February - 2008

1702: Liverpool chase Diarra
1502: Peter Crouch starts Liverpool contract..
1402: 'DIC set for Liverpool takeover'
1202: Odemwingie linked with Liverpool



Liverpool chase Diarra

Sky Sports

Liverpool face competition from UEFA Champions League rivals Internazionale in the race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, according to the player's agent.

Reds manager Rafa Benitez is understood to be a long-term admirer of the £20million-rated 25-year-old, who joined Real in 2006 from Lyon.

However, Benitez faces tough competition from Italian trio Inter - who the Reds face in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday - Milan and Juventus if he is to tempt Diarra away from the Bernabeu.

"Internazionale contacted me in January to try and sign Mahamadou in the last transfer window," Diarra's agent, Frederic Guerra, told the News of the World.

"We were also contacted by Liverpool, Milan and Juventus. Diarra still has three years left on his contract but we're willing to listen to all the offers and then we will talk to Real and see what is decided."

Liverpool are also understood to be chasing Schalke's £5million-rated full-back Rafinha, who is also thought to be a target of clubs in Spain, much to the delight of the Brazilian.

Rafinha said in the News of the World: "I am very happy that clubs from both England and Spain are watching me."

Peter Crouch starts
Liverpool contract talks

By Charlie Caroe - Daily Telegraph

England striker Peter Crouch has started negotiations over a new contract to stay at Anfield according to reports
this morning.

Crouch, 26, who has been picked for Liverpool's last two games by manager Rafael Benitez, has 16 months remaining on his current deal.

Rumours suggesting that Aston Villa coach Martin O'Neill was planning a move for the tall centre-forward this summer have prompted the Merseyside club to begin talks with the player.

A move to Villa Park would be familiar ground for Crouch, who spent three seasons in Birmingham where he scored just seven goals in 41 appearances following a £5 million move from Portsmouth.

Crouch joined Liverpool from Southampton in a £7 million transfer in July 2005 and initially struggled to make an impact, needing 19 games to score his first goal for the club.

Following the signing of Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres in successive seasons his opportunities have been limited but Crouch has scored eight goals this season.

However, Crouch may want to move away from Anfield in a bid to secure more regular football as he seeks to convince new England manager Fabio Capello that he can fit into the Italian's plans for the World Cup qualifying campaign beginning in the autumn.

'DIC set for Liverpool takeover'

ITV Football

Dubai International Capital are reportedly close to completing their takeover of Liverpool after agreeing a fee for the club.

According to The Daily Mirror, the Dubai International Capital group - the investment arm of the Dubai government - have reached an 'outline agreement' with current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to buy the club for around £460million.

The Mirror claims that 'sources in New York' have confirmed that a deal is in place, and could be completed by the middle of March.

DIC failed in their initial bid to buy Liverpool when Hicks and Gillett took over in 2007, but are now prepared to effectively double the American's money for the club.

Hicks and Gillett recently completed a £350million refinancing deal on the money they borrowed to buy the club, which left Liverpool saddled with around £105million of debt.

While Rafa Benitez has had his disagreements with Hicks and Gillett, the takeover might not be the best news for him after all.

Reports earlier this week suggested that DIC were not convinced that Benitez was the right man to take Liverpool forward, having been less than impressed with his public rows with the current owners.

Odemwingie linked with Liverpool

Nigerian international forward Osaze Odemwingie may be on his way into the Premiership after dishing out an impressive performance at the recently concluded African Cup of Nations in Ghana.

According to reports on, the Locomotiv Moscow striker could be making an 8 million pound move from his Russian club side to Premiership giants Liverpool during the summer transfer window.

The site indicates that Reds Boss, Rafael Benitez had sent a scout, Marc Guinness, to monitor the forward player during the African Championship, with the scout in turn being impressed with the player’s abilities on the ball.

Rafael Benitez could be ready to swap his Ukrainian hitman, Andriy Voronin, for the Super Eagles star striker during the summer.

Odenwingie, born in Tashkent, is a versatile 26-year-old who can play on the left flank or through the middle. He signed on at "Loko" in 2007 from Lille OSC.

Thor Zakariassen ©