January - 2008

2601: Benitez weighs up Aimar swoop
2401: Luis Fabiano linked with move...
2201: Keegan wants Crouch
2101: Fulham closing on Kewell swoop
1901: Valencia waiting on £7m Sissoko
1301: Reports: Jose wants liverpool job
1201: Reds linked with Real striker
0701: Juve close on Sissoko
0601: Inter join Sissoko race
0601: Reds linked with Opare move
0301: Mascherano in Juve link
0301: Wayne Bridge offered escape route...

Benitez weighs up Aimar swoop

By David Jones - Liverpool Echo

Rafa Benitez is weighing up a swoop for Argentinian playmaker Pablo Aimar.

The Liverpool boss is looking into the possibility of signing Aimar from Real Zaragoza after being alerted to his availability.

Benitez has managed Aimar previously when the pair worked together at Valencia – a time which Aimar openly admits was his most productive as a player.

Since then he has gone on to star for Zaragoza in La Liga after a £8.5m move from Valencia in July 2006.

Though a hugely popular figure among the Zaragoza fans, Aimar is believed to be ready to test himself in the Premiership and new Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan has already registered an interest in taking him to the north east.

But Benitez is monitoring the situation and could be prepared to make a move for Aimar – whom Diego Maradona once described as his "legitimate successor as the world's best player" – if the price is right.

With the transfer window set to close next Thursday, Liverpool would have to move fast if they are to secure a deal for the attacking midfielder. But with the club set to receive a fee in the region of £9m for Momo Sissoko, and Benitez having received the backing of co-owner Tom Hicks, there is nothing to stand in the way of them making an offer.

The 28-year-old has been linked with Liverpool before, shortly after Benitez quit Valencia to take over at Anfield, but no move transpired.

At the time Aimar said: "Rafa Benitez is an excellent coach who knows me very well and Liverpool would be an ideal place to go if I cannot sort out my future here.

"From what I can see, English football is the best in Europe next to Spain and I do not think I would have a problem adapting to the Premiership."

Luis Fabiano linked with
move to Liverpool FC

Liverpool Daily Post

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano could be on his way to the Premier League with the Brazil international claiming negotiations with an English club are at an “advanced” stage.

Although he did not name which club he is in talks with, Spanish media have been reporting that Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton are among those interested in signing the in-form hitman.

Luis Fabiano, who is the joint-leading goalscorer in La Liga this season with 13, reportedly told the Brazilian media that the possibility of moving to England was a “great opportunity” for him.

“It is very difficult for me to remain in Sevilla. The negotiations for me to go to England are very advanced. It is my great opportunity,” said the 27-year-old, who joined Sevilla from Porto in 2005.

“I am very happy at Sevilla and in Seville, who are a club and a city which I like very much. But it is my great opportunity and I will do what I think is most appropriate for me.”

Keegan wants Crouch

By Adam Bryant - LFC Online

Newcastle's new boss and the Toon Army's messiah Kevin Keegan is looking to bring in Peter Crouch during the January transfer window apparently.

With only one goal in their last five Premiership games the Barcodes are in need of fresh blood up front and are believed to be prepared to spalsh out £7m on the Liverpool striker.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp is also expressing an interest, if the price is right.

"I like Crouchie and I would take him any day of the week but I just don't know whether Liverpool would be willing to sell him," he said.

"He did a great job for me when he was at Portsmouth before and he is also a very nice lad."

Fulham closing on Kewell swoop

Fans FC

Fulham Football Club are being tipped to sign Harry Kewell this week.

It is being reported that Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has decided to let the injury-plagued Australian international quit Anfield on a free transfer, to offload his £60,000-per-week wage package.

Kewell has told the Reds he will only leave if he can move to a club in London, and Roy Hodgson is about to make him his second signing since taking over from Lawrie Sanchez at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson is hoping to meet with the former Leeds United winger in the coming week, and hopes to have the player in his squad for the next Premier League clash, at Bolton Wanderers, on January 29.

Valencia waiting on £7m Sissoko

Daily Mail

Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko could be on his way back to Valencia for a knockdown £7million.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been asked by the club's owners to find a buyer for Sissoko to finance the £6m purchase of Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel.

American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett sanctioned the purchase of centre-back Skrtel believing that Sissoko's £10m move to Juventus was imminent. However, that fell through.

Benitez is now under pressure to get the best price while Sissoko is on Africa Cup of Nations duty for Mali.

Reports: Jose wants liverpool job

Football 365

Jose Mourinho has reportedly told Liverpool that he wants Rafa Benitez's job.

The Sunday Mirror claims that the 'former Chelsea boss has contacted Liverpool's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett through a third party indicating that he would love to take over at Anfield next season.'

It is widely believed that Benitez will be sacked by the Americans at the end of the current campaign and Mourinho is currently precluded from managing another Premiership club this season under the terms of his compensation package with Chelsea.

The expected approach from either Real Madrid or Barcelona has failed to materialise and Mourinho is apparently warming to the idea of moving to the cold north-west.

However, his prickly relationship with Liverpool supporters remains a stumbling block, as does the growing uncertainty that Hicks and Gillett will still own Liverpool at the start of next season.

Reds linked with Real striker


Real Mallorca forward Juan Arango says he is flattered by reported interest in his services from Liverpool.

Spanish media reports that the Venezuelan is on Rafa Benitez's wanted list and although the 27-year-old says he has heard nothing, he would be interested in a move to Anfield.

He said: "I have been told some things but I really didn't know what was happening. I am very happy that such a big team like Liverpool is speaking about me.

"They play the Champions League, they are one of the giants in the world.

"I would like very much to have the chance to play at Liverpool."

He added: "Maybe if I keep on having good performances at Mallorca and the national team the coach decides to count with me in the future. You never know where football can take you to."

Juve close on Sissoko

By Adam Marshall - Setanta Sports

Juventus are stepping up their attempts to sign Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

The Turin giants are exploring all possible avenues in a bid to get the Mali international into Claudio Ranieri's midfield.

Italian sources claim a delegation from Juve will fly to England this week in a bid to discuss a possible move for Sissoko, who complained when being left out of the final game of the Champions League group stages at Marseille.

Some reports suggest Sissoko could even buy out the remainder of his contract in a bid to secure a switch to Stadio delle Alpi but a more likely scenario is a loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer.

Inter have also been credited with an interest in the African, who appears to have fallen out of favour with many Liverpool supporters despite making a positive impression on his arrival at Anfield.

Sissoko suffered a serious eye injury that halted his progress and the 22-year-old has struggled to earn a regular first team place since under Rafa Benitez.

Inter join Sissoko race

Channel 4

After Juventus lined up a bid for the unsettled Liverpool star, now Inter plan to intercept with their own offer for Mohamed Sissoko.

The midfielder has hinted he would favour a January move away from the Premier League club after a falling out with Rafa Benitez and had already been in talks with Juve over the summer.

It is widely reported that Claudio Ranieri would like Sissoko to reinforce his squad as soon as possible and could include Jonathan Zebina as part of an exchange deal.

However, this morning the ‘Corriere dello Sport’ suggests that Inter are joining the race to sign the 22-year-old.

With Olivier Dacourt and Walter Samuel out for the rest of the season and Patrick Vieira, Luis Figo and Dejan Stankovic dealing with long-term injuries, new faces are needed in the middle of the park.

The Italian newspapers maintain Sissoko could be available for as little as £5m and, at that price, Fiorentina are also showing an interest.

“We have not decided anything yet, but it is likely we will sign someone over the January transfer window,” commented Inter boss Roberto Mancini.

“Before we make any moves, we have to evaluate the condition of the injured players and see how long it will take them to return.”

Reds linked with Opare move

By Lewis Rutledge - Sky Sports

Ghanaian starlet Daniel Opare has admitted it would be a dream come true to play in the Premier League, amid speculation linking him with a switch to Liverpool.

Opare was rated the best defender at last summer's Under-17 World Cup.

Still only 17, he has already been called up to Ghana's senior team and has been likened in style to Brazilian great Cafu.

He currently plays for Ashanti Gold SC in his homeland and is under contract until 2010, but a host of top European sides are understood to be interested.

Real Madrid and Milan are among Opare's admirers, but he has hinted that he would prefer a move to the Premier League.

"I'm calm about my future, but to play in Europe will be to fulfil my dreams," Opare said in the News of the World.

"The Premier League is sensational."

Opare's enthusiasm for the English game will have been noted by Liverpool, who have reportedly been tracking his progress for some time.

The Reds could now decide to make an offer, although Ashanti have inserted a clause in his contract that will not allow him to move for less than £1.5million.

Mascherano in Juve link

By Nadia Carminati - Sky Sports

Juventus are tracking Javier Mascherano's situation at Liverpool with interest, according to reports in
the Italian press.

The Argentine has been on loan at Liverpool since last January but Reds bosses have yet to decide on his future.

Mascherano has expressed his desire to stay, but it is understood that Liverpool would have to pay around £17million to secure his services.

Juventus are on the lookout for a defensive midfielder and if Liverpool decide not to keep Mascherano they could make an approach.

Juventus have also been linked with Mascherano's Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Sissoko.

Sissoko has had few opportunities to impress at Anfield this season and Juventus may step up their pursuit if they miss out on Mascherano.

Wayne Bridge offered escape
route to Anfield in £6m switch

By Matt Hughes - The Times

Wayne Bridge’s unhappy 3½year spell at Chelsea could end with a £6 million move to Liverpool, one of their main rivals for the Barclays Premier League title.

The left back, 27, whose appearances at Stamford Bridge have been limited since the arrival of Ashley Cole from Arsenal, has already turned down the chance to switch to three top-flight rivals, but he may view the chance of resurrecting his career at Anfield more positively.

He is one of the leading targets for Rafael BenÍtez, the Liverpool manager, after a failed attempt to sign Gabriel Heinze, the former Manchester United defender.

Bridge’s prospects at Chelsea dipped almost as soon as the transfer window opened on Tuesday, when the club lined up a deal for Branislav Ivanovic, of Lokomotiv Moscow. The Serbia defender is expected to complete a £10 million move in the next few days.

Thor Zakariassen ©