will lead to more
speculation over his future.
There was a similar scenario last summer when Barcelona were
heavily linked with a move for the Argentinian before the
departure of fellow midfielder Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid
resulted in Benitez slapping a £50m price-tag
on the player.
Anfield’s grim truth is revealed
by Liverpool FC’s latest accounts
A week ago today, Liverpool’s annual accounts were
published, giving rise to outrage and concern from deeply
worried supporters. Here the ECHO’S Liverpool writer Dominic
King delves further into a document that signals the biggest
financial crisis in the Reds history - and highlights some
stark truths behind the grim figures...
Liverpool's recently published annual financial report is
crammed full of many startling revelations and, on page two
of the dossier, there is an especially significant sentence.
“There are a number of potential risks and uncertainties,
which could have a material impact on the Group’s long term
performance,” it reads.
“The Group derives the bulk of its income from football
activities and related merchandising.”
In the most simplistic terms, it means Liverpool being
successful on the pitch will see the club’s finances in a
better light. Yet, worryingly, the campaign which saw the
Reds secure some of their best results and performances
under Rafa Benitez led to a record deficit.
No wonder, then, alarm bells have started ringing loudly
(Dominic King - Liverpool Echo)
Wilson deal close
Liverpool are close to signing Danny Wilson.
The Reds are very close to completing a £2.5m deal for the
18 year old Rangers centre-back. Wilson will have a medical
at Melwood this week and agree a contract, but the transfer
won't formally be completed until the transfer window
officially re-opens in June.
Reports: Benitez to bid for
Spurs striker Pavlyuchenko
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is
ready to make an offer for Tottenham striker Roman
The Daily Star says Benitez is looking to strengthen his
of next season.
And he is said to have named Spurs forward Pavlyuchenko as
number one target.
Reports: Inter Milan president
to buy Gerrard for Mourinho
Inter Milan are preparing a major bid for Liverpool captain
The Mirror says Italian giants Inter Milan, who face Bayern
Munich in the Champions League final next week, are set to
make Gerrard their number one target this summer.
Duo in Dutch squad
Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel are in Holland's pre-World Cup
The Liverpool pair are both in the Dutch 30 man pre-World
Cup squad announced yesterday. Kuyt is a cert to make the 23
man squad to go to South Africa while Babel will looking to
use the upcoming friendlies to prove himself and boost his
chances of making the cut.
Drogba keen on Torres partnership
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed he would love it
if Fernando Torres jumped ship to Stamford Bridge this
Drogba clinched the Premier League's golden boot award last
weekend as the Blues romped home to claim the title with an
emphatic 8-0 victory over Wigan.
He has been partnered by French forward Nicolas Anelka this
season but admits he would welcome any move for Liverpool
star Torres, which has been speculated.
"I have heard the talk about Torres maybe coming in and I
would welcome it, of course," he said.
"Every time there is a new player coming here it's making
the club bigger and giving us a lot of strength.
"If there is a chance for him to come he will be welcome,
because any help