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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Stuttgart keen on
Liverpool fullback Degen
Liverpool fullback Philipp Degen is attracting German
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
"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
"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
The Spaniard is happy with the progress he has made and
admits the club's difficulties on the pitch have helped to
"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."
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 sport.co.uk.
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
“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)
£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
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
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
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.
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
"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,
£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
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
But he has been more of a regular starter in recent weeks
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
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
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.
Agent: Liverpool Rodriguez deal close
Sport.co.uk 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 Sport.co.uk, 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
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
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
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.
Liverpool's FA Cup replay against Reading is to be
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