Report: Benitez considering
Riera for Zigic swap
Valencia striker Nikola Zigic is interested in a move to the
Premier League and has garnered the interest of a number of
English clubs including Liverpool.
Reds manager Rafa Benitez is keen to make an offer to los
Che that could kill two birds with one stone. He is
pondering a swap deal that would send out of sorts winger
Albert Riera to Spain in return for los Che's towering
striker, according to AS.
The Monday May 24 transfer gossip
EVERYONE WHO IS GOOD IS ON MOURINHO'S RADAR
There's a glorious simplicity to The Sun's back-page
headline this morning:
Jose Mourinho's arrival at Real Madrid (we're now officially
referring to it as a done deal) is causing plenty of
sleepless nights, particularly at Anfield and Stamford
Bridge, with the Special One expected to raid England's
finest for their
'Chelsea's Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are
in his sights, along with Liverpool stars Steven Gerrard and
Fernando Torres,' declares
'And Liverpool will be quaking. The Special One twice tried
to sign Kop skipper Gerrard when he was at Chelsea, although
luring Torres back to Spain might prove difficult as he
remains such a hero at Real's rivals Atletico.'
And that's not all.
United Arab Emirates link
Rafa Benitez today rubbished suggestions he has received an
offer to manage the United Arab Emirates – as he again
stated his intentions to stay at Anfield.
The Liverpool manager’s future has been a topic of much
debate this year and he has been linked with both Juventus
and Inter Milan.
It was reported that the UAE want to offer him a £5m ‘golden
hello’, a house on Dubai’s exclusive Palm Island plus a £4m
annual salary to quit the Reds.
But Benitez has met chairman Martin Broughton and managing
director Christian Purslow twice since the end of the
campaign to discuss how to move
the Reds forward.
More talks are planned in the future and Benitez has made it
clear he wants to continue in the role he has filled since
2004 – so long as everyone at the club feels the same way.
“I was very surprised to read about this story but it seems
more and more as if they keep happening from somewhere,”
said Benitez. “I am very happy here
“I have always been happy and I want to stay here for a long
if it is possible.”
Torres beats Gerrard
Fernando Torres is the most popular player among Kopites
getting names printed on their new home shirts.
A whopping 42 per cent of fans requesting a player on the
back of their new jersey have plumped for the Spanish ace.
Scouse hero Steven Gerrard is in second place with 34 per
cent, followed by vice-captain Jamie Carragher on 4.2 per
Here's the top 10 with percentages:
Torres - 42
Gerrard - 34
Carragher - 4.2
Mascherano - 3.5
Agger - 2.6
Aquilani - 2.4
Johnson - 2.3
Reina - 2.2
Kuyt - 1.9
Maxi - 1.7
(LFC Official Website)
Reina: Torres will stay with
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has warned suitors Chelsea
and Manchester City that team-mate Fernando Torres will stay
at Anfield next season.
Torres has been linked with a move away from Merseyside
after the club's poor campaign, with Chelsea, City and
Barcelona supposedly in the running for the Spain
But Reina spoke to his compatriot this week and claims
Torres is committed to turning the club's fortunes around.
"I am calm about Fernando," Reina said in quotes reported by
"I spoke to him about his future and he has told me that he
intends to continue with us.
"Fernando suffered so many blows last season, but he is a
professional and has always wanted to do well for us.
"That is what he remains - committed to this club."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has also been strongly
linked with a move away from the club this summer, with
Inter Milan a possible destination, but Reina is equally
convinced his manager will stay put.
"I am convinced that Rafa will still be with us and that is
good for us because he wants revenge in the next campaign,"
Gerrard has no plans
to leave Liverpool
Steven Gerrard is adamant that he will see out his contract
The 29-year-old England midfielder still has three years
left on his Anfield deal but that has not stopped
speculation being rife that he is keen to move on this
summer after a disappointing campaign for Rafa Benitez's
"If people want to speculate about my future, that's up to
them. I cannot control that, I can only control what I am
thinking myself. What is important to me now is the World
Cup and focusing only on the World Cup."
Rafa defends record
Rafael Benitez has defended his record since taking over as
Liverpool boss, insisting that his side have progressed
rather than fallen behind.
Benitez has been consistently linked with a move away from
Merseyside, with Inter Milan reportedly lining him up as a
replacement for his old rival Jose Mourinho, who looks
likely to join Real Madrid this summer.
One of the main criticisms levelled at Benitez has been that
he has had money to spend in the transfer market, however he
countered this assumption stating that he had made money for
the club rather than wasted it.
"Some people say I have spent £280million," he added.
"But we have spent £220million on players and generated
£160million in player sales. That is the equivalent of a
£60million net spend over six years: in other words,
£10million spent per year."
Jovanovic has no regrets
over Liverpool FC move
Milan Jovanovic insists he has no regrets over his imminent
move to Liverpool FC despite the uncertainty that continues
to envelop the club.
Jovanovic will make a free transfer switch to Anfield once
his contract expires with Standard Liege at the end of next
There had been confusion over whether the Serbia
international, who can play either as a striker or a
left-winger, had agreed to become Rafa Benitez’s thus far
most prominent summer signing.
But the 29-year-old has now spoken for the first time about
his arrival, and believes he is joining a team that can make
amends for the disappointment of the last 12 months.
“Everything has been completely normal with Liverpool,” said
Jovanovic. “I have signed the contract but that was the
easier part of the job. Now comes the hard part, which is
winning a place in the team.
“There will be a lot of games and everyone will have the
chance to play, and I really see this as the place where I
want to be. The thought of playing at Anfield is an
incredible inspiration for me.”
The Serbia international added: “The saga over my transfer
has taken a long time and it has been spoken about in
practically every transfer window.
“But in the end I wanted to stay until the end of my
contract at Standard.”
Liverpool marks 25th
anniversary of the Heysel tragedy
City leaders will today send a message to Turin reaffirming
the “bond of friendship” between the two cities ahead of the
25th anniversary of
the Heysel tragedy.
A series of events is being planned in Liverpool to mark the
disaster on May 29, 1985, when 39 Italians lost their lives.
The ECHO can reveal how bells will ring out in Liverpool
next week, on two separate days, to remember the victims who
never came home from the European Cup Final.
This weekend, Lord Mayor Cllr Mike Storey will pen a letter
to his counterpart in Turin – Sergio Thiamparino.
It talks of the “bond of friendship” between the two cities
and describes Heysel as “one of the most shameful and tragic
events in our city's history”.
The letter says: "I'm writing with the 25th anniversary of
the Heysel disaster approaching, as it's a time when we
reflect on one of the most shameful and tragic events in our
"On the day of the anniversary, we will be remembering those
who lost lives at Heysel, their family and friends in a
number of ways, including the planting of a tree to remember
"Of course, nothing can bring back lives so tragically lost,
but I want to give an assurance to the people of Turin that
we will never forget those who died and they are
particularly in our thoughts on this sad occasion.
"We will continue to work to ensure that there can never be
a repetition of the events of Heysel, and, hopefully, to
build a bond of friendship between
the two cities."