Rumours

2004

HEADLINES
2904: Tottenham ponder Hamann summer move
2804: Liverpool set to swoop on 'target'
2704: Arsenal line up Owen bid - report
2704: Wenger wants Gerrard and Terry - report
2404: Barca back in for Owen
2104: Reds 'ready to spend'
1904: Reds after Man City duo - reports
1504: Liverpool keen on Benayoun
1404: Liverpool planning 30m summer clear-out
1204: Liverpool refusing to give up on defender
1204: Arsenal join Liverpool in race for winger
0804: Liverpool open talks with Mexes
0704: Houllier to wield axe at Anfield
0704: Houllier draws up summer shortlist
0604: Liverpool join Israeli chase
0504: Liverpool linked with Zambrella
 

 

RUMOURS ARCHIVE              
2004
January  February  March
 

APRIL 29
Tottenham ponder Hamann summer move

By Andy Hunter - Daily Post

Tottenham will consider a move for Dietmar Hamann this summer if the Liverpool midfielder fails to secure a new Anfield contract.

The German international who played in last night's 5-1 drubbing in Romania, enters the final 12 months of his current deal at the end of this season.

Anfield officials are yet to hold talks with Hamann's representatives over an extension and several clubs have been alerted to the possibility the 30-year-old could be sold.

Tottenham are among those monitoring Hamann's position as they pursue midfield targets even without a new manager for next season in place.

Spurs, who have had to play central defender Anthony Gardner in midfield this season, have just released Stephane Dalmat and are expected to lose Jamie Red-knapp and Darren Anderton in the summer.

Mark van Bommel is Tottenham's first choice for their new-look midfield but if they miss out on the PSV Eindhoven star Hamann will be targeted in a 3million deal.


APRIL 28
Liverpool set to swoop on 'target'

Kop Talk

Fresh speculation suggests that Liverpool are stepping up their interest in Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton.

Reports today claim that Gerard Houllier is prepared to pay around 3million for the player's services once the tranfer window re-opens.

It is claimed that the England Under 21 starlet is a Liverpool fan and that he may become available following a series of alleged bust-ups with manager Kevin Keegan.


APRIL 27
Arsenal line up Owen bid - report

Ananova

Arsenal are lining up a 12million bid for Michael Owen, according to the Daily Mirror.

Owen has just over 12 months left on his Liverpool contract, but the paper claims he may be lured away from Anfield by the prospect of Champions League football with the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger is reportedly ready to step in if Owen's contract talks with Liverpool break down.


APRIL 27
Wenger wants Gerrard and Terry - report

Ananova

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's John Terry are being lined up as prime targets for Arsenal, says The Sun.

The paper claims Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is to launch a 35million double swoop for the pair.

Terry has a reported price tag of around 15million, while Gerrard would cost at least 20million.


APRIL 24
Barca back in for Owen

ITV Football

Barcelona are ready to launch a 25million summer bid for Liverpool striker Michael Owen.

The England international has been linked with a move away from Anfield at the end of the season, with the 22-year-old said to be increasingly frustrated with the Reds' lack of success.

Earlier in the campaign he hinted at a move should the Merseysiders fail to clinch a Champions League place and, while they are currently in possession of fourth spot, recent form and a tough run-in suggests the chances are slim of them holding onto it.

Barcelona, led by the inspirational Ronaldinho, have recovered from a slow start to the season to be the form team in La Liga at the moment.

They are currently third in the table - now only seven points behind leaders Valencia - and look dead certainties to participate in Europe's premier club competition next term.

So, with that in mind and an estimated 50million to spend, coach Frank Rijkaard has earmarked Owen as his Nr 1 transfer target.

He told the Daily Mail: "We need a fast striker who is also technical and knows how to create numerous goalscoring opportunities. Am I referring to Owen? What do you think?"


APRIL 21
Reds 'ready to spend'

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool's under-fire boss Gerard Houllier is to be given a 30m-war chest for new signings, say reports.

Houllier has already earmarked 14m for Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse as the club bids to get back among the Premiership's elite.

Cisse's team-mate Philippe Mexes, Nottingham Forest youngster Michael Dawson and Ajax's Hatem Trabelsi have also been linked with the Merseysiders.

El-Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Djimi Traore are tipped to be offloaded.


APRIL 19
Reds after Man City duo - reports

Walk On LFC

Gerard Houllier is ready to swoop for Manchester City duo Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips, if recent media reports are to be believed.

Barton is a close of Steve Gerrard and reports claim that Anfield scouts have been monitoring his progress for several months.

Meanwhile, reports are also speculating that Houllier is interested in the highly talented midfielder Wright-Phillips. The adopted son of former Highbury hero Ian Wright is rumoured to be also one of Arsenal's summer targets.


APRIL 15
Liverpool keen on Benayoun

Sky Sports

A representative of Racing Santander's Yossi Benayoun has confirmed that Premiership club Liverpool are keen on the player.

The talented Israeli, who has enjoyed an excellent season and netted seven goals, has attracted admiring glances from both Spurs and Liverpool this season.

Gustavo Crnko, one of the player's representatives, believes Gerard Houllier could now be ready to launch a raid on the highly rated 23-year-old.

''It is certain he is interesting Liverpool - he is a player that pleases them,'' confirmed Crnko.

''However, the English teams are looking at a lot of players at the moment.''

In turn, Benayoun is refusing to be drawn on his future.

''I am concentrating on Racing. I have many options to consider and I want to do things well,'' said Benayoun.


APRIL 14
Liverpool planning 30m summer clear-out

By Andy Hunter - Daily Post

Liverpool hope to off-load 30million worth of talent this summer whether they qualify for the Champions League or not.

The Anfield club are prepared to release at least seven first team players for either drastically reduced fees or free transfers in response to a second successive disappointing campaign.

Emile Heskey and El Hadji Diouf head the casualty list, while Liverpool will also listen to offers for Stephane Henchoz, Salif Diao, Djimi Traore, Markus Babbel and Gregory Vignal as they attempt to regroup and rebuild for next season.

Heskey, an 11m signing from Leicester in 2000, is attracting interest from several Premiership clubs including Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Blackburn and will be allowed to leave for 5m.

10m flop Diouf is on Marseille's wanted list this summer, Henchoz - recalled for the Easter Monday defeat by Charlton - has been linked with Stuttgart, Traore with Bolton and 5m midfielder Diao with a return to France.

Defensive duo Babbel and Vignal are already out on loan at Blackburn and Espanyol respectively, and Liverpool will not block any of their departures if firm offers are received.

Anfield officials have already ear-marked 14m for the arrival of Djibril Cisse this summer and will have to pay around 5m to bring Auxerre team-mate Philippe Mexes to Merseyside. But that may not seal a deal for the French international after his agent insisted he would not join Liverpool if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.


APRIL 12
Liverpool refusing to give up on defender

By Steve Murphy - Sublime Football

Liverpool are refusing to give up on landing Nottingham Forest defender Matt Dawson.

Forest boss Joe Kinnear insisted last week that the England U21 international would not be made available in the summer.

However, Reds manager Gerard Houllier is ready to offer 5 million for Dawson in the summer, according to the People.

Liverpool have also been heavily linked with Auxerre's central defender Phillipe Mexes recently.


APRIL 12
Arsenal join Liverpool in race for winger

By Steve Murphy - Sublime Football

Arsenal are believed to have joined Liverpool in the race for Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The starlet could be sold by City, currently 60 million in debt, in the summer should they fail to attract new investment.

The News of the World says Wright-Phillips is emerging as a 10 million target for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.


APRIL 8
Liverpool open talks with Mexes

Kop Talk

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has returned to England after a midweek dash to France to try and sell the club to Auxerre defender Philippe Mexes.

We understand that Houllier held personal talks with Mexes this week in a bid to bring him to Anfield in the summer with the Henchoz and Hyypia partnership about to be consigned to history.

Auxerre boss Guy Roux has confirmed that several clubs are trying to recruit the player now that he has officially been put up for sale. Speaking yesterday, he said: "The Juventus scouts have come to see him but they have not contacted us directly, which is contrary to the English clubs, as they have started official negotiations."

Arsene Wenger and Bobby Robson are admirers of the player but David O'Leary's Aston Villa may also be involved if reports in the Midlands are true.


APRIL 7
Houllier to wield axe at Anfield

Kop Talk

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is preparing to wield his axe and cull his squad in the summer to generate extra revenue to boost his transfer kitty.

Houllier has been instructed by the board that it's business as usual despite calls for the manager to be replaced. He's already informed Rick Parry who he is keen to sign in the summer and at a private conference last week it was decided who would be made available for transfer should any suitable bids come in.

'Big' names such as El-Hadji Diouf, Vladimir Smicer, Emile Heskey, Danny Murphy, Igor Biscan, Stephane Henchoz and Dietmar Hamann will all be offered to other clubs with numerous fringe players also been put up for sale.

Insider sources claim that more than 20 players are currently unsettled and that many are fearing that the axe will fall on them. The club can not obviously axe everyone but all bids will be considered for players who no longer fit into the manager's plans.

It's going to be a very busy summer with several departures and arrivals.


APRIL 7
Houllier draws up summer shortlist

By Andy Hunter - Daily Post

Gerard Houllier has made a new centre-half a priority for Liverpool this summer - despite the 14million ear-marked to lure Djibril Cisse from Auxerre.

The Anfield manager is pressing ahead with plans to strengthen his defence at the end of this season, when his own future will be under fierce scrutiny if Liverpool fail to reach the Champions League.

And long-term target Cisse may not be the only player to swap Auxerre for Anfield this summer if Houllier follows up his interest in defensive team-mate Philippe Mexes.

Houllier has been concerned at the lack of pace in his rearguard this season, during which the established axis of Stephane Henchoz and Sami Hyypia has lost its famed resilience.

And having lost out on Jean-Alain Boumsong over financial terms in January he is considering a move for the other mainstay of Guy Roux's defence.

Mexes, a 22-year-old French international, is believed to be on a short-list of centre-halves drawn up by the Liverpool management along with Marseille's Daniel van Buyten and Nottingham Forest's Michael Dawson.

Auxerre want to sell Mexes this summer rather than lose him for nothing when his contract expires in 2005.

Both Manchester United and Roma have been linked with the pacy defender this season, although the Italians will be out of the race if Auxerre demand over 5m - leaving Liverpool in control if United fail to rekindle their interest.

Mexes's agent, Oliver Jouanneaux, confirmed: "Auxerre have told us that Philippe will be sold this summer.

"There were reports saying Spain was Philippe's preferred move but that is not true.

"After speaking to him I think the English style would be better for him. He would have more time to play, which is what he is good at.

"He will be expecting to play at a good club in the Champions League, but the essential thing is what the club and the coach has to say to him. We don't know where he is going, but we do know who has watched him."

Houllier, who is currently in France, is also an admirer of Belgian international van Buyten.

The 26-year-old cost Marseille 13.5m from Standard Liege in July 2001 but was loaned to Manchester City in January ahead of an expected summer departure from the Stade Velodrome.

An ankle ligament injury has brought the defender's season to a premature end last month, and City manager Kevin Keegan admits he is unlikely to clinch a permanent deal.

"The deal we made is not very tight and I expect him to join a bigger club in the summer," said the former Liverpool favourite.


APRIL 6
Liverpool join Israeli chase

Sky Sports

Liverpool are believed to have joined Tottenham Hotspur in the chase for highly-rated Israeli international Yossi Benayoun.

The 23-year-old is Santander's prized asset and they have already resisted overtures from the likes of Spurs.

Benayoun has been in great form for Racing this season and has grabbed seven goals from his attacking midfield role.

Liverpool are thought to have scouted Benayoun over the last few weeks and are understood to have been very impressed with what they have seen.

Some reports claim that The Reds are on the brink of sealing a deal, but that seems to be somewhat premature.

His England agent Barry Silkman told skysports.com that that there was no concrete offer.

"Liverpool have not approached Santander and have not talked with us," Silkman said.

Benayoun is known to be keen on a move to England, and the news of Liverpool's interest is almost certain to appeal.

Racing are thought to want more than 10 million for the Israel midfielder, but neither Liverpool or Tottenham would be prepared to pay that.

However, the Spanish side could even agree to a season-long loan deal with an option to a permanent deal.


APRIL 5
Liverpool linked with Zambrella

Kop Talk

Liverpool have been linked with a possible move for highly-rated Swiss starlet Fabrizio Zambrella.

Reports today claim that the Reds along with a host of other clubs which includes Chelsea, Juventus, Roma and PSG, are all interested in signing the 18-year-old playmaker who has just rejected a new contract offer at Servette.

If he fails to reach an agreement over a new deal he would be available on a free in the summer.


Thor Zakariassen