Red News


JANUARY              2010
4 5 6



Agent: Babel would
consider Blues move

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has been told Ryan Babel will consider a move to St Andrews if a fee can be agreed with Liverpool.
McLeish is understood to have had a £9million offer rejected by the Reds for the 23-year-old striker who finds himself on the periphery at Anfield. The Holland international has started just three Barclays Premier League games this season as he has primarily been used as a substitute.
Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Babel's agent Winnie Haatrecht said: "We know that Liverpool is seriously thinking about the offer from Birmingham. We would consider a deal if both clubs come to an agreement."
He added: "In general Ryan wants to succeed at Liverpool, but if the people at Anfield conclude it's better he leaves, we have to think about the next chapter in his career.
"We will look then to the team, the perspectives of the club and Ryan, as well as a meeting with the manager."

Berger forced to hang up boots
Former Liverpool, Portsmouth and Aston Villa star Patrik Berger has retired from football at the age of 36 due to persistent knee problems.
Berger, who spent seven years at Anfield before moving on to Portsmouth and Aston Villa, signed a two-year contract with Sparta Prague in May 2008 but injury has forced him to hang up his boots.
Sparta coach Jozef Chovanec said: "Patrik told me yesterday, 'It's over. My knee doesn't support the burden anymore'.
"We have to deal with it.
"Thank you Patrik for everything you have done for Sparta and the entire
Czech football."
Berger, who also had a loan spell at Stoke during an 11-year spell in England, has not been able to make an appearance for Sparta since August 8.
The Czech international won 44 caps and was a key part of the team which reached the Euro 96 final, where they lost 2-1 to Germany. Berger scored a penalty to put the Czechs in front in the final, before two Oliver Bierhoff goals won the match for Germany.

Babel bid turned down
Liverpool have turned down a bid for Ryan Babel.
Birmingham City have made a £9m bid for the Dutch winger but Rafael Benitez has turned it down, as he values Babel at £12m. Liverpool paid £11.5m for Babel in 2007 and are looking to get their money back at the least.
Even if Liverpool were to accept the bid there is no guarentee Babel would join Bimingham as they would not be able to offer him European football.
(LFC Online)

Report: Galatasaray
in the hunt for Babel

Galatasary are ready to enter the race to sign Liverpool striker Ryan Babel, according to a report from The Times.
The Dutchman is understood to be keen on a move to mainland Europe rather than elsewhere in England, with a clutch of clubs ready to pounce after the Reds turned down a reported £9 million bid from Birmingham City for the player.
( UK)

Benitez won't get an cash
from Liverpool FC sales

Rafael Benitez will not receive a cash windfall this month – even if Liverpool succeed in selling some of their fringe players.
The Spaniard is still restricted to loan arrangements, swap deals and bargain transfers as the financial restraints remain in place at Anfield.
Ryan Babel is the most high-profile of the expected departures, having fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks after a disappointing campaign.
Liverpool have already rejected a bid for the Holland international from ambitious Birmingham City who, armed with the cash from new owner Carson Yeung, had tabled a £9m offer.
In any case, a move to St Andrews holds little interest to Babel, the winger instead preferring a move abroad in search of the regular first-team football that could bolster his chances of appearing in this summer’s World Cup.
The cashflow situation isn’t being forced on Benitez by the club’s debt and as such shouldn’t be regarded as a sign the manager is facing the sack
Instead, it has been decided that with a far greater number of players available in the summer, it makes financial sense to save any money raised from January sales until then.
That, though, is unlikely to please the Liverpool supporters, who believe quality reinforcements must be brought in this month with Benitez’s side struggling to make the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
(Daily Post)

Stuttgart keen on
Liverpool fullback Degen

Liverpool fullback Philipp Degen is attracting German interest.
Several Bundesliga have asked after Degen, including big-spending Stuttgart, says The Times.

Hansen says Carragher
has plenty of years left

Former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen has told Jamie Carragher he has plenty of years left at the top.
Carra has endured a topsy-turvy season for Liverpool, but Hansen insists there's plenty ahead for the defender.
"Inevitably, because he is 31, there are people starting to question how long Carragher can go on at the top level," Hansen told LFC Weekly magazine.
"Jamie said himself that every time you have a bad game when you've turned 30 people say you've finished - and he's spot on.
"But when the team is playing well, no one talks about you being the wrong
side of 30.
"Liverpool's poor form this season has put Carragher more in the spotlight than if he was 31 in 2005 and we'd just won the Champions League.
"Jamie has got a strong mental attitude to cope with any stick - it's why he's been able to play 600 games for Liverpool.
"I would love to see him go on for another four or five years if he could, because replacing Carragher is going to be very, very difficult for Liverpool."
Torres working on fitness
Fernando Torres has revealed he is doing additional fitness work to ensure he remains available for selection.
The Liverpool striker missed six matches leading up to Christmas due to a groin problem and there were fears that he might need to undergo surgery.
However, he has managed to play the full 90 minutes in his last four outings and is working hard to improve his sharpness.
The Spaniard is happy with the progress he has made and admits the club's difficulties on the pitch have helped to motivate him.
"I am good now. Much better than a couple of months ago," said the 25-year-old.
"I need to keep working three, four or five hours more than the rest of the squad because I need to keep recovering for the rest of the season.
"One of the reasons I'm working really hard is because I know in this situation Liverpool need every player fit."
(Sky Sports)

Agent: No Reds switch for Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi's agent does not think the Napoli striker will join Liverpool in the January transfer window.
The Argentina international was linked with a move to Anfield last summer but a transfer failed to materialise and it now looks like there is no chance of the deal taking place this month.
"There is interest. But it is impossible for Lavezzi to move, as Napoli want a lot of money for the striker, so it will be difficult. I don't think a transfer will happen in January," Lavezzi's agent Frederic Guerra told
One player who does look set for a move to Liverpool is Maxi Rodriguez with the Atletico Madrid midfielder's agent saying that a deal should be completed.
(Sky Sports)

Maxi on verge of agreeing Liverpool deal
The Atletico Madrid midfielder Maxi Rodriguez now appears to be very close to finalizing a transfer to Liverpool and has been left out of the Spanish club`s squad ahead of Wednesday`s Cup tie against Recreativo. As we reported earlier, the situation has been moving quickly today and the final details on a two and a half year deal at Anfield are close to being agreed.
The 29 year old Argentine midfielder has spoken with both Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres and is incredibly excited about the move while also being aware that he will be competing with Dirk Kuyt for a starting berth on Liverpool`s right flank. However, with a place in Diego Maradona`s World Cup at stake, Maxi is confident that he will be seeing plenty of action for Liverpool.
Rodriguez will cost Rafa Benitez around £1.5 million and players will be leaving Anfield this January: as has been reported elsewhere, Dossena is close to agreeing the switch to Napoli, while rumours are surfacing that Ryan Babel is a possible target for both Birmingham and Tottenham.
(Guillem Balague Website)

Lennon losing fitness race
Aaron Lennon is not expected to be fit for Tottenham's crucial clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
The England winger suffered a groin injury in the 2-0 victory over West Ham last Monday and had to be replaced just before the final whistle.
Manager Harry Redknapp stated at the time that he did not think Lennon would be able to return for a couple of weeks.
Redknapp then hinted after the FA Cup success against Peterborough that it might be a longer spell on the sidelines.
(Sky Sports)

Dossena closes in on Napoli switch
Italian defender Andrea Dossena's agent claims a deal to take the Liverpool defender to Serie A outfit Napoli is all but done.
Dossena has long been linked with a return to his homeland, with Napoli narrowly missing out in the summer.
Reports suggest a five million euro (almost £4.5million) fee has been agreed between the two clubs and Dossena's agent Roberto La Florio is confident his client will pen a four-and- a-half-year deal on Wednesday.
"I believe the player will arrive in Napoli tomorrow," he told Tuttomercatoweb.
"At the moment there are logistical problems, that is to say he can't leave Liverpool because of the snow.
"The player will arrive on a permanent basis with a contract for
four-and-a-half years."
Dossena has been strongly linked with a move away from Anfield in the winter transfer window, having failed to live up to his £7million price tag since moving to Liverpool from Udinese in 2008.

Gerrard: Aquilani very similar to Xabi
Despite many of the mainstream media unfairly labeling £18m summer signing Alberto Aquilani a ‘flop’, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has seen enough in the few glimpses of action and on the training pitch to praise the Italian.
Of course, Aquilani was signed as a direct replacement for Xabi Alonso and Gerrard sees similarities in the two players.
“He sees a pass, he’s on the same wavelength and he can dictate the tempo of a game. I don’t want to tempt fate, but he’s very similar to Xabi,”
said the Reds captain.
“It’s going to take Alberto a while to get up to speed, with his injury problems, but the boy is a player, there’s no two ways about it,” he told Zoo magazine.
(This is Anfield)

Birmingham in
£8m bid for Babel

Birmingham have made their first move in the January transfer window by offering Liverpool £8 million for the services of Ryan Babel.
According to the Independent however, a deal is far from being completed as Liverpool value the 23 year-old at £12m and in light of their financial woes the Merseyside club are likely to hold out for as much as possible.

Stopper extends Stanley loan stay
Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman has extended the loan of Liverpool's highly-rated goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis until January 30.
The Australian born stopper joined the League Two side in November as an emergency signing following a knee injury to regular number one Ian Dunbavin.
Bouzanis has appeared in five games for the Reds and is sure to be handed a starting berth by Coleman when he takes his side to Lincoln on Saturday.

Carra fears for homegrown talent
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has added his voice to the school of thought that homegrown talent is facing an increasingly difficult task in breaking in to Premier League first teams.
The 32-year-old is guaranteed a place in Reds folklore after working his way from an apprenticeship through the ranks to become a veteran of more than 600 appearances with the Anfield club.
But Carragher, a Bootle native, believes the impact of foreign imports and the importance of European football means that young Merseysiders will find it tough to follow in his footsteps.
"I think it's more difficult to come through the ranks now than when I was a youngster," the club's vice-captain told the Liverpool Daily Post.
"There are a lot more foreign players at the club, and now with the level the team is at, basically if they want to come through then they have to be ready to play Champions League football. That shows how difficult it is."
This season has seen defenders Stephen Darby, 21, and Martin Kelly, 19, make their full first-team debuts for Liverpool having both come through the academy.
(Sky Sports)

Bassong bullish
ahead of Reds test

Sebastien Bassong insists he will enter Sunday's game against Liverpool with no fear - and is confident of keeping Fernando Torres quiet.
The Tottenham centre-half, who is available for domestic duty after being snubbed for African Cup of Nations action with Cameroon, is set to go head-to-head with Torres this weekend.
"He (Torres) is good but there are many good players in England," the no-nonsense defender said in The Sun.
"He is only one of them. You don't have to be scared of him, otherwise you
can't play."

Dossena agrees
£4.4m Napoli move

Andrea Dossena has agreed a return to Italy with Serie A side Napoli, according to reports in Italy this evening.
The left-back has been widely expected to leave Liverpool during the transfer window, with talks having taken place with Atletico Madrid also.
Napoli’s sporting director is reported to have flown to Merseyside on Monday to agree the deal, at the third time of asking having previously attempted to sign the defender in the summer. Previously Atletico looked the more likely destination having held talks over a loan move linked to Maxi Rodriguez’s imminent move in the opposite direction.
(This is Anfield)

Steven Gerrard: The League
table doesn't lie about Liverpool

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has delivered a fairly damning verdict on his team's efforts so far this season and has urged his team-mates to take a long hard look at themselves as they try to put things right.
The finger of blame for the club's current woes has been pointed at manager Rafa Benitez in recent weeks, but Gerrard feels that his coach is not the man responsible for the Reds' slide down the league table and exit from
the Champions League.
"People have said our position is puzzling after last season's success. It's not puzzling at all. The table never lies, we haven't been good enough,"
he told Zoo magazine.
"We are in this position for a reason and it tells us that we really haven't been good enough, and the players have to take responsibility for that.
"All us Liverpool players have got to look at our league position, roll our sleeves up and get this football club back where it belongs, as far up the table
as possible.
( UK)
O'Neill keen to keep in-form Emile
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has admitted he wants "to keep players who are making an impact" after praising Emile Heskey's recent form.
Heskey has been linked with a £4 million switch to Chelsea, with Liverpool also reported to be interested in signing their former player.
The England player voiced concern earlier in the campaign about a lack of first team opportunities affecting his World Cup chances.
But he has been more of a regular starter in recent weeks and made
a telling impact.
O'Neill said: "After the Blackburn game on Saturday, someone asked me about Heskey, a hypothetical question about 'What if Emile wanted to go?' and it took me a bit by surprise.
"I haven't really sat down yet and spoken to any of the players about what is going to happen in January.
"I couldn't give you any guarantees about anything but we are in a situation here where I would be wanting to keep the players who are making an impact at the football club.
"And I think Emile in the last number of weeks has been really excellent for us.
"Ideally, because we are involved in different competitions at this minute, I would try and keep them if it's at all possible. I just don't know. I will take every situation on its merits."

Darby thanks Reds team-mates
Liverpool youngster Stephen Darby has expressed his thanks after returning to the Reds team against Reading.
The 21-year-old defender played 90 minutes as Liverpool drew 1-1 in the FA Cup at the Madejski Stadium, earning the Royals a replay at Anfield next Wednesday.
Darby made his Reds debut in the UEFA Champions League against Fiorentina in December, but what should have been a day to remember turned to disaster when he gifted Viola forward Alberto Gilardino a goal which sealed the win for the away side, ending Liverpool's European campaign on a sour note.
Darby admits he was at a low ebb after the error, but has thanked his team-mates for picking him up and giving him the confidence to bounce back.
(Sky Sports)

Agent: Liverpool Rodriguez deal close understands Liverpool are a step closer to securing the signing of Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez on an initial short-term loan agreement. The Argentine international has his heart set on a move to Anfield and is a stage closer to a move to Liverpool the player’s agent has revealed.
Speaking to, the 29-year-old’s agent Jurgen Milewski made clear that talks were ongoing and that the chances of a January switch to Merseyside were indeed high:
“No. There is no news currently at present. But I can say the chances of a transfer are high,” stated the representative.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was reportedly worried that Argentine club Boca Juniors were interested in the playmaker’s services, however the Reds look set to win the race to sign the talented midfielder.
A deal to sign the former Espanyol player could be completed as soon as tomorrow morning with Benitez keen to replenish his dejected and out of form squad. Reports in Spain suggest Rodriguez was so desperate to engineer a move to Liverpool he was willing to take a large pay cut on his 4.4 million euros
a year wages.
It has not been confirmed whether Rodriguez will move on a short-term loan move to Liverpool or a permanent deal. The majority of reports suggest the Argentine will initially move on a loan deal that will become permanent in the summer transfer window.

Villa striker Heskey excited
by Liverpool interest

Man Utd linked with January move for Roma keeper Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey is keen on a return to Liverpool, it has been revealed.
The News of the World says Liverpool's financial problems make the chances of Heskey completing an extraordinary return to Merseyside slim.
Aston Villa will resist efforts to sell to a top four rival and expect at least £5m, which is well beyond what Reds boss Rafa Benitez can currently afford.
But if Benitez can scrape any funds together by the end of the month he'll bid for the Aston Villa target man.
Heskey is understood to be excited by the prospect of a return to Liverpool even though there remain numerous obstacles in the way.

Replay televised
Liverpool's FA Cup replay against Reading is to be televised.
The FA Cup third round replay against Reading at Anfield on Wednesday, January 13th is to be shown live on ITV. The game will now kick off at 7.45pm instead of the 8pm originally stated.
(LFC Online)

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