Spurs linked as Liverpool not
ready to shut door on Torres sale
Liverpool are open to cashing in on star striker
Fernando Torres, it has been revealed.
Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson, a Reds fan, revealed to the Mail
on Sunday's Live magazine that Tottenham could be a better place for
Torres than Anfield.
Revealing a recent conversation with Liverpool chairman Martin
Broughton, Jackson hardly got the feeling that Torres was untouchable as
the club have been at pains to point out.
"I saw Martin Broughton at Chelsea's Player of the Year dinner, and he
refused to tell me we weren't going to sell Torres", said the
"He said: 'We'll let him go to the World Cup. At the moment he's still
on board, but it's going to take three years to turn the club around,
and at his age...' If it's going to take three years to turn the club
around, that's going to coincide with the peak of his career, and he'll
want to be playing in Europe. So he should probably go and join
Liverpool to demand
£10m for Benayoun
By Wayne Veysey - Goal.com
Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun plans to leave
Anfield if Rafael Benitez is still the manager next season, Goal.com UK
Premier League rivals Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for
the 30-year-old in recent days, with a formal bid reportedly having been
made, however Benayoun's hopes of departing could be set back by the £10
million tag that Liverpool have placed on the Israeli.
The Liverpool hierarchy are reluctant to sanction a sale until Benitez’s
own future is resolved.
Should the club feel it is time to cash in on a player who turned 30
earlier this month they will ask for £10m, double the £5m fee they paid
to West Ham three years ago. However, with Benayoun desperate to depart,
they may settle for around £7m rather than keep an unhappy player.
The midfielder has long had a fraught relationship with Benitez, which
reached breaking point towards the end of Liverpool’s dismal campaign.
Benayoun was frustrated that he could not establish himself as an
automatic first choice, or complete a full 90 minutes, and felt that he
was singled out for unfair treatment by his manager.
A source close to Benayoun said: “Yossi loves Liverpool and wants to
stay but he feels that Rafa does not really trust him.
“Whenever Rafa looks to make a substitution or rotate the team, Yossi
always seems to be the fall guy, even when he is playing really well. He
believes he would be better off playing under a manager who really
believes in him.
“None of the [Liverpool] players really know if Rafa will be manager
next season but Yossi says that if Rafa stays, then he will go. He feels
he would get more chances at another team.”
Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma, Aston Villa and Sevilla, as well as former
club West Ham United, have also been linked with moves for Benayoun,
whose contract was extended until 2013 last summer after he finished the
2008-09 season with a flourish.
Although his form faded after an excellent start to a season in which
Liverpool eventually lost 19 matches, the player was still one of the
team’s more consistent creative players and his contribution of nine
goals from 42 matches was impressive given the stop-start nature of his
to make opening
£30m bid for Gerrard
Jose Mourinho will test Steven Gerrard's resolve with
a £30 million Real Madrid bid for the Liverpool captain.
The Mirror says Mourinho had still to be officially confirmed as Real
Madrid's new coach when he admitted he wants to make Gerrard a
The former Chelsea boss would also like to be reunited with Frank
Lampard at the Bernabeu - but Gerrard is the one most vulnerable to his
Mourinho effectively tapped Gerrard and Lampard up when asked about them
as he said: "They are players that you buy which you cannot recoup money
for, but if you get two or three years out of them it is worth it.
"They are two great players and they always give everything.
"I like players at the end of their careers. I love to have some players
around 33 or 34 years old."
The timing of Mourinho's bid for Gerrard could hardly be worse for
Liverpool and their weary fans as the civil war at Anfield intensified
The England star, who has three years left on his £130,000-a-week Reds
contract, could well be the most high-profile casualty of the vicious
in-fighting and he is understood to be unsure where his future lies.
Gerrard turns 30 on Sunday and, after rejecting Mourinho's advances in
2004 and 2005, he knows this is his last chance of a big move away from
keen on Mascherano
According to a report in El Mundo Deportivo, reigning
Spanish champions Barcelona have re-ignited their interest in
Argentinian international Javier Mascherano, currently under contract
The Blaugrana were desperate to sign Mascherano in the
summer of 2009, but the transfer eventually fell through after Barcelona
failed to reach an agreement with Liverpool.
The Liga champions are in the market for a new holding midfielder due to
the ongoing uncertainty about the future of Yaya Toure, who is
continually being linked with a move to the Premier League, and Barca
supposedly see Mascherano as the perfect replacement.
Mascherano's current Liverpool deal runs until the summer of 2012, but
the Reds could be tempted to cash in on the 25-year-old in the upcoming
summer transfer window if a good offer comes in.
The holding midfielder has stated in the past that he'd be interested in
joining Barcelona and Liverpool's failure to qualify for Champions
League football could very well have increased Mascherano's desire to
leave the Premier League side this summer.
Liverpool to offer Riera in bid
for Villarreal striker Rossi
Liverpool are ready to set up a swap deal for
Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi.
Rossi's agent confirmed interest from Liverpool last week in the former
Manchester United forward.
The Italian has declared he intends to leave Villarreal this summer and
Reds boss Rafa Benitez is keen to set up a swap involving outspoken
winger Albert Riera.
Villarreal are keen on the deal, with Riera viewed as an ideal
replacement for departing French veteran Robert Pires.
Riera for Zigic swap
Valencia striker Nikola Zigic is interested in a move
to the Premier League and has garnered the interest of a number of
English clubs including Liverpool.
Reds manager Rafa Benitez is keen to make an offer to los Che that could
kill two birds with one stone. He is pondering a swap deal that would
send out of sorts winger Albert Riera to Spain in return for los Che's
towering striker, according to AS.
If such a deal were to materialise, Liverpool would be obligated to pay
an additional €3-4 million in addition to Riera.
Other teams have their sights set on Zigic as well, which could play a
role in the proceedings should Liverpool drag their feet. Aston Villa
and Birmingham are two possible suitors for the towering Serbian as
May 24 transfer gossip
EVERYONE WHO IS GOOD IS ON MOURINHO'S RADAR
There's a glorious simplicity to The Sun's back-page headline this
Jose Mourinho's arrival at Real Madrid (we're now officially referring
to it as a done deal) is causing plenty of sleepless nights,
particularly at Anfield and Stamford Bridge, with the Special One
expected to raid England's finest for their finest stars.
'Chelsea's Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are in his
sights, along with Liverpool stars Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres,'
declares the newspaper.
'And Liverpool will be quaking. The Special One twice tried to sign Kop
skipper Gerrard when he was at Chelsea, although luring Torres back to
Spain might prove difficult as he remains such a hero at Real's rivals
And that's not all.
'Mourinho is a huge admirer of Manchester United hitman Wayne Rooney,
while Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and Manchester City forward
Emmanuel Adebayor are also potential targets.
'Diego Milito, Inter's two-goal Champions League final hero against
Bayern Munich, could follow Mourinho to Madrid, along with play-maker
Wesley Sneijder and keeper Julio Cesar.'
IS ASHLEY COLE MOURINHO'S NUMBER ONE TARGET?
The Mail keeps Mourinho's interest specific to one player. And rather
surprisingly, it isn't Frank Lampard.
'Jose Mourinho is ready to test Ashley Cole's commitment to Chelsea by
offering England's left back the chance to join his Real Madrid
revolution,' the newspaper announces.
'His top transfer targets will be Cole, valued at around £25million, and
Inter right back Maicon. Cole is understood to be aware of Mourinho's
...OR IS IT GERRARD?
The Times, on the other hand, says that Gerrard is Mourinho's
To cut to the quick:
'In addition to asking for wages of £10 million a year, Mourinho will
present Pérez with a list of transfer targets, including Steven Gerrard.
The Portuguese came close to signing the Liverpool captain on two
occasions at Chelsea and believes that the midfield player may finally
be ready to leave Anfield as a result of his perceived disillusionment
with Rafael Benítez, the manager, and the club's American owners, Tom
Hicks and George Gillett Jr.
'Gerrard said yesterday that he will not make a decision on his future
until after the World Cup, so the stand-off is likely to develop into
one of the sagas of the summer.'
MASCHA AND BENAYOUN TO CHELSEA?
A second 'something different' from the Mail:
'Chelsea are weighing up a double move for Liverpool's Javier Mascherano
and Yossi Benayoun.
'The Double winners realise Liverpool are vulnerable to offers and have
earmarked the duo to reinforce their ageing squad with Michael Ballack
and Joe Cole expected to leave.'
And Benayoun is even quoted as saying: "Ancelotti wants me for next
season and now everything depends on Liverpool. Chelsea will have to pay
some £6m but I believe that in the end I'll be moving there."
PIENAAR IN DEMAND
Speaking of Everton, The Daily Mail reports that they could have a
tougher time keeping hold of one of their other top dogs.
Apparently Steven Pienaar has 'alerted Tottenham, Liverpool and
Manchester United to the fact he has rejected the Goodison club's latest
And here are some quotes from the Saffer himself - whose contract runs
out next summer - on the deal:
"Yes, I'd say the spirit of discussions was very good, but we have
differing valuations, so my future isn't clear. I don't know.
"Everton may keep me for the last year of my deal. But they could sell
me too. If they decide to sell, and the move is correct for my career,
then I'll consider it. Hopefully this hasn't been my last season at
Goodison. But in football, who knows?"
KEEGAN TO HAMBURG?
Here's one that will blow your bollocks off if it happens.
The Daily Mail reports that Hamburg are all set to offer Kevin Keegan
their manager's gig.
The paper claims: 'Hamburg now want to give him the freedom to create a
side capable of challenging Bayern Munich for the title and qualify for
'They are ready to bankroll rebuilding with a transfer budget of around
£25m and will offer players decent contracts, as they demonstrated last
season with their capture of Ruud van Nistelrooy.'
City leave Liverpool ace
Torres to Chelsea, Barcelona
Manchester City are ready to shelve their pursuit of
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.
The Guardian says City are increasingly coming round to the sense that
their failure to qualify for the Champions League has ended any hope of
persuading Torres to leave Anfield.
Chelsea and Barcelona have also been linked with £70 million bids for
Torres since the end of the season.
Reds boss Rafa Benitez insisted yesterday he expected Torres to remain
with the club.
Italian media: Juve to make
improved bid for midfielder
By Ben Moss - Sport.co.uk
According to reports in Italy, Juventus will make
another approach to sign Liverpool FC midfielder Alberto Aquilani having
initially been rebuffed in their efforts by a reluctant Rafa Benitez.
Yesterday reports from Italy suggested Juve’s new coach Luigi De Nieri
had placed Arsenal FC winger Theo Walcott at the top of his shortlist
but today it appears they have earmarked another Premier League player.
Corriere dello Sport claim Juventus’ initial bid for the Liverpool FC
midfielder was rejected, but such is their eagerness to sign the player
who has underwhelmed at Anfield this season, they will return with a new
bid to entice Benitez into offloading the former Roma star.
De Nieri’s appointment has seen the club linked with a host of top
players around the continent, most notably Arsenal FC’s Theo Walcott and
Palermo’s Simon Kjaer, but Aquilani is believed to feature prominently
in the club’s plans for the future.
The Italian newspaper claims Liverpool FC rejected an £11 million offer
from Juventus, with the Premier League side eager to recoup as much of
the £20 million they paid Roma in the summer.
Despite Rafa Benitez insisting the player is not for sale, the report
suggests he would part with the 25-year-old for £15 million.
Whereas the Anfield supremo could be convinced into selling the player,
Juventus’ alleged interest in the aforementioned Arsenal FC winger is
likely to be given short shrift.
Tottenham reject Ziegler
Liverpool are eyeing Sampdoria midfielder Reto
The Daily Mail says Ziegler, a former Tottenham player, has been
earmarked to fill Rafa Benitez's problem left-back position, according
to reports in Italy, but the Reds face strong competition.
New Juventus boss Luigi Del Neri, who has just left Sampdoria for Turin,
is keen to take Ziegler with him, but Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina are
also said to have made contact with the player's agent.
Liverpool, with limited funds, could be priced out of the move, with
Sampdoria thought to value him at about £8.5million.
Rafa targets West
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is hoping to land West Ham
pair Valon Behrami and Matthew Upson.
The Anfield manager has previously been linked with both Upton Park
players but will this summer push on with attempts to bring in new
talents to the club by offering squad players in part exchange in order
to save spending cash.
Right-sided Swiss international Valon Behrami will be starring in next
month's World Cup and could well be one player on his way to an Upton
Park exit. Co-owner David Sullivan has stated that practically his
entire team is available at the right price and Benitez is an admirer of
the former Lazio man.
Benitez is also a fan of England international centre-back Matthew Upson
and is reportedly hoping to bring in a new defender to help shore up the
Liverpool back line that was especially leaky during the first half of
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not
necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are believed to be lining up a move for
Bolton's Gary Cahill with Reds boss Rafael Benitez keen to buy more
The Spaniard looks as though he will be in charge of Liverpool next
season after a period of uncertainty which linked him with the job as
manager of Juventus.
However, with the Italian side having appointed a new manager Benitez
looks set to stay at Anfield and has laid out a transfer policy which
will reportedly see him bring in more English players.
Cahill is believed to be one of those names on Benitez's list after
another impressive season with Bolton, with a whole host of Premier
League sides thought to be tracking him.
While manager Owen Coyle will be desperate to keep the centre half he
might be tempted in to letting him leave should he receive an offer over
target Benayoun as
possible Cole replacement
Harry Harris - Soccernet Correspondent
ESPN soccernet understands that Chelsea are
considering making a move for Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun, with
the Israeli international touted as a possible replacement for the out
of contract Joe Cole.
Cole is apparently no nearer to resolving his contract dispute with
owner Roman Abramovich, and the feelers are already out to find a
suitable replacement, though Benayoun could even be recruited if Cole
There are ample suitors for Cole, but he would like to stay at Stamford
Bridge if he can come to an agreement over new terms.
However, a list of possible replacements has been put to manager Carlo
Ancelotti and the Israeli is highly thought of by the Italian coach, who
has now a much clearer picture of the players in the Premier League
after his first season in charge of the club.
He is also clearer about what is needed to improve the team that won the
Double, but fell short in the Champions League.
A Stamford Bridge insider told Soccernet: "There is no doubt that Yossi
Benayoun is highly thought of at the club, and it wouldn't surprise me
if he came to Chelsea."
Salomon Kalou has had plenty of opportunities to stake his claim for a
place but has been far too inconsistent. His performance in the FA Cup
final underlined the need for a different type of player in his
position, and with Cole failing to convince Ancelotti it should be him,
changes are likely to be afoot.
Abramovich would be interested in a major player exchange with
Liverpool, and though the Russian would primarily want that deal to
involve Fernando Torres, it could also include Benayoun.
Half a dozen of Chelsea's first team squad will be offloaded this
summer, which would give Liverpool a bigger choice of players to
potentially bring to Anfield.
Inter Milan are in talks with Liverpool boss Rafa
Reports in Italy suggest Inter Milan are ready to swoop for Liverpool
manager Rafa Benitez.
The Italian giants, who face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final
on Wednesday, have conceded that Jose Mourinho will leave them for Real
And they have identified Benitez as the ideal replacement.
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti said: "It will be a big surprise
now if he (Mourinho) stays."
Benitez had been linked with a move to Juventus, but the Bianconeri are
set appoint Sampdoria coach Luigi Del Nieri.
Barcelona to battle Chelsea for Torres
Spanish champions Barcelona have been linked with a
move for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and will go head to head with
Chelsea this summer to sign the 26 year-old.
It has been reported that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will sanction a
£50 million move for Torres later this month.
However, according to The Sun, Barca are ready to offload Zlatan
Ibrahimovich after just one season and will use the money raised to make
an offer they feel Liverpool can't refuse.
Liverpool will undoubtedly do all they can to keep the Spain
international at Anfield but with so much uncertainty surrounding the
club, be it the future of the owners or manager Rafael Benitez, the
concensus is that Torres may be open to a fresh challenge and the
guarantee of silverware.
The Sun claims that in order to beat off interest from other parties,
Chelsea will offer Torres a staggering £190,000 a week and will lessen
the club's wage bill by offloading the likes of Deco, Ricardo Carvalho,
Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti and possibly even Joe Cole.
Reports: Benitez ready to sell Benayoun
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to sell Yossi
But the News of the World says despite several clubs, including Sevilla
and Spurs, hunting the £9million-rated midfielder, Liverpool will block
his sale until the Anfield managerial crisis is resolved. Benayoun's
fate is being seen as the acid test of whether Benitez will avoid the
sack this summer.
Benitez and Benayoun's relationship has broken down and tensions came to
a head when the Israeli was left out of the squad for the final league
game at Hull a week ago.
No major deals will be sanctioned until the board determines who will
lead the team next season, and Benayoun says he is willing to fight on
at Anfield under new management.
Mega swap on for
Manchester City are ready to offer Emmanuel Adebayor
and Stephen Ireland to Liverpool in return for Steven Gerrard and
The News of the World claim the duo will be used as bait to land the
Reds star with an additional £40m also heading to Anfield.
City boss Roberto Mancini has already admitted that their failure to
secure Champions League football could scupper their hopes of tabling an
outright bid for the Spanish goal ace.
However, if this attractive alternative could be worth considering
should Liverpool be left with no choice but to let the pair move on.
Adebayor has had a difficult year on and off the pitch and may welcome a
clean break, while Ireland has struggled to find favour under Mancini
despite being a regular and player of the year the season before under
Both Torres and the Liverpool captain have expressed their worries over
the future of the cash-strapped club, so this could be a win-win
situation for all concerned.
A stumbling block though, would be Adebayor's wages given that he has
four years left on his contract at City worth a staggering £150,000 a
wants Torres top of
Barcelona shopping list
Barcelona have joined the battle for Liverpool striker
The Daily Mail says Chelsea and Manchester City had already expressed
their desire to buy the £70million-rated Spaniard but now Sandro Rosell,
the president-elect of Barcelona, has made contact with Torres’s
representatives and has been encouraged by the response.
Torres is reluctant to leave Liverpool but is concerned over speculation
surrounding Rafa Benitez’s future as manager and the club’s transfer
funding and ownership.
It leaves Liverpool vulnerable to offers for the 26-year-old. But one
factor in Liverpool’s favour is that current Barcelona president Joan
Laporta plans to sign Valencia’s David Villa for £35m before the end of
next week and that would make it difficult for his rival, Rosell, to
splash out on Torres.
Reports: Benitez to bid for
Spurs striker Pavlyuchenko
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to make an offer
for Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.
The Daily Star says Benitez is looking to strengthen his side ahead of
And he is said to have named Spurs forward Pavlyuchenko as his number
Pavlyuchenko, who was instrumental in helping Tottenham reach fourth
spot this season, is unlikely to leave the club if they qualify for the
However, with Liverpool willing to hold onto Fernando Torres,
Pavlyuchenko could well be tempted with a move to Anfield.
Reports: Inter Milan president
to buy Gerrard for Mourinho
Inter Milan are preparing a major bid for Liverpool
captain Steven Gerrard.
The Mirror says Italian giants Inter Milan, who face Bayern Munich in
the Champions League final next week, are set to make Gerrard their
number one target this summer.
Inter president Massimo Moratti has told Jose Mourinho he will finance a
summer spending spree to establish Inter Milan as the dominant force in
European football to keep him.
Luring Gerrard away from Liverpool, where he has grown increasingly
unhappy under Rafa Benitez, is part of the plan.
The England midfielder, who is also wanted by Manchester City, nearly
moved to Stamford Bridge in 2005 and is a known admirer of Mourinho.
to reject Juventus
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is set to reject a move to
After giving Benitez until tomorrow to make a decision, Juventus are
ready to look to bring back former player and coach Didier Deschamps
from Marseille after being hit by a compensation demand from Liverpool
believed to be £10m.
A source close to the Italian club told the Sunday Mirror: “Juventus
feel they have gone as far as they can to bring Benitez to Italy.
“The latest obstacle is compensation. Time is starting to run out.”
Liverpool believe Juve’s bid to prise Benitez away has been driven by
his agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon.
The Spaniard has four years left on his contract and it would have cost
co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett £16million to sack him.
to make Liverpool move
Rangers defender Danny Wilson is set to seal a move to
English giants Liverpool in the next seven days. The Scottish PFA young
player of the year will be transferred after the conclusion of the
Wilson has one year on his contract, and if he had stayed until next
year Rangers would have picked up £500,000 compensation. It would now
appear that his move next week will be worth around £2 million plus add
ons for Rangers.
Rafa Benetiz also wants to sign Wilson now because it will give him
three years as an under 21 player which means that he will be considered
to be a 'homegrown' player for future UEFA competitions.
The young defender has had a great season in the centre of defence
beside captain David Weir who is more than twice his age. Only last week
he said he was keen to stay but it looks like Liverpool's offer will be
too good for Rangers to refuse.
Wilson only made his debut for Rangers last October in a League Cup game
against Dundee. Shortly after that he made his European debut in a 4-1
UEFA Champions League defeat to Unirea.
Liverpool will now have two ex Rangers central defenders in their squad.
They already have Soti Kyrgiakos on their books. So who knows, maybe we
could see a a dream team of Wilson and Kyrgiakos in the heart of the
Liverpool defence in the near future?
Roma are chasing Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun.
The Israel international was linked with Roma in January and he is now a
top summer target for coach Claudio Ranieri.
Roma are ready to test the water with an approach for Benayoun following
the 30-year-old's admission that he couldn't guarantee his future lies
The Israel international is highly regarded by Liverpool boss Rafa
Benitez and has been one of the club's most consistent performers this
season, but his availability has been in question since Dynamo Moscow
claimed they were close to a £7million move for him earlier this year.
set to swoop
for ‘uncertain’ Gerrard
By Andrew Slevison - tribalfootball.com
Real Madrid are believed to be ready to swoop for
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The 29-year old midfielder is reportedly uncertain about his future at
Anfield and the Spanish giants want to exploit that by offering an
Madrid have enquired about Gerrard in the past but he has repeatedly
stated his loyalty to the Reds but this new offer that has emerged is
expected to shake things up a bit.
Liverpool missing out on the Champions League and facing uncertainty of
its own in regards to a takeover could be two overriding factors but the
main issue will be if manager Rafael Benitez is still at the helm.
Gerrard and the Spaniard have been at odds this season and if he is to
remain at Anfield, it may make Gerrard think twice about the Madrid
Reports: Chelsea bid
£70m for Torres
Chelsea have launched a dramatic and potentially
record-breaking £70m offer for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres,
according to reports.
The Daily Mail, splashing the bombshell across its back page, claims
that 'preliminary discussions have already taken place, with the outcome
of those meetings positive enough to convince Roman Abramovich that he
will beat his big-spending rivals at Eastlands to the 26-year-old
Manchester City, whose manager Roberto Mancini publicly confirmed his
interest in signing Torres two weeks ago, had previously been thought
favourites to sign Torres were he to leave Anfield. Fleet Street
continues to maintain that the Spaniard is considering his future at the
club despite signing a new deal last year.
Concern about Torres' intentions have been further complicated by claims
in the past week that the striker may have lost faith in Rafa Benitez.
Following the suggestion made by The Daily Mirror that 'Torres is no
longer an admirer of Benitez', The Sun reports this morning that
'Torres' relationship with the manager has cooled to such an extent
there is now more chance of him staying if Benitez goes'.
Rafa Benitez is on the verge of ending
his six-year reign at Liverpool
By John Richardson - Sunday & Daily Express
Dubai International Capital are closing in on a
£500million buy-out of Liverpool as manager Rafa Benitez prepares to
It will be all change at Anfield over the coming weeks with unpopular
American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks relinquishing control and
the club being forced to find a new boss.
In fact, the search for a new manager is already under way, with
high-ranking Liverpool officials aware that Benitez has verbally agreed
to join Serie A side Juventus at the end of the season on a £4.5m
Now it’s just a case of the Italians agreeing compensation with
Liverpool for Benitez to end his six-year reign on Merseyside.
There will also be a major upheaval in the boardroom with DIC, the
investment arm of Dubai’s ruling family led by Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum, the front runner in the process to agree a deal with
Gillett and Hicks.
DIC attempted to purchase the club in 2007 when major shareholder David
Moores declared he was open to offers but then former chief executive
Rick Parry recommended a sale to the Americans.
They were also in negotiations a year later to buy Gillett’s 50 per cent
shareholding only for talks to break down.
Now it could be third time lucky for Sheikh Mohammed, a regular visitor
to this country through his passion for horse racing.
DIC will also commit funds to build the much-anticipated new ground and
make a considerable sum of money available for transfers.
Prominent in the discussions is DIC chief and self-confessed Liverpool
fan Sameer Al Ansari.
Whatever the outcome of the delicate negotiations, Liverpool managing
director Christian Purslow knows he has to prepare for a future without
He is compiling a list of likely candidates which include Inter Milan’s
Jose Mourinho, Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill, Ajax’s Martin Jol and
former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard.
But the eventual answer could lie closer to home with former manager
The Scot, who returned to Anfield under Benitez to assume a role in the
academy and is also a Liverpool ambassador, would bring unity and the
old boot room spirit back to the club.
Benitez has become increasingly frustrated with life under Gillett and
Hicks, believing that history is repeating itself.
He left Valencia, where he won two Spanish titles and the UEFA Cup,
famously stating: “I asked for a table and they bought me a lampshade” –
a reference to players he wanted to sign.
Before facing Chelsea today at Anfield in what will almost certainly be
his last home game as Liverpool manager, admitted: “I left Valencia
because the conditions changed.”
On his current situation at Liverpool he added: “I decided to sign a
contract extension last summer because the squad was good and the money
could be there. At the end the conditions have changed.
“The season has not been good. That is clear.”
Angry Rafa Benitez claims Liverpool
broke promises on new players
By Joe Bernstein - Daily Mail
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has opened the door to
an Anfield farewell by accusing the club of breaking promises over new
signings when he signed a five-year contract last summer.
Benitez, who is being actively pursued by Italian giants Juventus,
effectively put himself on the market by drawing comparisons between his
current situation at Liverpool and when he walked out on Valencia in
2004 after he and the Spanish club clashed over control of transfers.
The Spaniard will lead out his Liverpool team for their final home game
against Chelsea on Sunday knowing that a victory could help bitter
rivals Manchester United overtake their own record of 18 league titles.
But it is his own future that dominates the build-up to the match from
Liverpool’s point of view, following Thursday’s dismal Europa League
exit against Atletico Madrid.
Benitez said: ‘I decided to sign an extension because the squad was good
and the money was going to be there. But the conditions changed.
‘We’ve had a bad season and hopefully things will be different in the
future, but at the moment I can’t talk about the future because I don’t
know what’s going on.
‘I left Valencia (for Liverpool in 2004) because conditions changed. It
was not a question of my money that I stayed at Liverpool. I said No to
other massive offers. I decided to stay under certain conditions and
they have changed.
‘The players share the same frustrations. I know how they feel because
I’ve been talking to them all season. The season has not been good, that
is clear. We know why and what has to change.’
Benitez’s stance has exasperated Liverpool, who insist his job is safe
despite a fourth season in a row without a trophy, and that has
encouraged Juventus who want to take him to Turin.
But with Liverpool certain to demand compensation and the manager
himself not sure about taking Juve’s offer, the matter may not be
resolved as quickly as the Italians would like.
edging closer to exit door
By Harry Harris - ESPN Soccernet
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez looks to be on the
verge of confirming his switch to Juventus.
Benitez has been under heavy pressure this season and, following the
Europa League exit to Atletico Madrid on Thursday, he refused to answer
questions over his future.
"At the moment I can't talk about the future long-term," Benitez said on
Friday. "I know the future clearly and it is Chelsea on Sunday.
"I decided to stay last year because of the fans and for one year I have
been working hard, trying to do my best. We will see what happens in the
Asked if he would be at the club next season, Benitez said: "I want win
against Chelsea and then Hull, and that is all. I am here now, and
hopefully I will still be here on Sunday against Chelsea."
Widespread reports in England and Italy now suggest the move is on the
verge of completion and Soccernet spoke to its Italian contact in Turin,
who confirmed: "Here in Turin, it is more or less accepted that the deal
has been done.
"The reality is that it is actually the same strength as a month ago
when I last told you that Juve believe they have got their man. They
still do. In fact, here they are just waiting for Liverpool to come out
and confirm it. Certainly there is no one at Liverpool who is in a
position to say they want Benitez to stay.
"There is one last sticking point and that is that Benitez is seeking a
golden handshake, compensation for going. He is expecting compensation.
The Italian media are heading off today to Liverpool for what we believe
will be the final chapter at Anfield for Benitez."
Following the news that owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr were
ready to sell Liverpool, Benitez spoke enthusiastically about a
potential takeover from China that would release funds for new players
that might tempt him to stay.
However, Benitez does not trust the owners to sell, and there have been
indications that prospective new investors or owners have been scared
off because of the price being quoted.
Benitez would be due £16 million in compensation if he were to be sacked
and, as such, may be eager to delay confirmation of his departure.
Sources at Anfield have suggested he will threaten to stay on if he is
not paid off.
Benitez plans to sit down with Christian Purslow, the managing director,
after the final Premier League fixture away to Hull City to discuss his
future, but in Italy they are sure he is heading to Turin.
A report in Gazzetta dello Sport stated Benitez would be allowed to work
with a budget of around €80 million at Juventus, with Fernando Torres,
Dirk Kuyt and Javier Mascherano apparently targeted. That budget would
be dependent, however, on off-loading a number of players.
Corriere dello Sport has said Benitez has lined up Simon Kjaer of
Palermo and Juan Manuel Vargas of Fiorentina.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, believes Juventus would be the
right move for Benitez.
"I'm sure Rafa can be a success in Serie A," he told Tuttosport.
"Tactically, he has fantastic experience. Maybe Juve will bring him to