April - 2009

2604: Agger rejects £10m
          Liverpool contract offer

2404: Benitez lines up Tevez bid
1604: Summer departures
          for Agger and Babel?

1404: Liverpool target Athletic Bilbao midfielder
1204: Liverpool flop Leto
          set for shock Juve move

0504: Kuwaitis up to buy Reds


Agger rejects £10m
Liverpool contract offer

Dan Agger has rejected a new contract offer from Liverpool.

The News of the World says Agger has snubbed a new four-year Liverpool deal worth £10million.

The Dane is understood to be want better terms but it's unclear if Liverpool will improve their offer while the club's American owners try to sort out their financial situation.

That may push Agger, 24, towards a summer exit with Juventus and AC Milan leading the chase.

Benitez lines up Tevez bid

By Mark Ogden -

Rafael benitez is preparing to antagonise Alex Ferguson once more with an audacious bid to sign Carlos Tevez, WRITES OLIVER KAY.

The Argentina forward is increasingly resigned to leaving Manchester United at the end of the season, with Real Madrid his most likely destination. Benitez has signalled Liverpool's willingness to join Chelsea, Manchester City and Inter Milan in the melee for his signature.

Ferguson has not yet given up hope of retaining Tevez's services after his complicated two-year lease arrangement expires at the end of the season, but the forward's growing discontent means that he will consider a move away from Old Trafford -- even if United manage to reach an agreement with the companies that hold his economic rights.

Tevez would be likely to cost any other club more than the £22m that United have to pay at the end of the season to turn the player's loan into a permanent deal. Benitez, though, is determined to test the water.

The Spaniard knows that United have no control over Tevez if and when he leaves Old Trafford and that the Barclays Premier League leaders would not receive any money, with the transfer fee instead going to the companies, headed by Kia Joorabchian, that own the player's economic rights.

Tevez, 25, is frustrated at his loss of favour since Dimitar Berbatov's arrival at Old Trafford, having not started any of United's four matches in the Champions League knockout phase.

Madrid are favourites to sign Tevez should he end his two-year stint at United, with Florentino Perez, who is expected to be elected Real's new president next month, confident of delivering the forward as part of a wide-reaching rebuilding operation that is expected to include a world-record bid for Cristiano Ronaldo, the United forward. But Liverpool have registered their interest in signing Tevez if he wishes to stay in England - and if the price is right.

Tevez declared in an interview with an Argentine radio station this week that "in my situation, an exit (from United) will be the best solution," citing interest from Real and Inter as well as other clubs, of which there are now three in England monitoring the situation.

Summer departures
for Agger and Babel?

This is Anfield

Daniel Agger and Ryan Babel are two players who continue to be linked with moves away from Anfield. Both are players who have struggled to build on excellent starts to their Liverpool careers and both have undoubted quality.

Of the two, Agger will be the one most fans would not want to lose. A future partnership alongside Martin Skrtel looks promising to say the least.

The Times report today quotes from Agger which they say show the Danish defender doesn’t trust Rafa Benitez. Reporting:

“Benitez has continually trumpeted his desire to keep him, but Agger said: ‘The most important thing is the things he tells me when I look him in the eyes — his eyes, not what it says in the papers, it is what he says behind closed doors.’”

While Oliver Kay in The Times writes on Babel’s situation:

Ryan Babel is expected to lead a summer exodus from Liverpool after voicing frustration at his peripheral role in Rafael Benítez’s squad this season.

Babel has made just 6 league starts this season and the arrival of Alert Riera and form of Yossi Benayoun has limited his oportunities. He said:

“With this supporting role, I am not happy. I have had three good talks with the trainer this season in which he indicated that I could not lose sight of the defensive aspect. It is my feeling that I have strongly improved, but still I get no real chance.”

Liverpool target
Athletic Bilbao midfielder

Daily Mirror

Rafa Benitez is chasing Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez.

The Liverpool boss has identified the 20-year-old prospect as one of his top summer targets and is keen to add him to the already strong Spanish contingent at Anfield.

Spain Under-21 star Martinez has been watched closely by Liverpool scouts all season. But they are likely to face competition from Italian club Fiorentina.

Liverpool flop Leto
set for shock Juve move

Liverpool flop Sebastian Leto could be set for a shock move to Italian giants Juventus.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who has spent the season on loan at Olympiakos, looks unlikely to return to Anfield in the summer with manager Rafael Benitez preparing to offload the Argentine Leto had been linked with a summer switch to France with Paris Saint Germain thought to be leading the chase.

But Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri looks set to win the race for Leto with the player determined to kick-start his career after a difficult time with Liverpool.

Kuwaitis up to buy Reds

By John Richardson - Daily Star Sunday

Liverpool are edging closer to a £450 million Middle East take-over which would give Kop boss Rafa Benitez more transfer funds.

Talks between American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sell all or a majority of their Anfield investment to a mega-rich Kuwait family are very advanced .

Despite denials, Nasser Al Kharafi – who is worth £9bilion – is closing in on a deal to become the new owner of the club.

His nephew Rafed Al Kharafi, who has attended recent Liverpool games as a guest of the club along with his chief negotiator Abdulla Al-Sago, are confident of striking a deal in the coming weeks.

What hasn’t been finalised is what percentage of the club the Kuwaitis will end up with.

While Gillett has given an indication he will sell all of his holding for the right price, it’s Hicks would like to still be involved – and could end up with 25 per cent of the club.

The pair, who are facing a July deadline to refinance a £350m loan that secured their ownership, now value the club at £500m.

They know that, without a huge cash injection, the planned new stadium would have to remain on the back-burner and Benitez would be handicapped in the transfer market.

That’s why the interest from Kuwait has been encouraged.

Thor Zakariassen ©