with Liverpool move
By Rory Smith - Daily Telegraph
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is weighing up a move for
Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o in a bid to ensure his side do not rely so
heavily on Fernando Torres next season, according to reports in Spain.
The sale of Robbie Keane to his former club Tottenham in January has left
Benitez with just youngster David N’Gog as cover for Torres, a situation the
Spaniard knows he must remedy if Liverpool are to keep pace with Manchester
United and Chelsea.
Eto’o has insisted he would like to stay a Camp Nou until his contract runs
out in the summer of 2010 and while Benitez would be prepared to wait to
land one of Europe’s best strikers on a free transfer, it is thought he may
try to exploit the uncertainty surrounding his future to land his man
After coming close to leaving Barcelona last summer, after manager Pep
Guardiola revealed the Cameroon international did not feature in his plans,
Eto’o has won his place back in emphatic fashion. He tops the Spanish
goalscoring charts and has played a key role as Barcelona have threatened to
run away with the La Liga title.
But Guardiola could still be convinced to cash in on a player unlikely to
sign a new deal if a suitable offer arrived as he looks to supplement
Europe’s best attacking line with the likes of Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery
and Brazilian striker Keirrison.
Despite landing two La Liga titles since joining the Catalan side from Real
Madrid, as well as playing a key role in winning the 2006 Champions League,
Eto’o’s time at Barcelona has been chequered. He is widely considered a
source of dressing room discontent and Guardiola had wanted to sell him,
along with Deco and Ronaldinho, last summer, but could not find a buyer.
Benitez has been promised a transfer kitty of at least £30 million by
Liverpool’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, plus whatever he can raise
by selling off any of his squad he no longer requires.
A striker, as well as cover on the right wing and at right back, are likely
to be his priorities, while a second move for Aston Villa captain Gareth
Barry is likely.
Liverpool in talks over Premiership
record £60m sponsorship deal
Liverpool are in talks with Carlsberg over a record £60
million shirt sponsorship deal.
The News of the World says the Merseysiders hope to conclude negotiations as
early as this summer on an agreement which would eclipse those of Manchester
United and Chelsea.
Liverpool's current three-year contract with the Danish brewers is worth
around £10m a year - including Champions League bonuses - and ends after the
But co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett want to shatter previous records
with a new four-year deal.
They are out to top the four-year £56m arrangement United signed with AIG in
2006 and Chelsea's five-year £50m contract with Samsung, which runs to 2010.
Report: Agger set to reject
new Liverpool deal
By Gill Clark - Goal.com
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger is reportedly set to
reject the club’s offer of a new contract this week, according to the News
of the World.
The Dane is currently away on international duty with Denmark, who beat
Malta 3-0 yesterday, but when he returns to Anfield he is expected to
decline a new deal.
Agger’s contract expires next summer, which has led to a number of clubs,
including AC Milan, expressing an interest in the Dane.
However, Liverpool are believed to be keen to keep the 24-year-old and are
hoping he will follow manager Rafael Benitez in putting pen-to-paper on a
But Agger appears to have become frustrated on Merseyside, after a series of
injuries have seen him fall down the pecking order at Anfield.
The defender has struggled for first team appearances this season, making
only ten Premier League starts, and has found the form of Martin Skrtel,
Jamie Carragher and Sami Hypia another barrier to overcome.
A back injury has been his latest set-back, yet he has now returned to
fitness and may play some part in Liverpool’s title run-in.
David Silva is
Liverpool FC transfer target
By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo
Rafa Benitez is weighing up a summer swoop for Spanish
star David Silva.
The Reds boss has identified the Valencia man as one of his top transfer
targets – but will only do business if the price is right.
Valencia have hit massive financial difficulties in recent months and are
set to sell crown jewels Silva, David Villa and Raul Albiol in an effort to
bring their debt of 450m euros under control.
It is Silva who has caught Benitez’s eye though, with the Liverpool manager
on the lookout for a versatile attacking player who can figure in a number
of positions behind Fernando Torres as he looks to add strength in depth to
The 23-year-old certainly fits that bill and Liverpool have already made
tentative enquiries about his availability.
They will only follow up their initial interest if Valencia are realistic
about their valuation of a player who has won 21 caps for Spain.
Reports in Spain suggest the La Liga outfit are holding out for a fee in the
region of £25m for Silva and with Barcelona and Juventus also both believed
to be interested in snapping him up the battle for his services could be
Liverpool are unlikely to be willing to pay that kind of asking price but
Benitez will move fast it a compromise deal can be struck.
Reds chief scout Eduardo Macia – who took Silva to Valencia when the
attacking midfielder was a teenager – was recently dispatched to Spain to
check on Silva’s availability and was not discouraged by what he learned.
Silva was one of the stars of Spain’s victory at Euro 2008, operating in a
left sided attacking role which allowed him to support Torres and Villa at
An ankle injury has stopped him from making as many appearances as would
have been expected for Valencia this season.
But the midfielder returned to action in January and is currently training
with the Spanish national squad ahead of this weekend’s World Cup qualifier
against Turkey in Madrid.
£22million double Boro bid
Liverpool Football Club are plotting a stunning raid on
the Riverside Stadium.
It has long been reported that Rafael Benitez is a fan of England
international winger Stewart Downing, and it is believed a summer offer of
£12million is in the pipeline.
As if this isn’t worrying enough for Middlesbrough, reports at the weekend
claim the Reds will also table an offer of £10million for defender David
Whilst Gareth Southgate will do all he can to keep his star duo on Teesside,
his hand is likely to be forced if Boro lose their Premier League status
The struggling Riverside Stadium club are currently second-bottom in the
top-flight, two points adrift of safety with just nine games remaining.
Milan end £10million
AC Milan have reportedly ended their interest in Daniel
The Danish international is out of contract at the end of next season,
although Liverpool are eager to tie him to a new deal at Anfield.
AC Milan and Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a move for the former
Brondby defender, with reports of £10million bids being mooted.
But according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan have ended their interest in
Agger, sparking speculation of an audacious bid for Manchester United’s
Reds eye up Valencia
By Franciso Acedo - Sky Sports
Liverpool are keeping close tabs on Spain international
Raul Albiol, skysports.com understands.
The Valencia defender is rated amongst the best in La Liga, but money
problems at The Mestalla could see them lose a number of their top stars.
And Albiol may be one of the first to depart with a host of clubs checking
on his progress.
Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the 24-year-old, who can play in
central defence or as a holding midfielder, but Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez
has now dispatched his scouting network to follow Albiol.
Albiol is currently contracted to Valencia for another two years and has a
huge buy-out clause of nearly £50million - although reports in Spain now
suggest they could be willing to do a deal at £13million.
Valencia's sporting director Fernando Gomez has admitted the club would have
to consider any reasonable offers, and also confirmed they were aware of
scouts from Liverpool tracking Albiol.
"Today it is necessary to study each offer that we receive and after that we
would decide," he told skysports.com.
"The money situation is complicated at the club, but formally nobody has
spoken with us about Abiol.
"But we are aware that the Reds have been scouting around here in recent