Liverpool chase Diarra
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
"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
By Charlie Caroe - Daily Telegraph
England striker Peter Crouch has started negotiations over
a new contract to stay at Anfield according to reports
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
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
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
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.
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 Brilafm.net, 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
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