May - 2009

3105: Report: Real Madrid & Liverpool
           reach Xabi Alonso agreement

3105: City 'to pay £42m' for wanted duo
2705: Babel to be sacrificed by Reds?
2405: Report: Alonso to hand in
          transfer request at Liverpool

2105: Real Madrid step up bid for Alonso
1305: Ex-United striker may join Liverpool
1305: Benitez to add Silva lining to title tilt
1205: Tevez wants to join Liverpool
1005: Report: Liverpool on brink
          of signing Danijel Pranjic

1005: Report: Benitez ready to sell
          eleven Liverpool players

0405: Report: Lucas Leiva heading
          towards Liverpool exit doors


MAY 31
City 'to pay £42m'
for wanted duo


Manchester City are reportedly ready to flex their financial muscle in order to win the transfer chase for Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry.

City's Abu Dhabi owners are prepared to meet the £32million asking price for Manchester United striker Tevez, set by Media Sports Investment president Kia Joorabchian.

The News of the World claims Joorabchian, whose company owns the economic rights to the Argentina international, will meet Old Trafford chiefs this week for one final meeting.

If he does not receive assurances from United that they wish to pursue a deal for Tevez, Joorabchian will look to City who have prepared a £140,000-a-week four-year contract for the 25-year-old.

Liverpool and Chelsea are also understood to have expressed an interest in Tevez but cannot match the spending power of City.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa's England midfielder Barry could also make the move to Eastlands this summer.

Liverpool are again heading the chase for the 28-year-old, with Arsenal and Tottenham in the running too.

But City are said to be confident that their £10million bid and £90,000-a-week contract offer will ultimately win out.

MAY 31
Report: Real Madrid & Liverpool
reach Xabi Alonso agreement

By Arjun Miglani -

Liverpool and Real Madrid have reached an agreement over Xabi Alonso, and the player will be presented next week, according to reports.

According to Sport, the two clubs have settled on terms and all the remains is the player's signature. The initial transfer fee is €25 million, but the fee could increase depending on whether or not Liverpool can come to an agreement with Gabriel Heinze, who could be part of the deal.

Alonso is expected to sign a five-year contract and will be presented next week, when he will be in Madrid for the Spanish training camp ahead of the Confederations Cup.

It is believed that Liverpool also tried to involve Alvaro Negredo in the discussions, but that was not a viable option, since Madrid would have had to pay €15 million just to exercise their buy-out clause with Almeria.

Rumours are also suggesting that Florentino Perez will present his new coach next Monday, with Manuel Pellegrini the overwhelming favourite.

Alonso is likely to be the first of many signings over the summer, with Perez expected to spend in excess of €300 million.

MAY 27
Babel to be sacrificed by Reds?

Ryan Babel could be the first high-profile departure from Liverpool as manager Rafael Benitez plans his summer restructuring.

It is understood that following talks with the Dutch international’s agent, Benitez has told the winger he is free to talk to other clubs about a possible £11m move.

Babel arrived at Anfield in July 2007 and has scored 14 goals in 91 matches for the club – although only 42 of those were as a starter. But despite early promise, he has failed to hold down a regular place in the side and has mainly been used as an impact player from the bench.

He has reportedly asked for assurances that he will be given more of an opportunity next season.

But following discussions with the player’s agent, Winnie Haatrecht, Benitez has been unable to offer such guarantees after starting with Babel only six times in the Barclays Premier League this term.

It has appeared likely for some time that Benitez would be prepared to listen to offers for Babel, and now he is ready to use the 22 year-old to raise cash.

Babel was signed from Ajax, who yesterday appointed Martin Jol as their new manager, but the asking price to re-sign their former player would rule out the Dutch club.

The youngster has admirers in England, with Aston Villa, Tottenham and Arsenal believed to be showing interest.

Benitez needs cash to fund a spending spree that could bring Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Gareth Barry to Merseyside.

Barry’s future at Villa is again in doubt with the club’s owner Randy Learner yesterday claiming the player would stay at Villa Park after discussions started over a new contract.

But Barry is known to want Champions League football, and Liverpool could sweeten a possible move by including Babel as bait. Villa still want £10m for Barry and a swap deal may suit all parties.

MAY 24
Report: Alonso to hand in
transfer request at Liverpool

By Gill Clark -

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is reportedly prepared to shock the club by handing in a transfer request.

The News of the World claims that the Spanish international will leave Anfield this summer and is ready to hand manager Rafael Benitez a written request.

Alonso’s future has been the subject of much debate since last summer, when Liverpool began a long and drawn-out chase for Gareth Barry.

Whilst the Barry deal fell through and Alonso remained on Merseyside, speculation has continued to mount over his future, despite the midfielder enjoying an impressive season with the Reds.

Manager Benitez has insisted that he wants Alonso to stay at the club yet it now appears that he may be forced into selling his compatriot.

It is understood that Alonso is becoming increasingly unhappy at the club and wants to leave this summer. Furthermore, his agent reportedly met Benitez on Friday to inform him of his client’s decision.

The tabloid goes on to quote a friend of the player as saying, “Xabi loves Liverpool but he doesn't feel he can stay. He has not been happy for a long time and wants to go somewhere he feels he can enjoy his football again.”

Liverpool will hope to raise £18 million from selling Alonso, concludes the report, money which they are then planning to spend on Carlos Tevez.

Alonso, meanwhile, is unlikely to be short of suitors with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal and Juventus all thought to be interested in signing the 27-year-old.

MAY 21
Real Madrid step
up bid for Alonso

The Daily Telegraph

According to the Sun, Florentino Perez has made Alonso one of his primary targets should he win the Real presidential elections on June 17.

Real attempted to sign Alonso five years ago, with Alonso's agent - Inaki Ibanez - meeting with Perez to hammer out a deal.

Premier League 'Galactico' alert as Florentino Perez runs for Real Madrid presidency. However, negotiations collapsed and Alonso eventually joined Liverpool from Real Sociedad for £10m.

Perez, though, remains interested in the Spain international, and although Liverpool have stated Alonso is not up for grabs, with a spokesman saying: "There has been no contact, the player is not for sale", Real are confident they can get their man.

Manager Rafa Benitez does not want to lose Alonso, who has played such a key role in Liverpool pushing Manchester United all the way in the race for the Premier League title, but realises he will have to sell players if he is to raise the necessary funds to strengthen his squad.

Benitez has been linked with moves for Gareth Barry, David Silva, Glen Johnson and Carlos Tevez, and Perez is convinced Liverpool will listen to offers if the price is right.

MAY 13
Ex-United striker
may join Liverpool

According to reports in Spain, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan, once of Manchester United, is on the verge of joining Liverpool.

Spanish publication Sport suggests Liverpool have a verbal agreement in place for the striker who has scored 27 goals in 29 games this season, which leaves him in second place in the Pichichi race to Barcelona’s Samuel Eto.

Arsenal and Manchester City have both been linked with Forlan, and although he has thrived in La Liga, his agent recently suggested a return to the premier league may suit the Uruguayan.

Daniel Bolotnikoff said in March: “I have received calls from big European clubs requesting information about the situation, but I am not authorised to give their names.”

“My answer is always the same. Atletico Madrid will decide on this subject.”

“Diego is enjoying a great season in front of goal and is happy in Madrid, but at the end of the season we will be in a better position to evaluate the situation.”

“Forlan could have a big role in England.”

Reports suggest the two clubs are yet reach an agreement, however a player plus cash deal, allegedly involving Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva moving in the opposite direction may be in the offing. Alternatively Liverpool could buy the player with a €24 million bid.

Forlan scored just 10 goals in 63 games during his spell at Old Trafford between 2002 and 2004, but has since scored 47 goals in 81 games for Atletico having previously starred for Villarreal.

MAY 13
Benitez to add
Silva lining to title tilt

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has offered Valencia a take it or leave £15 million bid for their star winger David Silva according to the Sun.

The former Valencia coach, who left the club to join Liverpool in June 2004, has been a long-time admirer of the European Championship winner, and has made attempts to sign the player previously.

Benitez had recently hinted a deal to buy the winger was off, after he expressed his disappointment at Valencia’s handling of the deal.

He said: “Our chief scout was in Valencia and talked with different people from the club but someone was talking too much.”

“If we are going to look for someone we will not announce it to everyone — we will try to do it properly and secretly.”

Valencia are currently riddled with over a £100 million worth of debt, and are looking to off-load their priced assets David Villa, David Silva and Raul Albiol.

Newspaper reports suggest Benitez’s offer for the wily Spaniard will be his last, and should Valencia reject the bid, the Anfield boss will turn his attentions to other targets, believed to be Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing or Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon.

MAY 12
Tevez wants
to join Liverpool

In a shock report this morning in the Sun, they reveal that Liverpool have contacted the representatives of Carlos Tevez regarding a summer move to Man Utds great rivals.

If this goes ahead it will incense Alex Ferguson who pulled out all the stops to deny Gabriel Heinze a move to Anfield when he wanted to leave.

The paper also says that Tevez himself has told his agent Kia Joorabchian that he is keen on playing alongside Fernando Torres in the Liverpool front line.

The transfer would be perfect for Tevez as he wouldn’t need to move house from Cheshire where his wife and child are settled and happy.

MAY 10
Report: Liverpool on brink
of signing Danijel Pranjic

By Gill Clark -

Liverpool are reportedly closing in on Heerenveen winger Danijel Pranjic, in a deal believed to be worth around €9 million.

The Croatian international has long been linked with a move away from the Dutch side and he admitted recently that he would welcome a move to Anfield.

That move is now looking a little more likely with the Sunday Mirror reporting that he is set to become Rafael Benitez’s first summer signing.

The 26-year-old has been in excellent form for the Dutch side this season and has attracted interest from the likes of Sevilla and Real Betis.

It is Liverpool, however, who are clear favourites to claim his signature.

The British tabloid reports that Pranjic’s agent has been back and forth between the two clubs this week in a bid to discuss terms and seal the deal.

Heerenveen director Yme Kuiper has also admitted that the Reds are Pranjic’s preferred destination, saying, “We understand Liverpool is the club where Pranjic wants to go.”

Pranjic has scored 16 goals this term and helped the Dutch side to ensure they will play in Europe next season.

However, Pranjic now appears set to leave the Eredivisie and should he complete his move to Anfield, this may even signal the end of Albert Riera’s Liverpool career.

MAY 10
Report: Benitez ready to sell
eleven Liverpool players

By Gill Clark -

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly set for a summer clear-out, with 11 players expected to leave Anfield.

The News of the World claims that the Spaniard is ready to sell a whole host of players including Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and Xabi Alonso, in order to raise funds.

The tabloid claims that Benitez needs the finances in order to finally sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa and to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United in the transfer market.

Along with Babel, Riera and Alonso, the Liverpool boss is reportedly also ready to offload Jermaine Pennant, Philipp Degen, Charles Itandje, Sami Hypia, Jack Hobbs, Andriy Voronin, Sebastian Leto and Andrea Dossena.

Benitez is hoping to raise more than £44 million from these player sales and is rumoured to be handed a further £20 million from the club’s American owners.

These not inconsiderable funds will allow the Spaniard to secure the signature of Gareth Barry for £8 million, after spending most of last summer chasing the midfielder.

Whilst Barry has remained at Villa this season, he has made no secret of his desire to leave and join Liverpool and he may now finally get this wish at the end of the season.

Should Barry arrive at Anfield, this could even spell the end for Xabi Alonso who, despite being close to leaving the club last summer, has enjoyed an impressive campaign with the Reds.

Despite being a fan favourite, the Spaniard could be deemed surplus to requirements and with both Juventus and Manchester City reportedly interested in signing him, his time at Anfield may be coming to an end.

Report: Lucas Leiva heading
towards Liverpool exit doors

By Ricky Brooks -

According to a report in the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, Premier League outfit Liverpool are preparing to sell Lucas Leiva at the end of the season.

Reds manager Rafael Benitez has said that the club will have to sell in order to fund purchases and it seems that the 22-year-old is one of the players the Spaniard is ready to cash in on.

Since arriving at Anfield from Brazilian club Gremio in 2007, the midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting XI, featuring only 38 times from the outset of games

It is thought that the three-time capped Brazil international will fetch a fee in the region of €6.7 million (£6m), with teams in Italy and Spain apparently interested in acquiring his services.

Thor Zakariassen ©