March - 2007

2903: Reds plan Sharp swoop
2703: Barca linked with Sissoko raid
0503: Reds linked with Rovers ace
0203: Inter eyeing Gerrard capture

Reds plan Sharp swoop

Sporting Life

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly planning a 2million summer swoop for highly-rated Scunthorpe striker Billy Sharp.

The Reds boss is keen to boost his striking options in the summer and has been tracking the progress of the top scorer in League One.

Benitez will be handed a transfer warchest by new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, but despite being linked with multi-million-pound raids for the likes of Valencia's David Villa and Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, he is keen on a move for the 21-year-old Scunthorpe ace.

According to The Sun, Benitez is eager to sign a British forward and sent scouts to watch Sharp bag a last-minute leveller in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Leyton Orient.

The striker's contract expires at the end of next season and Iron boss Nigel Adkins may be forced to cash in on his star player in the summer.

Benitez is likely to offload veteran forward Robbie Fowler at the end of the current campaign and Sharp could provide competition to Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy and Peter Crouch in Liverpool's forward line next term.

Barca linked with Sissoko raid

By Francisco Acedo - Sky Sports

Reports in the Catalan press claim that Barcelona have included Liverpool's Mohamed Sissoko on a four-man shortlist as they look to strengthen their midfield.

According to Catalan daily Sport, Los Cules are keen to recruit a ball-winning midfielder in the Edgar Davids mould in time for next season.

Sporting director Txiki Begiristain has been charged with the task of bolstering Barca's options, and Sissoko, along with Valencia's David Albelda, Atletico Madrid's Peter Luccin and Yaya Toure of Monaco have all reportedly fallen under his gaze.

The dethroned European Champions appear to have little chance of coaxing Xabi Alonso from Anfield and could now try and bring Sissoko back to Spain where he previously enjoyed a spell with Valencia.

The Mali international performed superbly across both legs as The Reds knocked Barca out of the UEFA Champions League and his strong displays appear not to have gone unnoticed.

However Begiristain was reluctant to comment on specific names when quizzed on his recruitment plans.

"We are working for the next campaign but we will never talk about names in advance," Begiristain told Sport.

"It is logical because the speculation transmits to the press."

Reds linked with Rovers ace

Clubcall Sports

Liverpool will reportedly make a summer move for Blackburn's highly-rated winger, Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Selling star asset Pedersen is the last thing that will be on manager Mark Hughes' mind come the summer but Liverpool have plenty of money to spend with the backing of their new owners.

Anfield boss Rafa Benitez is looking to strengthen the left side of his team and sees Pedersen as the man to step in.

Although Hughes would be very reluctant to sell there has been talk of a return to Blackburn for Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and that may lead to some
common ground.

Inter eyeing Gerrard capture

Sporting Life

Juventus reportedly face competition from Inter Milan if they want to sign Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

According to Corriere dello Sport, Inter president Massimo Moratti is planning a major bid for the Anfield captain when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.

The Italian club's directors Lele Oriali and Marco Branca have traveled to England in February to visit Liverpool games and to run the rule over Gerrard.

Inter, who are flying high at the top of Serie A, are still in talks with Real Madrid's Mahamadou Diarra but Moratti is hopeful to test Liverpool's resolve over Gerrard.

The news will alarm Juventus, whose coach Didier Deschamps went public over his interest for the England ace last week.

Thor Zakariassen