January - 2007

2801: Spurs linked with Crouch bid
2101: Reds move for Ajax starlet
2101: Fowler considers United move
2101: Juve set sights on Gerrard
1801: Ayala heading for Liverpool?
1801: Warnock in £1.5m move
1701: Reds eye Hungarian starlet
1601: Money or medals key to Neill deal
1501: Neill deal close
0901: Rafa likes look of Lanus ace Leto
0901: Juve: Reds winning Masch race
0901: Liverpool target promising Italian...
0801: Reds move for Accies ace
0601: Juve back in for Mascherano
0601: Chelsea after Neill
0401: Juve target Reds ace Crouch
0401: Benitez eyes up double swoop

Spurs linked with Crouch bid

Sporting Life

Tottenham are being linked with a move for Liverpool and England striker Peter Crouch.

The giant hitman began his career as a trainee at White Hart Lane and The People claim Martin Jol wants to bring him back to the club.

Crouch has been struggling to claim a regular starting place of late at Anfield and Newcastle have already failed in a bid to land him.

Spurs are desperate to bring in another forward before the transfer window closes on Wednesday and the same newspaper claims Juan Pablo Angel from Aston Villa is another potential target should the Crouch move fail.

However the News Of The World believes James Beattie will be the striker Jol lands in his deadline-busting deal.

He is reported to be heading out of Everton for White Hart Lane in
a £4.5million deal.

Reds move for Ajax starlet

By Jeffrey Glorie - Sky Sports

Liverpool are reportedly ready to raid Ajax for youngster
Jordy Brouwe.

The Reds are believed to have agreed a deal to bring the Holland Under 19 international to Anfield.

Brouwe has come through the ranks at Ajax's famed academy and he has caught the eye of Liverpool scouts with some impressive performances for club and country.

Ajax technical director Martin van Geel claimed he was surprised by Liverpool's interest as they were unsure if Brouwe was good enough to make the breakthrough at the Amsterdam ArenA.

"We didn't have the complete conviction that he was ready for it," Van Geel told AD Sportwereld

"Internally we have talked about Jordy a lot.

"That doubt stayed after Liverpool expressed their interest.

"I say that without bitterness, because I wish Jordy all the success at Liverpool."

Fowler considers United move

Clubcall Sports

Former Liverpool team-mates Robbie Fowler and Patrik Berger are considering offers to follow David Beckham to Major League Soccer.

Reports claim (Washington) DC United are ready to offer Fowler a lucrative chance to end his career in the sun if, as is expected, he is not offered a new deal at Anfield.

With Beckham-mania hitting the US, many MLS clubs are looking to bring Premiership veterans over to add more celebrity spice to the competition.

Fowler, who's still only 31, has been told by Liverpool he will not be getting a new deal next summer and had been considering giving up the game altogether to concentrate on his other interests, including horse racing.

But the lure of spending a couple of years in the US may prove irresistible to the former England striker.

Juve set sights on Gerrard

By Alex Livie - Sky Sports

Juventus appear to be planning for life back in Serie A, as they have confirmed they would like to bring Liverpool star Steven Gerrard to Turin.

The Old Lady of Italian football are on course to bounce back to the top flight in Italy at the first time of asking, following their relegation for match-fixing, and it would appear they want to build a side capable of mounting an assault on the title.

The likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Pavel Nedved and Alessandro Del Piero opted to stay with Juve in Serie B, on the proviso that they built a great team for the following season.

Juve would appear to be trying to make good on their pledge as midfield star Gerrard appears on their list of targets.

"Gerrard is a great player and has been a dream for us for some time," Juve director of sport Alessio Secco is quoted as saying in the News of the World.

Gerrard has persistently been linked with a move away from Anfield and it could well be another summer of speculation surrounding the Reds talisman.

Ayala heading for Liverpool?

ITV Football

Roberto Ayala's agent has revealed that he is close to agreeing a deal that will see him leave Valencia on a free transfer for an unnamed club.

The Argentine's contract expires this summer and Valencia have apparently made little effort to tie him down to a new one.

Villarreal have been interested in signing the fullback, but reports are now suggesting that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will attempt to lure Ayala to Anfield after failing to land Blackburn defender Lucas Neill.

Ayala will be eligible to leave the Mestalla at the end of this season on a Bosman transfer and his agent Gustavo Mascardi has now confirmed that Ayala will sign a pre-contract with another club in the next few weeks if Valencia do not offer him a new deal.

"We have nearly reached an agreement with another club for next season, only a few details are outstanding," Mascardi told Radio Valencia SER.

"I cannot wait forever for a call from [Valencia sporting director Amedeo] Carboni about the negotiations.

"If nothing changes before the 4th or 5th of February we will sign the definitive document."

Warnock in £1.5m move

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Blackburn remain keen to sign Steve Warnock despite the pending collapse of Lucas Neill’s move to Anfield.

Warnock was expected to head to Ewood Park as part of a swop, but now fears being left in limbo by Neill’s seemingly imminent decision to reject a switch to Liverpool.

Talks are ongoing on Warnock’s position, as Benitez looks to raise funds for alternative targets.

Liverpool want £1.5m for the 25-year-old full back.

Reds eye Hungarian starlet

By Juha Pal - Sky Sports

Liverpool have given a trial to Hungarian starlet Andras Simon, according to reports in Hungary.

The 17-year-old, who plays for Budapest-based side MTK Hungaria, is regarded as one of the country's brightest talents.

Simon is believed to be heading to the Merseysiders to spend a few days training with the Premiership giants.

Liverpool are always scouting for Europe's up-and-coming talent and have already agreed a deal for 16-year-old Swedish striker Astrit Ajdarevic.

Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff will now assess Simon's attributes with a view to making his Anfield stay a permanent move.

Simon would become Liverpool's second Hungarian to play for the club behind defender Istvan Kozma, who played for The Reds during the early 90s.
Money or medals key to Neill deal

By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post

Liverpool target Lucas Neill must decide whether medals or money is the motivation behind his next career move.

The in-demand Australian defender is expected to leave Blackburn Rovers this week with a clutch of clubs chasing his signature.

Liverpool remain the favourites for the 28-year-old, and are ready to broker a deal that would see Stephen Warnock move in the opposite direction.

But with Rafael Benitez likely to regard Neill as a squad player, the Australian would have to fit within the club's existing pay structure in the knowledge he could command a higher salary as a first-team regular elsewhere.

Newcastle United and West Ham United are among the other potential suitors for Neill, who is out of contract at Ewood Park at the end of the season and is presently available for a straight £2million fee.

Now the Australian faces a choice between a greater chance of silverware at Liverpool or a higher wage at another club.

Neill deal close

By James Carroll - Shankly Gates

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Blackburn Rovers defender Lucas Neill.
It's thought that the Reds hope to have the Australian international in their squad for Saturday's Premiership fixture with Chelsea at Anfield.

Rafa Benitez has been tracking the Aussie since the summer as he looks to bring in some experienced cover for the full-back positions.

Neill is out-of-contract in the summer and it's expected that the deal with be a straight swop with Stephen Warnock heading to Ewood Park.

Liverpool are also hopeful of snapping-up West Ham United midfielder Javier Mascherano during the January transfer window, having already signed Italian under-21 international goalkeeper Daniele Padelli and Argentine left-back Emiliano Insua in loan deals.

Rafa likes look of Lanus ace Leto


Liverpool are closing in on young Argentinian midfielder Sebastian Eduardo Leto, according to the vice-president of his club Lanus.

Ruben Ferreti claims 20-year-old Leto has attracted bids from River Plate and an unnamed Spanish club, but Liverpool are understood to be the only bidders willing to meet Lanus' £1.85 million asking price.

"There is interest from Liverpool, but nothing is concrete yet," said Ferreti. "We still have to go on discussing it."

However, Ferreti added that he was optimistic a deal could be done.

"I have a good feeling about it," he said. "If a transfer is done, it will be done this week."

Leto has played 34 matches for Lanus since breaking into the first team, scoring six goals.

Juve: Reds winning Masch race

By Tom Adams and Nadia Carminati - Sky Sports

Juventus are ready to concede defeat in their bid to snatch Javier Mascherano from under the noses of Liverpool, but understands that the Premiership side are yet to petition Fifa regarding any transfer of the West Ham man.

The Reds are known to be keen on recruiting the Argentinian international on loan for the remainder of the season, but recent reports had suggested that long-standing admirers Juventus were launching a renewed bid to lure the midfielder to Italy.

Hammers boss Alan Curbishley has stated his belief that Mascherano, and international colleague Carlos Tevez, would not be leaving Upton Park due to Fifa regulations that prevent players performing for three clubs between 1st July and 30th June.

Despite the problems regarding red tape, Liverpool are believed to be hopeful of finding a way around the regulations in order to secure the signature of the player who made such an impression at Corinthians before seeing his form slump at Upton Park.

Now The Reds appear to be in pole position to land Mascherano after Juve's general director Alessio Secco confirmed that the MSI-owned star is close to a move to Anfield.

"Mascherano? It is a complicated situation either on a federal level or for his ownership," Secco told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Anyway now he is really close to Liverpool."

Following the Bianconeri's admission, only the outstanding legal issues with Fifa appear to be standing in the way of the holding midfielder completing a loan move to Anfield.

However, has learnt that Fifa's legal department are yet to receive any correspondence from the Premiership club.

Liverpool target promising Italian goalkeeper

Ireland On-Line

Liverpool are looking to acquire promising Italian goalkeeper Daniele Padelli, according to the player’s agent.

The Sampdoria player, who is currently on loan at Serie B club Crotone, went to Crotone in the summer with the understanding he would receive a lot of playing time.

However, the Italy Under-21 international has merely served as an understudy to Salvatore Soviero, playing in just one league game.

Samp have the right to cancel the loan deal with Crotone and are considering an offer which agent Silvano Martina claims has been made by the Reds for the 21-year-old.

"Liverpool are interested in Padelli. He is a promising goalkeeper," Martina said.

“If he were to join Liverpool in the winter transfer market, it would be on a permanent basis. There are still some issues to discuss with Crotone but it could all be decided later today.”

Martina is also the agent of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Reds move for Accies ace

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports understands Liverpool have tabled an offer for Hamilton starlet Jamie McCarthy.

McCarthy is being courted by a host of clubs after catching the eye at Hamilton this season.

The 16-year-old became the club's youngest ever scorer when netting in the weekend's Scottish Cup defeat to Livingston.

A number of clubs including Manchester United have watched McCarthy in action this season, but Liverpool are hoping to steal a march on their rivals by taking him to Anfield after he impressed in a recent trial on Merseyside.

Hamilton boss Billy Reid admitted Liverpool had made a bid to sign the teenage star.

"From what I believe Liverpool have tabled an offer for Jamie," Reid told

"He went down there for a trial and played in a game for the reserves and he did exceedingly well.

"Jamie showed up well down there and they made an offer for him.

"However, nothing has been agreed and nothing is set in stone. We will see what develops."

Liverpool could face a fight for McCarthy with Reading offering the youngster a trial.

"There are quite a number of clubs interested in Jamie," added Reid.

"He is going down to Reading this week for a few days to take part in training and we will see how he goes down there."

Juve back in for Mascherano

By Graeme Bailey - Sky Sports

Juventus are believed to have rekindled their interest in Javier Mascherano as they hope to beat Liverpool to his signature.

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley insisted on Friday that Mascherano could not leave because of Fifa regulations.

However, it is understood Liverpool are hopeful that the Fifa would okay a loan move.

But Juventus - who said earlier this week that they would not be pursuing Mascherano - now look to be back in the bidding.

Indeed widespread reports in Italy suggest Juve's sporting director Alessio Secco has flown to London for talks with West Ham - in order to make sure their interest is confirmed.

While Liverpool are hopeful of landing Mascherano, Juve have always been considered as the player's own preferred destination.

Chelsea after Neill

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Chelsea want to hijack Liverpool's bid to sign Lucas Neill.

Liverpool are reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign Blackburn's Lucas Neill for a minimal fee.

However, Chelsea are trying to hijack the deal at the last moment and bring the Australian to Stamford Bridge.

Neill is a Liverpool fan however, and is expected to turn down Chelsea's offer.

Juve target Reds ace Crouch


Juventus are reportedly interested in signing Liverpool's Peter Crouch as a replacement for David Trezeguet next term.

The disgraced Turin side, relegated to Serie B after Italy's match-fixing scandal erupted last summer, are already looking at a return to the big time.

And according to Corriere dello Sport they believe lanky England hitman Crouch will be the perfect man to step in if French star Trezeguet quits in the summer.

Trezeguet is under contract at the Stadio delle Alpi until 2008, but his future is uncertain.

Juve have also been linked with young Ajax sensation Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Benitez eyes up double swoop

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Liverpool are closing in on January targets Lucas Neill and Javier Mascherano - with an Anfield board meeting today expected to open the door to their arrival.

As the DIC takeover saga nears a successful conclusion at Liverpool, Rafa Benitez is seeking a swift completion of deals which have been a priority for several months.

The Reds boss wants the players in place early during the transfer window, and hopes there will be no delays which may prove costly to his plans.

Both Neill and Argentinian Mascherano are ready to move to Anfield, but the finishing touches are still to be put in place.

Clearly there is a balancing act for the board as they juggle immediate concerns with the long-term strategy of the prospective owners, but the manager is in need of new recruits this month.

Benitez is also hoping to complete a deal for 16-year-old James McCarthy for £100,000 from Hamilton Academicals.

Central midfielder Mascherano's transfer would initially be a loan until the end of the season, which could become permanent if he adapts more successfully at Liverpool than he has at West Ham.

Benitez has identified the 22-year-old as a quality cover for Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso as the Reds enter a crucial period with Momo Sissoko still on the treatment table.

Despite suggestions Mascherano can't play for three clubs in the same season, in fact, he's only played for one during this campaign.

The South American season ended on December 31, 2005, before Mascherano joined West Ham in the summer of 2006.

However, any move would still have to be ratified by FIFA.

Mascherano has made it clear he wants to move to Liverpool, and a deal has been agreed with his representatives Media Sports Investments.

Neill is another player who hopes he's played his last game for his current club.

The Aussie defender is suspended for this weekend's FA Cup third round at Goodison Park, and Benitez hopes to have him on board in time for Liverpool's Premiership game at Watford.

Neill would also be eligible for the Champions League, because new rules state at least one player in a squad list who's played in the UEFA Cup can also feature in the premier competition.

As in August, his hopes depend on how keen Blackburn are to hold onto a player nearing a Bosman.

Mark Hughes still wants to sign Stephen Warnock as part of a swop deal. Warnock is also attracting the attention of Sunderland, but would clearly prefer to remain in the Premiership.

Thor Zakariassen ©