with Spanish star
By Adam Bryant - LFC Online
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has stepped up the chase
for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez, according to
Martinez, 21, has been on Liverpool's radar for the past two seasons but
Benitez is putting together his hit-list for next season.
Liverpool sent a scout to watch Martinez at Atletico Madrid last
Thursday and Bilbao are well aware of Benitez's interest.
Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros said: "Javier is a monster of a player and
can go very far."
Raul linked with Liverpool move
as contract at Real Madrid nears end
Spanish striker Raul is being linked with a move to
the Premier League this summer, with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
reportedly keen to sign him from Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old could be set to end his lifetime association with Real
this summer after finding himself on the fringes of the first-team under
Reports in the Spanish press say Benitez is keen to sign Raul on a free
However, Madrid may command a fee for the forward - who could line up
alongside countryman Fernando Torres next season - as he has a 'contract
for life' at the Bernabeu alongside goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Los Merenges' directors are thought to be reluctant to allow the club
legend, who is their all-time record goalscorer, to join a European
rival - instead preferring to sell him to an American club for his
Several teams in the MLS are tracking Raul, including former Real star
David Beckham's LA Galaxy, although the player himself may be tempted by
the lure of a two-year contract in the Premier League.
Reds boss Benitez is known to have been a keen admirer of Raul since his
days as manager of Valencia, before taking over at Anfield in 2004.
It is not the first time the 102-cap veteran has been linked with a team
Raul's agent Gines Carvajal revealed a few months ago that Chelsea had
bid in the region of £70 million for his services shortly after Roman
Abramovich's takeover at Stamford Bridge.
While news of the potential new signing will undoubtedly excite
Liverpool supporters, it should be treated with caution.
The rumours as they are stem from Catalan-based reports, rather than
Marca - which is usually a reliable source of information on goings-on
behind the scenes at the Bernabeu.
Reds to sell Riera
By Adam Bryant - LFC Online
Liverpool have agreed a £6m deal for Albert Riera to
join CSKA Moscow.
According to the Guardian, the deal will be completed by the end of the
The news follows the Spanish winger's outspoken views about the manager
ahead of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Lille last week.
He was immediately suspended and it comes as no shock that he is on his
way out of the club so quickly.
Torres named as
Chelsea`s number one target
Fernando Torres is being touted as Chelsea's number
one transfer target as Fleet Street predicts a comprehensive revamp of
the club's first-team squad following their ignominious Champions League
Though some reports have suggested that the position of Carlo Ancelotti
is under threat after Tuesday night's defeat to Jose Mourinho's Inter
Milan, the general consensus is that Roman Abramovich will keep faith
with the Italian and re-open his chequebook to fund a lavish spending
"Ancelotti may thus be able to consider moves for long-standing targets
such as Fernando Torres, Franck Ribéry or Sergio Agüero," reports The
Guardian. "Torres is emerging as the club's principal target and the
Spanish striker's future at Liverpool could be decided by the level of
investment attracted to his club in the next few months."
A concurring Daily Mirror also declares that Ancelotti wants to build a
"dream team" front pair of Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres next
season. Chelsea's wish-list is headed by Liverpool superstar Torres,
with the Blues ready to table a £50million bid if they see any signs the
Spaniard wants to leave Anfield.
"Chelsea know that Manchester City, who can outbid the Stamford Bridge
side, have also targeted Torres, especially after his recent admission
that he would not automatically go back to Spain if he decides to quit
McLeish linked with
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Alex McLeish has been linked with Liverpool.
The Birmingham City manager is being linked with the Reds as a
replacement for Rafael Benitez should he quit for Juventus or Real
Madrid, or end up sacked after a dismal, depressing season according to
today's Daily Mirror.
The two parasites in charge of our club are no doubt impressed with the
way McLeish has got Birmingham up into eighth place in the Premiership
while spending only peanuts.
Real Madrid president Florentino
targets Liverpool boss Benitez
Real Madrid are ready to test Liverpool's resolve over
manager Rafa Benitez.
The Spanish giants will sack Manuel Pellegrini in the summer, after
their Champions League defeat by Lyon.
Real president Florentino Perez has under-fire Liverpool chief Benitez
as the front-runner on a shortlist that also includes Jose Mourinho and
A top Real source told The Sun: "Rafa is the preferred choice. He is a
Madrid man and his agent, Manuel Garcia Quillon, has an excellent
relationship with the club.
"Above all, though, his record in Europe is exceptional. The club want
to return where they believe they belong - to be the No 1 team in Europe
again. They believe Rafa is the man to make that happen."
Benitez was a coach at Real's academy at the start of his career and has
not hidden the fact he would love to coach them at some point.
One problem could be he does not see eye to eye with Real technical
director Jorge Valdano. But that is not deemed to be an obstacle.