January - 2010

3101: Report: Juventus agree
           terms with Benitez

2801: Juventus continue chase for Benitez
2701: Juventus want Kuyt
           to follow Liverpool boss Benitez

2701: Bruce weighs up
          move for Liverpool's Babel

2501: Liverpool FC offer
         Jovanovic a move to Anfield

2301: Italians eye Reds starlet
1901: Reds hold Jovanovic talks
1701: Marseille turn to Liverpool winger Babel
1101: Liverpool join Jones race
1101: Reds' shock loan
          swoop for City youngster

1001: Liverpool tracking
          Wolves defender Stearman

0701: Liverpool FC ready to rival Arsenal
          in battle to sign Marouane Chamakh

0601: Report: Galatasaray
          in the hunt for Babel

0601: Stuttgart keen on
          Liverpool fullback Degen

0501: Birmingham in £8m bid for Babel
0501: Dossena agrees £4.4m Napoli move
0301: Report: Liverpool plan
          £3m swoop for Carew

0201: Hertha Berlin on brink of
          deal for Liverpool’s Voronin

0101: Liverpool eye Greek international
0101: Liverpool attacker Babel
          rules out Italy move

0101: Liverpool to sign Maxi Rodriguez

Milan Jovanovic was linked with Reds this month.
(Photo: Getty Images)


Report: Juventus agree
terms with Benitez

Juventus have reportedly agreed terms with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, with the Spaniard set to take charge of the Serie A side from the start of next season.

According to the Independent, Juventus’ lawyers are due in England on Sunday for talks about releasing Benitez from his current Anfield contract.

The broadsheet claims that the Turin side's president Jean-Claude Blanc is keen to reach an agreement and has: "...already fixed everything with [Rafael] Benitez and has in his drawer a detailed agreement of his terms and length of contract."

The Italian's have recently dismissed Ciro Ferrara as coach after a poor run of results and appointed Alberto Zaccheroni as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Benitez, meanwhile, signed a new five-year deal with Liverpool last March, which runs until 2014.

However, after a poor season in which the Reds have been knocked-out of the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, speculation continues to mount regarding his future at the club.

Having been linked with the Juventus post in recent weeks Benitez has admitted he was flattered to hear of the Italians’ interest but insisted his focus remains with Liverpool as to seeks to resurrect a poor campaign by qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Juventus continue chase for Benitez

Anfield Online

According to the Italian media, Juventus president Jean-Claude Blanc has flown in to Liverpool in order to attempt to prise the Liverpool boss away from Anfield.

Benitez was very coy in his post match interview in mid-week when asked, on an opportunity when he normally would have brushed off the debate.

Suggestions have been rife that Benitez will move to Juventus in the summer, after failing to receive any assurances about player investment from the Liverpool board. For the fourth successive transfer window Liverpool’s net spend in the transfer window looks set to be negative as the club continue to hoard money to pay for enormous debts.

The Juve president is convinced the current malaise will ensure he can bring in Benitez now rather than wait until the summer.

Momo Sissoko, former red and now at Juventus, has also entered the discussion admitting that Benitez will have a plethora of opportunities come the summer.

“Rafa is a successful coach who can get any good job in Europe. He will be asked to take many jobs in Europe.”

“Rafa is a very good coach who had confidence in me. He made me proud to play for Liverpool. He made me work, work, work and made me improve.

Rafa bought Momo twice, firstly taking him to the Mestalla with Valencia before bringing him to Anfield. The player was eventually usurped by the arrival of Javier Mascherano.

“The Liverpool fans are very loyal, very kind and very passionate. Playing at Anfield was very special to me and I enjoyed playing there. Rafa has their support so that is important for him that the fans believe in him.”

We believe that Rafa is considering waiting till the summer, when there is a greater chance that depending on the climax to the season – the job at Real Madrid may be vacant.

Juventus want Kuyt
to follow Liverpool boss Benitez

Juventus want not only Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez - but also Dutch attacker Dirk Kuyt.

Tuttosport says Juventus were interested in signing Kuyt before he joined Liverpool in 2006 and there have been discussions over the player during transfer negotiations over Momo Sissoko and Xabi Alonso .

Juve are pressing to convince Benitez to leave Liverpool and it's claimed the one player he will insist on bringing with him to Turin will be Kuyt.

This season, Kuyt has scored eight goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool.

Bruce weighs up move
for Liverpool's Babel

By Graeme Anderson - Sunderland Echo

Sunderland are considering a move for Liverpool striker Ryan Babel as the Black Cats look to strengthen up front before the January transfer window closes.

Steve Bruce is pondering whether to make a move for the Anfield misfit as he weighs up all his options ahead of the window shutting on Monday, having been thwarted already in hopes of signing Schalke 04's Kevin Kuranyi or Club America's Salvador Cabanas.

And the Black Cats are fully aware that Liverpool would let the Dutch international go if the right deal could be struck.

Babel has been an enigma since arriving in English football as one of the hottest young properties in Europe.

Rafa Benitez signed him for £11.5m from Ajax in July 2007 but since then he has flattered to deceive, showing glimpses of his undoubted talent too rarely.

Although often deployed on the wing, his return of nine goals in 67 first-team appearances for the Reds is disappointing and this season he has scored only three goals in 15 Premier League outings.

Liverpool have lost patience with the 23-year-old and are willing to listen to offers, but are not ready to offload the player on the cheap.

Birmingham City failed with an £8million bid for the player at the start of the current transfer window, while Babel himself is known to be choosy about the idea of moving on.

There have been claims that Babel would consider a move to London – either to Tottenham or Arsenal – but no acceptable bids from either club has materialised.

It may be that if Sunderland do opt to pursue the player, he will need some persuading to move to the North East.

But of far more relevance at the moment, is whether Sunderland will decide that the striker/winger is a player who would benefit the Black Cats in the long term.

Bruce and his coaching team have made a career out of spotting talent and bringing it on at other clubs.

And the question they will have to satisfy in their own minds is whether Babel is a player who could blossom on Wearside.

It would be foolish to import a player with bags of talent without the right attitude – Sunderland learned that lesson with their costly acquisitions of Pascal Chimbonda and El-Hadji Diouf a couple of seasons ago.

But if Babel could be brought in and directed towards making the most of his undoubted abilities, Sunderland might have a player on their hands who would be a major asset as the club looks to go forward.

What Bruce has to decide is which player Babel is. Frustrated star in the making? Or expensive prima donna?

Liverpool FC offer
Jovanovic a move to Anfield

By Dominic King - Liverpool Echo

Liverpool have offered Milan Jovanovic the opportunity to move to Anfield at the end of the season.

The Standard Liege striker is out of contract this summer and the Reds have put together a package that would see Jovanovic sign a three-year deal.

Jovanovic is high on Rafa Benitez’s wanted list and it is understood the Serbian international would jump at the chance to play for Liverpool.

However, Jovanovic – who is a target for a number of Europe’s top clubs, including AC Milan – is seeking some assurances before he makes his next move.

He is seeking indications about Benitez’s long-term future and will only commit to joining the Reds if he knows the Spaniard will be manager next season.

A powerful forward who has scored an impressive 52 goals in 107 appearances for the crack Belgian side, Jovanovic will play a key role for Serbia at the World Cup this summer.

Liverpool also continue to remain in the hunt for Marouane Chamakh, Bordeaux’s highly-rated striker, who – like Jovanovic – is available on a free transfer in June.

With just seven days remaining of the transfer window, Benitez is continuing to scour the market for cover at right-back, given Glen Johnson’s continued absence.

But options are few and far between and it is looking increasingly likely that Maxi Rodriguez will remain Benitez’s only January purchase.

Only time will tell if he parts with any more of his squad – Ryan Babel has again been linked with a move away – but one man who won’t be leaving is Yossi Benayoun.

The Israeli midfielder, who is currently out with broken ribs, is a £7m target for Dynamo Moscow but Benitez has no intention of selling one of his most influential players.

Italians eye Reds starlet

Sky Sports understands Liverpool starlet Damien Plessis could be set for a move away from Anfield before the close of the transfer window.

A mystery Italian club are thought to be keen on signing the highly-rated 21-year-old.

The French midfielder has found himself well down the pecking order this season, making just one appearance in the Carling Cup against Arsenal.

Plessis joined Liverpool in 2007 from Lyon and he made his debut for the first team in April 2008.

However, the French Under 21 international has struggled to make an impact and has found himself restricted to a role in the reserves.

His Italian suitors are understood to have watched him in action for the reserves in midweek against Manchester City and they are hoping to strike a deal for his services.

Reds hold Jovanovic talks

Sky Sports

Milan Jovanovic's representatives have held talks with Liverpool, understands.

The Standard Liege star is out-of-contract in the summer and has made it clear he intends to take up the option of a Bosman transfer.

Valencia had hoped to land him in January, but now Jovanovic is holding talks with a number of interested parties.

AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are among the sides keen to seal a deal and are also believed to have discussed terms.

Now Liverpool have met with the Serbian's representatives with a view to bringing him to Anfield in the summer.

Despite holding talks this week, Jovanovic is unlikely to give Liverpool or any of his suitors a decision this month.

The 28-year-old, who can play on the left or up front, could even wait until after the World Cup - where he will be featuring for Serbia.

Marseille turn to
Liverpool winger Babel

Olympique Marseille are interested in Liverpool winger Ryan Babel.

The News of the World says Marseille are running out of patience in their bid to sign Alessandro Mancini and have considered Babel as an alternative option.

A deal has been agreed with Inter Milan but Mancini is stalling amid rumours of possible interest from AC Milan and Manchester City.

Babel would be an expensive option for the Stade Velodrome outfit but informed sources in the south of France insist a deal would at least be considered.

Liverpool join Jones race

Liverpool have reportedly joined Premier League rivals Birmingham City, Stoke City, Aston Villa and Tottenham in the race for Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Sunday People claim Rafa Benitez is proposing a swap deal involving Ryan Babel and Jones trading clubs in this transfer window.

Having recently sold Andriy Voronin to Dynamo Moscow, the Spaniard is looking to bring in an able replacement, and Jones reportedly fits the bill for Liverpool.

The towering Trinidad and Tobago striker has cut an impressive figure for Sunderland alongside the prolific Darren Bent, and he seemingly has no shortage of suitors despite Steve Bruce recently suggesting the player was not for sale.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is a known admirer having enquired about the player in the summer, while Aston Villa and Stoke City have both been linked with forward this month.

The newspaper suggests Jones would entertain the idea of moving to Anfield in order to play alongside Fernando Torres at Liverpool, but the move would depend who Ryan Babel's willingness to move to Sunderland.

The Dutchman recently rejected the chance to join high-flying Birmingham City in a £11 million deal despite Liverpool's readiness to sell the player.

Over the last few days Sunderland boss Steve Bruce appears to be looking at likely candidates to replace Jones should he accept the reputed advances of Liverpool, and having been recently rebuffed in his efforts to sign Shalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi, a swap deal with Babel may have its appeal.

Reds' shock loan
swoop for City youngster

Rafa Benitez is reportedly preparing a loan move for Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha.

The Liverpool boss is desperate to add defensive cover to his side, with right back Glen Johnson set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Onuoha signed a long-term contract at the City of Manchester Stadium in the summer, but has only made four appearances since after an injury ruled the 23-year-old out for a large part of the season so far.

Reports suggest that the Reds are ready to offer Onuoha a short-term loan deal at Anfield. Liverpool are short on defensive options in all positions, and Onuoha's versatility makes him a perfect candidate for a switch to Merseyside.

The former England Under 21 international isn't believed to be in the plans of new boss Roberto Mancini, and could put himself in the shop window for a move to Liverpool or elsewhere with a successful six-month stint.

The pair of clubs are seen as direct rivals for the fourth place spot in the Premier League, and whether City would want to loan players to a competitor is another issue entirely.

However, with City able to spend freely in the transfer market, a further addition at the back could leave Onuoha surplus to requirements in Lancashire and the possibility of a move much more likely.

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Liverpool tracking
Wolves defender Stearman

Wolves defender Richard Stearman is interesting Liverpool.

The Mirror says Reds boss Rafa Benitez wants cover for injured right back Glen Johnson and Stearman can play in that position and at centre half.

Stearman, 22, is a former England under-21 international and has been one of the success stories of Wolves season in the Premier League.

Liverpool FC ready to rival Arsenal
in battle to sign Marouane Chamakh

By Dominic King - Liverpool Echo

Liverpool are ready to rival Arsenal in the battle to sign Bordeaux’s highly-rated striker Marouane Chamakh.

The Moroccan striker has been the subject of much speculation this season and is keen on a move to the Premier League determined to eager to sign a pre-contract.

Chamakh has long been linked with a move to Arsenal but the Gunners have not followed up their initial interest yet with a firm bid and that has alerted Rafa Benitez.

It is no secret the Liverpool manager wants to add to his strike force and Chamakh, a highly-rated 25-year-old, has ticks in all the right boxes, especially as he is on a Bosman.

He is eager for his future to be sorted out sooner rather than later – preferably during this transfer window – and the Reds are ready to give him a chance in the Premier League.

Chamakh’s contract with Bordeaux runs out this summer and he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs during January.

If Liverpool were to be successful in the pursuit for his signature, however, he would not move to Anfield until the end of the current campaign.

Report: Galatasaray
in the hunt for Babel UK

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.

The Turkish outfit are managed by Babel's fellow countryman Frank Rijkaard, which could increase their appeal to a man whose Anfield career appears to be over.

The Dutchman has endured an unfortunate spell at Liverpool, whom he joined in 2007 from Ajax.

He is understood to be keen on a move to a club with Champions League prospects, though some sources claim that Birmingham may return with an improved bid soon.

Stuttgart keen on
Liverpool fullback Degen

Liverpool fullback Philipp Degen is attracting German interest.

Degen is being made available by Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez this month, despite the knee injury suffered by Glen Johnson.

Several Bundesliga have asked after Degen, including big-spending Stuttgart, says The Times.

The Switzerland international has had a wretched time at Anfield due to injury.

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.

The move for the Dutch winger is the first sign that Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung is serious about backing manager Alex McLeish with the finances needed to continue the club's run of impressive form this season.

Having won seven and drawn four in their last 11 fixtures, McLeish has made no secret of the club's intentions to go for a place in Europe, and a player of Babel's calibre is what his squad is lacking.

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.

Dossena agrees
£4.4m Napoli move

This is Anfield

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.

Dossena never settled in English football but will always have a place in Liverpool fan’s hearts after scoring, incredibly, the final goal in both the 4-0 win over Real Madrid and the 4-1 win at Old Trafford in a famous week last March.

Rafa Benitez will now be free to complete the signing of Rodriguez and move on to other transfer window targets.

One of those targets for Benitez is to offload Ukranian forward Andriy Voronin, who has spent the last week sunning himself in Miami. The Mirror reports this morning that a £1.5m move to Dynamo Moscow is poised to be completed. Fantastic news for Liverpool fans!

Report: Liverpool plan
£3m swoop for Carew UK

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is set to launch a surprise move for Aston Villa centre-forward John Carew, according to a report from the Daily Star Sunday.

Ready cash is in short supply at Anfield, but the powerful Norwegian could be prised away from Villa park for £3 million. His current contract expires in 18 months' time, and there has not yet been any indication that manager Martin O'Neill is to offer him a new one.

Carew played for Benitez at Valencia, and the Spaniard is said to still be an admirer of the 30-year-old, who is apparently unhappy about slipping behind England striker Emile Heskey in the Villa Park pecking order.

Forwards Ryan Babel and Andriy Voronin are set to be sold in the next month as Benitez looks to raise some cash and move to strengthen his striking options.

Hertha Berlin on brink of
deal for Liverpool’s Voronin

Hertha Berlin are on the brink of landing Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin in a £2.5 million deal.

The Sun says while his Kop team-mates shiver in the cold, Voronin is on a sunshine break in Miami Beach with wife Yulia.

The Ukraine striker, who spent last season on loan at the German club, is in advanced talks with Hertha.

Voronin scored 11 goals for Berlin to help them finish fourth - he has managed just five league strikes in 27 Kop outings.

Hertha, fighting to avoid the drop this season, wanted him last summer but failed to agree a fee with Liverpool.

Liverpool eye Greek international

The Sunday Mercury

Liverpool are considering a move for Greek international right-back Vasilis Torosidis as a replacement for crocked Glen Johnson.

England full-back Johnson, 25, faces three months out after tearing medial ligaments in Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa.

And Reds boss Rafa Benitez is now deciding whether to bring in a cheap replacement.

Olympiakos Torosidis, 24, fits the bill as he has 25 caps for his country.

He is available for a knock-down fee and already has Juventus clamouring for his services.

Liverpool attacker Babel
rules out Italy move

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel isn't interested in a move to Italy.

The Daily Mail says Babel is likely to turn down overtures from Fiorentina and delay Liverpool's hopes of bringing players in.

Benitez knows that he'll have to work in the loan market to strengthen unless he can raise cash by selling or agree exchange deals.

He has been offered Olympiakos right back Vasilis Torosidis as a quick fix to Glen Johnson's absence but Rafa Benitez is likely to save funds for attack and wide midfield.

He is ready to part with Babel, Andriy Voronin, Andrea Dossena and Philipp Degen, but they are attracting minimal interest.

Babel, 23, represents their best hope of raising funds. But he is not keen on a move to Florence or Turkey, where there has been interest from Besiktas.

Liverpool to sign Maxi Rodriguez

This is Anfield

Happy New Year Liverpool fans, here’s some good news for you….

Rafa Benitez has signed long-term target Maxi Rodriguez from Atletico Madrid, according to the respected Well Red blog.

The Reds boss was linked with a swoop for the winger back in 2008 but has now secured a deal to bring him to Anfield on a short-term loan with a view to a permanent transfer.

The deal is perfect for cash-strapped Liverpool as Rodriguez, out of favour at Atletico, is out of contract in the summer and would not command a fee.

The 35-times capped midfielder, who has hit 30 goals in 107 appearances for Atletico, is desperate for first-team football to secure his place in Argentina’s World Cup squad.

Liverpool fans will remember Rodriguez scoring a well-crafted goal for Atletico in the group stages of the Champions League last season (picture above shows him celebrating) at Anfield in a game that ended 1-1.

Reports this week have linked left back Andrea Dossena with a move in the opposite direction so the two moves could well be linked.

Thor Zakariassen ©