Rumours

January - 2006

 
HEADLINES
2701: Reds close in on Victor swoop
2401: Cologne chase Dudek
2401: Reds eye fresh Galletti talks
2201: Espanyol to target Morientes
2201: Liverpool want Chelsea ace
1301: Rafa to go with Defoe flow
1001: Liverpool linked with Diana
0601: Juventus and Atletico Madrid players...
0501: Reds look at Fabio
0501: Traore linked with moves
0401: Reds eye Parma man
0301: Reds plan Dane move
0301: Reds linked with Portuguese defender
0101: Carson wants out
0101: Rafa closes in on Agger deal
RUMOURS ARCHIVE         
2005  
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JANUARY 27
Reds close in on Victor swoop

By Francisco Acedo - Sky Sports

Liverpool are poised to follow up the capture of Robbie Fowler with the signing of Deportivo La Coruna winger Victor.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his desire to bring in a winger during the January transfer window and had been linked with a host of names.

Benitez has seen moves for Atletico Madrid's Luciano Galletti and Benfica's Simao Sabrosa hit the rocks, prompting the Spaniard to switch his attentions across La Primera to Depor.

The Reds are close to striking an accord with Depor and Victor has not made the trip to Madrid for the weekend clash with Atletico.

Victor, who has recently returned to fitness following a thigh injury, is expected to head to Merseyside on Sunday to discuss terms and undergo a medical.

A three-and-a-half-year deal is set to be put on the table and Benitez will hope to wrap up the transfer before the window slams shut on Tuesday.

Victor has class in abundance, having turned out for Real Madrid in the past, and Benitez will hope the 29-year-old can add some attacking thrust to his side.


JANUARY 24
Cologne chase Dudek

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Cologne are the latest club to express an interest in Liverpool's out-of-favour goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

Dudek is seeking to leave Liverpool after growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of first-team chances.

The former Feyenoord star has yet to make an appearance for The Reds this season, with Jose Reina establishing himself a number one under Rafa Benitez.

Dudek is keen to find a move away during this month's transfer window, as he looks to safeguard his international place with Poland.

The keeper's agent Jan de Zeeuw has revealed Cologne are keen on signing the UEFA Champions League hero and Dudek would be interested in a switch to Germany.

"Jerzy (Dudek) wants to play at the World Cup and just to play football again," de Zeeuw told the Kolner Express.

"Jerzy would be willing to move to Germany and join Cologne, but we need to reach a compromise with Liverpool."


JANUARY 24
Reds eye fresh Galletti talks

By Graeme Bailey - Sky Sports

Atletico Madrid are bracing themselves for a Liverpool bid this week, with Argentine Luciano Galletti the target.

The Reds have been tracking Galletti for a number of weeks and have been considering a number of options for their problematic right midfield role.

Steven Gerrard has been filling the void to great effect in recent weeks - but the England star is unlikely to accept that as a long-term solution.

With that in mind, numerous targets have been checked, but so far none have resulted in anything positive - so now Rafa Benitez is reported to be back on the trail of Galletti.

Atletico are not willing to let Galletti leave on loan, but could be prepared to let him leave for a bid near 5 million.

The player himself is eager to seal a World Cup place with Argentina, but his failure to secure a regular first team berth with Atletico will not have enhanced his claims, so a move to Liverpool could appeal.

Atletico are thought to be keen on bolstering their economic situation and president Enrique Cerezo admits he will listen to offers for any of his players - including star man Fernando Torres, who was wanted by Chelsea last year.

"As president and club administrator, I am obliged to listen to offers for Fernando Torres just like for any other player of our club," club president Enrique Cerezo said.

"You study the offer and then you see what happens.

"We are not a club that sells and we have no intention of selling Torres for the sake of it.

"Fernando has a contract with Atletico and there's nothing that stops him from completing it."


JANUARY 22
Espanyol to target Morientes

By Mark Kendall - Sky Sports

Reports in Spain claim that Espanyol will target Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes if Jose Antonio Camacho is appointed sport director at the start of next month.

Camacho will take up the post if Claudio Biern wins the club's presidential elections in February.

Biern, who is fronting a group called 'Nou Espanyol', has promised to install the former Spain coach and insists he will then look to target two major signings.

The first of those is Barcelona forward Javier Saviola who is currently on loan at Sevilla.

Espanyol attempted to sign the Argentine international last summer but were frustrated by their Catalan neighbours who did not want to see the player move to their cross-city rivals.

Biern is confident, though, that with the financial backing of his group he will be able to push through a deal for Saviola next summer with the player clearly not fitting into the plans of Barca boss Frank Rijkaard.

Espanyol's second high-profile target has now emerged as Morientes, with sources in Spain citing Camacho's close friendship with the player as the key to any deal.

The two linked up during Camacho's stint as Spain boss with the former Real Madrid coach a staunch fan of the striker's qualities.

It appears unlikely that Liverpool would consider offloading Morientes with the 29-year-old a key component in Rafa Benitez's Reds squad.

However, Biern is reported to be ready to launch a sustained assault for the hit-man and is hopeful that his financial muscle and Camacho's friendship could convince the player to return to Spain.


JANUARY 22
Liverpool want Chelsea ace

Kop Talk

Newspaper reports today claim that Liverpool are trying to sign Chelsea ace Shaun Wright-Phillips, a player we tried to sign before Abramovich started flashing the cash around.

The 21million winger is frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at Stamford Bridge and is concerned that he could be overlooked for World Cup duty by England boss Sven Goran Eriksson.

Manager Rafael Benitez is an admirer and Rick Parry has spoken to the player's family before about a possible move to Anfield but that was when the player was at Manchester City.

A Liverpool FC insider is quoted as saying: "Liverpool have made their interest known and a move like this would give Shaun's dream of playing in the World Cup a major boost.

"He has been patient with his lack of games and was always aware of what the competition would be like at Chelsea. But Sven Goran Eriksson needs to see him in action."

A loan deal looks the most obvious proposition and while Chelsea may consider loaning him out, whether or not they'd negotiate without us is another matter as there's still a bad vibe following the Gerrard saga.


JANUARY 13
Rafa to go with Defoe flow

TEAMtalk

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will launch a summer bid for striker Jermain Defoe - but has warned Tottenham he will not pay "crazy money".

Doubts over Djibril Cisse's long-term future at Anfield refuse to go away, and Benitez is believed to have targeted a summer swoop for Defoe, who he believes can fill the vacuum not plugged since Michael Owen's exit to Real Madrid.

The Spaniard will not make a bid in January's transfer window as he feels clubs demand "very big money" - but he is prepared to get his man on board for next season's glory charge.

Defoe - rated in the 10million bracket - is currently third choice in the striker pecking order at White Hart Lane, with Robbie Keane and Egyptian hitman Mido ahead of him.

And he has become increasingly frustrated at his lack of first-team action, which has arguably put his chances of winning a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad for the World Cup in jeopardy.

Benitez will only do business with Spurs if they slap a realistic price tag on the 23-year-old's head, however, and he said: "We will continue to look for good players all around the world. Normally when I talk with scouts we talk about English players but the problem here is the price.

"If you do not pay very big money, crazy sometimes, you cannot sign English players. Have you seen the prices being asked for home-grown players? If those prices were cut, that is the only way we can sign them.

"People think we have a lot of money and we can pay over the value. We will only pay the true value of a player."

If 5ft 7ins Defoe were to join the European champions, he would form a little and large partnership with gangly goalgetter Peter Crouch, who is a whole foot taller than the diminutive Spurs star.


JANUARY 10
Liverpool linked with Diana

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool are believed to have turned their attentions to Italian international Aimo Diana as they search for a new midfielder.

Reports emanating from Italy claim Liverpool have made an offer for the Sampdoria star.

Liverpool are in the market for a right-sided midfielder with Rafa Benitez scouring the transfer market since last summer for a player to fill the problematic position.

It seems likely that Liverpool are set to miss out on top target Simao Sabrosa with Benfica keen to keep the Portuguese international.

The European champions are now thought to be considering a move to lure Diana to Anfield.

The 28-year-old is highly rated at Sampdoria and is in the running to make the Italy squad for this summer's World Cup finals.

Another option for Liverpool could be Sevilla's Daniel Alves.

Liverpool have been long-term admirers of Alves and tried to sign him in the summer, but without success.

The Reds could make a new move for Alves this month, but they could face fierce competition from Barcelona with the Camp Nou titans believed to have first refusal on the player.

Meanwhile, one player who seems set to be on his way to Anfield is MK Dons youngster David Martin.

Martin enjoyed a trial at Liverpool at the end of last year and he is believed to have impressed the coaching staff at Anfield.

Liverpool have now decided to offer Martin a deal and he is expected to sign a contract in the near future.


JANUARY 6
Juventus and Atletico Madrid players linked

Kop Talk

Liverpool have been linked with Juventus defender Jonathan Zebina today.

Reports originating from Italy claim that the Reds are "very close" to a deal for the 27-year-old.

There's so many fires at the moment though, that it's becoming difficult to see through the smoke to pick out the genuine targets.

It's not the first time that Zebina has been linked with us. He was linked with us a few months back and when his agent was asked if our interest - and that of AC Milan - was genuine, he simply said his client would be leaving Juventus as soon as possible.

Zebina is certainly one to consider.

Meanwhile Liverpool have also been linked with Atletico Madrid's Luciano Galletti and there are suggestions by the media that he's already spoken to Anfield executives about a January transfer.


JANUARY 5
Reds look at Fabio

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is looking to his former club Valencia for new faces with Brazilian defender Fabio Aurelio his target.

The South American's current contract at The Mestalla expires at the end of June and he is now able to discuss a move away from the club.

Valencia chiefs will hold last-ditch talks with Aurelio next week aimed at tying him to a new deal, but they have so far refused to meet his wage demands.

Reds boss Benitez is keen to build on his squad during the transfer window, and the 26-year-old could be the next on his list.

The Brazilian, who operates at left back or in midfield, is also being looked at by Real Madrid and Barcelona but he has fond memories of Benitez from his days in charge at Valencia.

Benitez has already bolstered his defence by signing Jan Kromkamp, and Danish centre half Daniel Agger is also expected to arrive at Anfield.

Benitez still wants more options down the left, especially with Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez's work permit problems, and Aurelio would prove tough competition for John Arne Riise and Harry Kewell.

Any move for Aurelio could prove to be the end for Djimi Traore, however, with the Frenchman probably being surplus to requirements with Stephen Warnock also able to play at left back.


JANUARY 5
Traore linked with moves

Sporting Life

Thursday's newspapers are claiming Liverpool full-back Djimi Traore is on the verge of leaving Anfield.

The 25-year-old was signed by Gerard Houllier in February 1999 and was a member of the Liverpool side that won last year's Champions League final.

However he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team spot and the Daily Mirror reports he is a target for Fulham boss Chris Coleman.

The Daily Record claims he is one of three Liverpool players Vladimir Romanov is keen to take to Hearts.

Romanov is said to be in talks with Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry in the hope of signing Neil Mellor, Anthony Le Tallec and Traore who is valued at around 2 million by the Anfield club.


JANUARY 4
Reds eye Parma man

By Nadia Carminati - Sky Sports

Liverpool are the latest side to be linked with an interest in Parma midfielder Marco Marchionni.

The talented midfield man is out of contract with the Gialloblu at the end of the season, and they could be ready to cash in on him in January to avoid losing him for nothing.

Serie A sides Juventus, Internazionale and Fiorentina are all studying Marchionni's situation, with all three hoping to wait until the summer to make their move.

Marchionni himself is thought to favour a move to an Italian outfit, and is also keen to see out the season at Parma.

However, a move to the current European champions could prove to be too big to turn down, if Rafa Benitez presses ahead with his interest.

Marchionni has made his name with some eye-catching displays at Parma, but the club are sure to lose him, with the main question now being when and where he moves.


JANUARY 3
Reds plan Dane move

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool are believed to have stepped up their interest in Brondby defender Daniel Agger.

The Reds have been tracking the Danish international for some time as they search for a new defender.

Rafa Benitez has made a new central defender his top priority during this month's transfer window and Agger is believed to be at the top of his wanted lost.

Agger came to Benitez's attention after his impressive performance for Denmark in the 4-1 win over England last August.

A number of other top clubs have been linked with the composed defender, but Liverpool are hoping to steal a march on their rivals by luring him to Anfield in the January transfer window.

Reports emanating from Denmark and England suggest Liverpool are ready to make a major offer for Agger.

Speculation has intensified that a deal could be in the offing as Brondby's share prices have rocketed in the last few days.


JANUARY 3
Reds linked with Portuguese defender

By Adam Bryant - LFC Online

Liverpool are being linked with a possible move for 22-year-old Portuguese centre-back Ze Castro.

Liverpool, Parma and Marseille have all expressed an interest in the Coimbra youngster, who's contract expires in the summer.

"I have knowledge of that," he told the Portuguese press. "But there is nothing already determined because I have time for reflection and to define my future."


JANUARY 1
Carson wants out

Kop Talk

Newspaper reports today claim that Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson wants to leave Anfield in January and spend the rest of the season out on loan.

If Liverpool 'keeper Jerzy Dudek leaves this month, Carson will not be allowed to follow him as he'll obviously be required to provide cover to Spanish ace Jose Reina.

Dudek has said he would prefer to be loaned out as he doesn't want to leave Liverpool on a permanent basis. He just wants to be playing to help secure a World Cup place.

Rafael has said Dudek can forget leaving Anfield but it's widely accepted that if a firm bid came in, the club would accept it.


JANUARY 1
Rafa closes in on Agger deal

Sporting Life

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Danish international defender Daniel Agger.

The European champions have already moved to bolster their rearguard in the January transfer window by agreeing a deal for Villarreal's Dutch full-back Jan Kromkamp.

And manager Rafael Benitez sees 5million Agger as the man to give him depth at centre-back.

The 21-year-old Brondby star was in the Denmark side that crushed England 4-1 in a friendly in Copenhagen last August.

A recent ankle injury has hampered his domestic season, but according to the Sunday Express Benitez is now close to winning the race to sign him.

The paper claims Rafa is making his move now because he could face competition for Agger's signature from a host of top European clubs in the summer.

Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia have been superb in anchoring a Liverpool back line that has conceded only one goal in their current run of 10 consecutive Premiership wins.

But the signings of Kromkamp and Agger would give them strength in depth as they bid to retain their Champions League crown and push Chelsea for the Premiership title.


Thor Zakariassen