Torres to hold
talks with Reds
Fernando Torres could be allowed to discuss personal terms with Liverpool
over a £27million move after he returns from holiday
The 23-year-old Spain striker's reported switch from Atletico Madrid moved a
step closer on Saturday when his current club agreed a deal for Villarreal's
Atletico were keen to secure a replacement before sanctioning the sale of
their talismanic captain, who came through the ranks at the capital club.
They now appear to have done so after Uruguay international and former
Manchester United forward Forlan, currently on international duty in the
Copa America, agreed a four-year deal.
A statement on the Atletico website read: "Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and
the representative of Diego Forlan have reached an agreement for the
transfer of the Uruguayan player to the Rojiblanco club for the next four
Fergie reluctant to sell Heinze to Liverpool
Liverpool are ready to try to hijack Real Madrid's £6m move for United
defender Gabriel Heinze.
Real look to have edged ahead of Juventus in the race for Heinze, but
Liverpool could now present him with an opportunity to stay in the
Premiership after earmarking him for their problem left back spot.
Manager Rafa Benitez is considering lodging a bid but is aware that United
may be reluctant to sell to one of their main rivals for honours next
land £26.5m Torres
By Phil McNulty, Chief football writer - BBC Sport Online
Liverpool are on the brink of sealing a club record £26.5m deal to sign
Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres.
BBC Sport understands a transfer has now been agreed between Liverpool and
Atletico, and only a late change of heart in Spain will scupper the deal.
Liverpool's Luis Garcia is likely to go in the opposite direction for £4.5m,
but the Torres deal will not collapse if he rejects the switch.
Boss Rafa Benitez is being linked with Manchester United's Gabriel Heinze.
Argentine defender Heinze is currently playing in the Copa America, but
there is growing speculation Liverpool will try to do a deal for the
It may prove complicated, however, with fierce rivals Liverpool and United
notoriously reluctant to sell players to each other.
Torres is Liverpool's main priority, and there is hope that he could put pen
to paper within the next few days.
Liverpool officials are playing their cards close to their chest on what
will be a move that shatters their previous club record deal, the £14m paid
to Auxerre for Djibril Cisse three seasons ago.
But it is understood the framework of the Torres move is finally in place
between the two clubs after lengthy and complicated negotiations - although
Liverpool remain cautious until it is actually signed and sealed.
Liverpool's approach is understandable given that Torres has reportedly been
leaving Atletico for several seasons, only for moves to fall at the final
Spanish international Garcia is expected to sign for Atletico, but if he
remains at Anfield, Liverpool's new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks will
pay straight cash for Torres.
Torres, 23, is currently on holiday until early July, but Benitez remains
hopeful of confirming the deal then, with personal terms not expected to be
Atletico fans held a protest at the possible deal, and a club spokesman has
tried to cool suggestions that move is now imminent.
The spokesman said: "The player is on holiday at the moment and will report
back to training on 9 July for an Intertoto match.
"At the moment, any talk of a move is just speculation and we are still
hopeful that Fernando will be with us next season."
Atletico are reluctant to sell, but Torres is believed to be keen to link up
Benitez wants to land Torres to provide a spearhead for an assault on the
title - and also allow Gillett and Hicks to demonstrate their own financial
commitment to his plans.
Torres has been consistently linked with a move to England, particularly
with Arsenal and Chelsea, but Liverpool are now set to win the race.
If he signs, he will join fellow countrymen Garcia, Pepe Reina and Xabi
Alonso, as well as boss Benitez.
Gil Marin, Atletico's major shareholder insisted that Torres is not
"Nobody is indispensable. No player by himself, very good though he is, is
able to make a team achieve its aims," Gil Marin said on Punto Radio.
"We have spoken to him and told him we would like him to stay. It is normal
that he has doubts. It is normal that the offers and everything surrounding
them has made him think."
Torres, 23, scored 14 league goals in 36 starts this season as Atletico
finished seventh in La Liga.
The Spain international's Atletico contract runs until 2009.
Torres came up though the youth ranks at Atletico and has been their leading
scorer in each of the last five seasons.
get Torres, Garcia moves on
Sid Lowe, Jeremy Wilson and Stuart James - Ireland.com
Liverpool and Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to take Fernando Torres
to Anfield. Liverpool will pay fractionally less than the £27 million
buy-out clause Torres has at the Vicente Calderon, leaving the 23-year-old
striker to finalise personal terms before the move goes ahead.
Neither side anticipates major difficulties in closing the deal, with
Liverpool understanding that any percentage of the transfer fee due to
Torres must be paid by Atletico.
Luis Garcia is set to go in the other direction for almost £4 million but
although his move facilitates negotiations on Torres and would bring down
the cash price, the deals are not interdependent.
Liverpool paid £6 million for Garcia when he joined three summers ago but
their manager, Rafa Benitez, is prepared to release him and Garcia is keen
on a return to Spain to play for the club where he spent a successful season
in 2002-03, scoring nine times in 30 games.
Although Atletico fans protested against the sale of Torres- the captain,
standard-bearer and the player they have called "The Kid" since he made his
debut at 16 - the club have decided it is time to cash in on their greatest
"No one is irreplaceable," said their major shareholder, Miguel Angel Gil
Marin. "We have to build a competitive team and no one player, however good
he is, can achieve our objectives on his own. Last time I spoke to Fernando
he said he was staying but I can't prevent him having a change of heart and
I have to be prepared for that."
Atletico have previously had to withstand an offer from Tottenham and
informal approaches from Chelsea for Torres, but agreed to drop Torres's
buy-out clause from €90 million to €40 million this summer to facilitate a
They are keen on a cash injection and Torres has grown tired of waiting to
fulfil his dream of playing in Europe for the club. He has always insisted
he does not want to play for another Spanish team and is an admirer of the
"If I left Spain I'd like to go to England, because it's interesting and
because the way they play in Italy's not so attractive," he said 18 months
Liverpool wanted to offer Djibril Cisse as part of the deal but the
Frenchman rejected the move. Torres scored 14 league goals last season,
taking him to 75 in five top-flight seasons.
agree deals for star duo
Atletico Madrid have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Villarreal's South
American pair Diego Forlan and Juan Roman Riquelme.
Spanish daily AS claims a fee of up to 30million euros (£21million) has been
agreed between the two clubs, and if that's the case it will only increase
speculation that Fernando Torres is about to leave the Vicente Calderon.
Forlan has been a big hit at El Madrigal since leaving Manchester United in
the summer of 2004. He was top scorer in his first season in La Liga.
He was strongly linked with a move to Barcelona last summer, but the Catalan
giants ended up signing Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen instead.
Forlan has a 23million euro release clause in his Villarreal contract, and
has been linked with Sunderland and Liverpool.
Riquelme, meanwhile, spent the second half of last season back in Argentina
with his old club Boca Juniors on loan.
And AS claims Atletico must now persuade him to return to Spain.
Reds held up in
Liverpool are reportedly closing in on record deal for long-term target
Fernando Torres, but could be held up by a pay-off clause.
According to The Sun, Reds manager Rafael Benitez has agreed to pay
£25million for the 23-year-old Spain international.
However the deal could be held up because Torres is entitled to 10 per cent
of any fee and Atletico Madrid insist Liverpool should pay it.
The Premier League side are adamant this cash, all £2.5million of it, should
come out of the overall transfer pot.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said: "Every player has a price and if
they pay the transfer clause there is nothing we can do to stop Torres
"But at the moment what is certain is that there is nothing going on with
Torres and any other club."
Benitez's own agent Garcia Quilon is trying to broker a deal and Liverpool
are confident they will get their man.
Torres has long been linked with a move to England with his impressive 82
goals in 212 games for Atletico really raising awareness of his raw talents.
Meanwhile Liverpool have been expected to throw Djibril Cisse into the deal
as part of a player-plus-cash arrangement while Luis Garcia could also be
Reds face Yossi fight
By David Prentice - Liverpool Echo
Sven Goran Eriksson is hoping to hijack Liverpool’s move for Yossi
The Manchester City manager-elect has already earmarked his first transfer
target, even before signing his three-year contract at Eastlands.
And he wants West Ham’s Israeli captain.
The Reds made an initial bid in excess of £1.5m more than a week ago for the
midfielder, but it was instantly dismissed by West Ham.
The Reds have not made a renewed offer, hoping The Hammers’ desire to
recruit a striker will lead to a possible exchange deal with Craig Bellamy.
And Benayoun is prepared to be patient.
The player’s agent, Ronen Katzav, said: “We are still waiting.
“The deal is still in place with West Ham. We are waiting to see if the two
clubs can come to an agreement.
“I am not going to say Yossi is desperate for a move at all, but it is only
natural – any player in the world would be attracted by Liverpool.”
West Ham agreed a new three-year contract with Benayoun, who Rafa Benitez
sees as a replacement in his squad for the departed Bolo Zenden, but it has
remained unsigned since Liverpool made their interest known.
Eriksson’s City backers believe a contract worth around £3m-a-year – terms
Liverpool are unlikely to match – will persuade Benayoun to choose City.
Another Reds target, meanwhile, Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, is
ready to confront club officials in an effort to break the deadlock over his
The Spanish international striker is enthusiastic about the prospect of a
move to Anfield, but fears he is being priced out of a switch.
He intends outlining his misgivings to president Enrique Cerezo.
Atletico’s £27million asking price is proving a stumbling block, although
Liverpool are hoping a player-exchange could solve the impasse.
Benitez told the ECHO last week that Djibril Cisse will not be allowed out
on loan again, and he could be used as a makeweight in the deal.
A move to La Liga may well appeal to Cisse, who recently bought a Spanish
holiday home in Sitges.
table as part of Torres deal
Djibril Cisse's agents are reportedly bidding to persaude Atletico Madrid
to accept the Frenchman as a makeweight in the Fernando Torres deal.
Liverpool are currently well off meeting Atletico's valuation for Torres and
their bid of £16million plus Luis Garcia has been knocked back.
The Spaniards, knowing Liverpool will not pay their £27million asking price,
have reportedly asked for Peter Crouch in part-exchange but Rafa Benitez is
keen to hold on to the England frontman.
Instead, he has instructed Cisse to open negotiations with Atletico,
according to Spanish newspaper AS.
Benitez has warned the 25-year-old will not go out on loan again this season
but the Reds chief would welcome a chance to get rid of a player who has
failed to find his top form at Anfield.
Atletico are apparently already making plans for life after Torres, offering
around £13m plus Mista for Villarreal striker Diego Forlan.
But Villarreal representative Jose Manuel Llaneza says any club that wants
to buy Forlan away will have to meet the asking price.
"Villarreal does not want to bother negotiating for Forlan," said Llaneza in
Marca. "His value is 23 million euros (£17m)."
Forlan was apparently considered by Rafa Benitez, but the Uruguayan is a
little overpriced for the Spaniard's liking.
Torres nears exit door
By David Prentice - Liverpool Echo
Atletico Madrid have had a 17 million-euros-plus-Mista bid turned down
for Diego Forlan.
But the offer is the first indication that Atletico are preparing for life
without Fernando Torres.
The 23-year-old Spanish international is wanted by Reds boss Rafa Benitez,
and both parties now appear to be jockeying for position.
Torres’ agent, Antonio Sanz, has described a reported offer from the Reds of
£16m plus Luis Garcia as “insufficient – if you keep in mind that Fernando
guarantees you 15 goals per year, especially when Nani, an unknown player,
cost Manchester United £20m.”
Another report claims that Atletico want Peter Crouch rather than Garcia,
but Benitez will not part with last season’s 18-goal top scorer.
Villarreal representative Jose Manuel Llaneza, meanwhile, says any club that
wants to tempt Forlan away will have to shell out more money.
“Villarreal does not want to bother negotiating for Forlan,” said Llaneza in
Spanish newspaper Marca. “His value is 23 million euros (£17m).”
Reds boss Benitez initially considered Forlan himself, but decided the
asking price was too high.
But he is prepared to push the boat out for Torres.
Reports in Spain suggest Atletico Madrid have been demanding 36 million
euros (£24million), while Liverpool are only willing to offer 30
Torres’ buy-out clause in a straight-cash deal is 40million euros (£27
Pete in Torres swap
Atletico Madrid have reportedly told Liverpool they will only do business
over Fernando Torres if Peter Crouch comes as part
of the deal.
The Daily Star claims the two clubs are £8million apart in their valuation
for Spain international Torres, and while the Reds are believed to have
offered Luis Garcia in part-exchange Atletico would favour the arrival of
Officials from Anfield are set to travel to Madrid this week in the hope of
completing a deal for the highly-rated 23-year-old, who has also been linked
with Manchester United.
Atletico coach Javier Aguirre is said to be a big fan of England star Crouch
and believes the 6ft 7in frontman would be a big hit in La Liga.
However, Liverpool chief Rafa Benitez wants a pool of four top-class
strikers as he bids to challenge on all fronts next season, and would prefer
to lose Garcia over Crouch.
deal can raise stakes in Torres bid
By Nick Smith - Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool will step up their attempt to sell Djibril Cisse before the end
of the week – and boost their chances of landing Fernando Torres into the
It looks increasingly likely that Liverpool will have to smash their record
transfer outlay by more than £10million to land the Atletico Madrid striker
as his club stick steadfastly to their refusal to shift from a release
clause in the region of £27million.
Manager Rafael Benitez has given no indication that his transfer budget can
stretch this far on one player and is lining up a series of targets as
But netting a fee in the region of £8m for Cisse, who is Liverpool’s record
buy after his £14m switch from Auxerre in 2004, will help raise the money
for a bid that will capture 23-year-old Atletico skipper Torres.
Benitez is defiant in his insistence that Cisse won’t be considered for
another year’s loan following his initial 12-month stay at Marseille.
Liverpool missed out on a transfer fee last summer when Cisse broke his leg
playing for France ahead of the World Cup and his subsequent season-long
loan was partly to assist his rehabilitation.
However, with the forward now fully fit and back among the goals towards the
end of last season, Benitez has ruled out the possibility of a further loan
deal and will hope that Marseille will meet the asking price.
It works in Liverpool’s favour that the French club’s hand will be forced by
the consideration Bolton are giving to a bid for Cisse, as doubts remain
over whether fellow Frenchman Nicolas Anelka will be staying at the Reebok.
Cisse’s agent Ranko Stojic has said that he and his client are meeting new
Wanderers manager Sammy Lee this week, boosting Benitez’s hopes of a
positive outcome to the saga.
But the Liverpool manager has drawn up a list of potential targets should he
fail to land Torres.
PSV Eindhoven’s Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone and Ajax forward Klaus-Jan
Huntelaar have emerged as names on his list but Benitez inists that “there
is no urgency” in his attempts to secure new players ahead of the new
However, he wants to boost his numbers before full pre-season training gets
under way at the end of next week, when players involved in end-of-season
internationals return to make it a full complement of players at Melwood.
Reds set for
record Torres deal
Liverpool are set to see off interest from Manchester United to seal the
signing of Fernando Torres for a club-record £25m this week.
Reds boss Rafa Benitez has made the Atletico Madrid striker his number one
transfer target this summer and looks set to get his man despite late
interest in the 23-year-old from United.
It is thought the Spanish international would prefer a move to Anfield,
where he would team up with fellow countrymen Benitez, Xabi Alonso and Pepe
Reina, to spearhead the Reds' strike force next season.
There are reports Benitez will offer Atletico Luis Garcia or Djibril Cisse
as part of the deal in order to reduce the amount Liverpool will have to
fork out, although it is thought the Reds are willing to pay as much as £25m
on Torres - a figure that easily eclipses the £14m spent on Cisse in the
summer of 2004.
United's interest Torres is long-standing and reports have suggested Sir
Alex Ferguson now wants the forward after his bid to land Italian
international Fabio Quagliarella from Sampdoria stumbled over the weekend.
Rafa blocks Owen move
By Paul Hetherington - Daily and Sunday Express
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has rejected the chance to give England
striker Michael Owen an Anfield return.
Newcastle were prepared to trade Owen for two Liverpool players – striker
Craig Bellamy and left-back John Arne Riise.
But Benitez ruled out a deal for Owen, which would also have taken Bellamy
back to Tyneside.
However, Owen could still be on the move – with Manchester City and Arsenal
boss Arsene Wenger also interested in the 27-year-old striker.
Reds may hijack
Spurs' Bent deal
Charlton hitman Darren Bent is expected to complete a £16million move to
Spurs next week - unless Liverpool make a last-ditch offer for him.
The Addicks had been holding out for the £17million price agreed with West
Ham for Bent earlier this month, before he pulled out of the deal.
However, the Guardian claims they have agreed a fee of £15million, with
another £1million in 'success-related payments' for the England man.
However, the deal could be scuppered if Liverpool's chase for Atletico
Madrid forward Fernando Torres fails, as Rafael Benitez has lined up Bent as
an alternative target.
The move is likely to cast doubt over Jermain Defoe's future at White Hart
Lane, with Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov currently established as the
top two strikers at the club.
Bent is a more versatile option for Spurs boss Martin Jol, who is currently
hamstrung by Defoe and Keane's apparent inability to play alongside each
Bent provides a more physical option, and has often played as a lone-striker
in his time at The Valley.
If Bent does sign for Jol's side, he will be on a contract considerably less
than the £75,000-a-week he was reportedly offered at West Ham.
Spurs have a rigid wage structure in place, with Robbie Keane believed to be
the club's top-earner on £50,000 a week.
Liverpool prepare to sell
raise transfer budget
By Andy Hunter - The Independent
Liverpool will accept an £8m loss on Djibril Cissé rather than allow
their record signing to spend another season on loan at Marseille, with
former coach Sammy Lee interested in bringing the French international to
Cissé, a £14m signing from Auxerre in 2004, is keen to remain at Stade
Velodrome where he enjoyed a productive end to last season following his
recovery from a second broken leg but those prospects will diminish unless
the French club revise their offer of another 12-month loan deal.
Liverpool are prepared to take £6m for the 25-year-old as they look to
maximise Rafael Benitez's transfer budget and have been encouraged by
confirmation the new Bolton manager wants the forward. Cissé's agent, Ranko
Stojic, yesterday revealed: "It is true there has been some contact with
Bolton. I have met up with Sammy Lee on one occasion. He impressed me, not
just as a coach, but as a person. We are meeting Liverpool next week to find
out what they want to do."
Lee has been told goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen will see out the final year
of his Bolton contract rather than explore a possible move to Sunderland or
Aston Villa after rejectinga new deal last week.
Rafa ready to
up ante for Benayoun
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is ready to stump up £4.5million in a
bid to prise midfield playmaker Yossi Benayoun from West Ham's grasp.
Reds boss Benitez had a £3million bid for the Israeli winger knocked back
earlier in June - and is reportedly prepared to return with an improved
offer of £4.5million.
The Hammers have pulled the plug on a new contract offer for Benayoun after
he expressed his desire to move to the Champions League finalists.
However, Liverpool's initial bid was deemed unacceptable by the Hammers, so
they will come back with a fresh approach.
Benayoun said: "I'm honoured a club like Liverpool is interested in me. I'm
contracted to West Ham, so we will have to see what happens."
According to The Sun, Benitez is willing to use Welsh striker and reported
Hammers target Craig Bellamy in a swap deal for Benayoun.
The Irons are keen to strengthen their forward line after Charlton hitman
Darren Bent rejected a move to Upton Park.
Therefore, Bellamy could be an ideal makeweight in the deal, after Benitez
made it clear that he is surplus to requirements at Anfield.
Reds' Mancini bid
Roma have reportedly rejected an offer from Liverpool for Brazilian
winger Amantino Mancini.
Rafael Benitez is looking to strengthen his squad for a Premiership title
push next season and Mancini’s name has allegedly been included in the
Coach’s summer wish list.
According to the latest reports in Italy, Liverpool made a £13m offer for
the South American, but it does not seem likely that he will leave the
Mancini is considered as a key player by the Giallorossi outfit and Luciano
Spalletti seems determined to hold on to the star, who has drawn interest
from a number of clubs.
Liverpool could table an improved bid in the near future, but the capital
city outfit are expected to offer the former Venezia man a contract
extension, as his current deal expires in 2009.
In the meantime, director general Rosella Sensi has insisted that Cristian
Chivu is not certain to depart the Stadio Olimpico, despite being heavily
linked with a move to Inter.
“There is no meeting scheduled with Massimo Moratti, but we will speak with
the San Siro outfit when the time comes,” she explained.
“Chviu’s future? He might still be a Roma player next year,” added the
Reds face Torres battle
By Chris Harvey - Sky Sports
Liverpool will have to top their transfer record if they want to land
Spain striker Fernando Torres.
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo is understood to have told
potential suitors they will have to pay the £27million release clause in his
contract to land him.
There are suggestions a delegation from Liverpool has been in the Spanish
capital looking to tie up a deal before other clubs can muscle in but the
two parties are not thought to be close to an agreement.
Manchester United and Chelsea are also believed to be monitoring movements,
according to press reports.
Uncertainty over the transfer funds available to Rafael Benitez may force
the Reds boss to look at a player-plus-cash deal in order to land the
world-class striker he covets.
After failing to qualify for the Uefa Cup next season, Atletico may be
prepared to cash in on Torres in spite of their efforts over the last couple
of years to hang on to their prized asset.
to Liverpool resurfaces
Liverpool have once again been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid
striker Fernando Torres.
The Spanish striker will cost around £25m because of a clause in his
contract but reports claims that price will not put off manager Rafa
Torres has previously been a target for Manchester United and Chelsea, but
he is thought to favour a move to Liverpool.
During a recent match his captain's armband slipped to reveal the words
'You'll never walk alone' printed on the reverse.
Atletico appear to have finally agreed to sell Torres after failing to reach
the Uefa Cup following a disappointing season in which their star striker
still managed to score 14 goals.
One report suggests that Liverpool have despatched officials to Madrid to
open talks with Atletico Madrid, who might be tempted by an offer of former
player Luis Garcia in part exchange.
all3points - Liverpool
Liverpool have made a move for Zaragoza striker Diego Milito according to
reports over the weekend.
The News of the World claims that Liverpool have launched a £13 million bid
for the Argentinean striker after accepting they are set to lose out to
Tottenham in the race to sign Charlton's Darren Bent.
28 year old Milito scored 22 goals for Zaragoza last season and the paper
quotes him as saying:
"Liverpool are a club any player would like to move to. I believe I could
adjust without any problems."
Juventus and Roma join hunt
for £12m Liverpool cast-off Bellamy
By Dominic Fifield - The Guardian
Craig Bellamy's future at Liverpool appears increasingly uncertain after
Juventus and Roma expressed tentative interest in luring the Wales forward
to Serie A, with the Merseysiders willing to listen to offers for him.
While there has been no direct contact between Liverpool and rival clubs,
Juve's new manager Claudio Ranieri has made inquiries as to the
27-year-old's availability and it is understood he would be willing to pay
up to £10m for his services, a fee which approaches Liverpool's £12m
Yet any interest from Roma would be more appealing for Rafael Benítez, who
would hope to negotiate a move to Merseyside for the Brazilian winger
Alessandro Mancini in part exchange.
Liverpool's apparent willingness to listen to offers will serve as
confirmation for Bellamy that his days are numbered at the club, despite
scoring nine goals in 42 appearances last term and playing a significant
part in the notable win at Barcelona in the Champions League knock-out
The Wales striker moved from Blackburn for £6m last summer but Benítez was
unimpressed with his antics in a mid-season training break in Portugal...
when he threatened his team-mate John Arne Riise with a golf club, and is
unconvinced that the forward can flourish in his squad rotation system.
West Ham, Aston Villa and Blackburn had all shown interest in the forward at
the end of the season, but the latter two have been put off by Liverpool's
price. West Ham may yet emerge as contenders to sign him having failed to
secure Darren Bent in a deal that was worth £17m, with Benítez aware now
that he will need to raise funds through one major sale, preferably Bellamy,
if he is to strengthen his squad in the close season.
West Ham lining up Bellamy
bid after Bent snub
By Nick Smith - Liverpool Daily Post
West Ham are set to turn their attention to Craig Bellamy after missing
out on number one target Darren Bent.
Despite agreeing to meet Charlton’s valuation for the striker and offering a
£75,000 five-year deal, Bent turned down a move across London.
The Hammers, who were ready to pay £16million cash plus Hayden Mullins, will
now attempt to boost their forward line with Bellamy.
Liverpool will allow the Welsh striker to leave if they can get a
satisfactory profit on the £6million they paid Blackburn Rovers for him a
West Ham are believed to be preparing a £9million bid, but this could rise
if they decide to include Yossi Benayoun – who has handed in a transfer
request in the wake of an approach from Liverpool – as part of an exchange
In terms of Bent, Tottenham have now moved into pole position in the hunt
for the forward, who has also been a target of Benitez but is currently out
of Liverpool’s price range.
But with West Ham out of the running, it’s likely Charlton will have to
accept a lower bid although their chief executive Peter Varney insists that
Bent will remain with them despite last season’s relegation.
“He said: We look forward to Darren starting with us in the Championship
next season, which is a massive boost to our chance of returning to the
Liverpool are believed to have made a £10million bid already but Spurs are
also unlikely to offer the kind of package West Ham were putting on the
A Hammers spokesman said: “West Ham have been considering options in terms
of a new striker and will now be pursuing alternatives.”
L'OM looking for
By Patrick Haond - Sky Sports
According to reports in France, Marseille are considering a move for
Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia.
The two clubs have already been locked in negotiations regarding a permanent
deal for Djibril Cisse, and France Football claims l'OM are also interested
in the Finnish defender.
Liverpool have given no official indication as to whether Hyypia will
survive Rafa Benitez's cull at Anfield this summer, but the player has
previously revealed he believes he will remain on Merseyside.
If The Reds are reluctant to part company with Hyypia, then Marseille could
well turn to former Arsenal defender Pascal Cygan, who now plies his trade
with Villarreal in Spain.
Celta Vigo's Gabriel Tamas is also believed to be a prime target as
Marseille plan for UEFA Champions League football next season.
and Spurs now
to sign £17m Bent
The Daily Mail
Liverpool have emerged as shock contenders to sign Darren Bent after the
England striker rejected a £17m move to West Ham.
Tottenham chiefs are also reported to have held talks late last night with a
view to renewing their interest in the Charlton forward.
West Ham thought they had got their man, after agreeing a £75,000-a-week
However, they were stunned as Bent changed his mind then Yossi Benayoun
decided he wanted to pursue Liverpool's interest in him.
However, Charlton have not given up hope of keeping Bent at The Valley and
Addicks chief executive Peter Varney said: "We set a valuation and West Ham
are the only club to have met that valuation.
"Darren has decided not to join West Ham so we look forward to him starting
with us in the Championship next season."
linked with Rangers switch
BBC Sport Online
Former England striker Robbie Fowler would welcome an approach from
Rangers, according to a report in The Herald.
An unnamed representative of the 32-year-old free agent told the newspaper:
"Robbie wants to play for Rangers. It would be ideal for him.
"He wants to come and add medals to his collection. It would be a major
boost for the fans.
"He could score the goals that would qualify them for the Champions League.
The signing would pay for itself."
Fowler, who has also been linked with Celtic and a move to the US, is
looking for a new club, having been released by Liverpool.
The striker returned for a second spell at Anfield in January 2006 and
scored 12 goals despite his limited appearances over the last
He made his Liverpool debut as an 18-year-old in 1993, scoring 171 goals in
330 games before joining Leeds for £11m in 2001 and then Manchester City for
£6m in 2003.
Hammers rage at Rafa's
£1m Benayoun offer
The Daily Mail
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has enraged West Ham by offering an
'insulting' £1m for Yossi Benayoun.
The 27-year-old Hammers midfielder has stalled on a new five-year contract
and admits he would like to move to Anfield.
But Liverpool's cheeky attempt to get him on the cheap has been greeted with
a brick wall of silence from West Ham who are now even more determined not
to let him go.
Reports in the Daily Mirror suggest the Reds were ready to offer £1m now and
another £1m in a year's time.
This has been rejected as 'insulting' by Hammers chairman Eggert Magnusson
but has clearly unsettled Benayoun who was due to sign an imporved £50,000 a
Israel international Benayoun was offered the new contract three weeks ago
then claimed he would be 'delighted' to stay with the 'best supporters in
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said today: "I can confirm we have made
an approach for Yossi Benayoun, but the figures quoted are completely wrong.
"Other than that we don't want to say any more."
Reds target Barca
By Andrew Scurr - Sjy Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly lining up a bid for Barcelona
youngster Marc Crosas.
The 19-year-old midfielder made his Barca debut earlier this season
following an impressive run of performances for the Catalan club's B team.
Crosas could follow former Barca youngsters Cesc Fabregas and Fran Merida,
who are both now at Arsenal, in moving to the Premiership.
"After Barca, English football is my passion," Crosas is quoted in the Daily
Benitez is believed to be looking to land Crosas initially on loan with the
possibility of him making the switch to Anfield permanent at a later date.
win Bent race
West Ham are set to beat Tottenham and Liverpool to sign Charlton striker
Darren Bent in an £18million deal.
According to the Daily Star, the Hammers have offered £80,000 a week to
secure Bent's services, while Charlton will receive £15million plus Marlon
Harewood and Hayden Mullins, who are surplus to requirements at Upton Park.
Spurs and Liverpool had also been strongly linked with moves for Bent, who
is desperate to stay in the Premier League following Charlton's relegation
in order to enhance his England chances.
A move to Upton Park would see Bent reunited with former boss Alan
Curbishley, who signed Bent for the Addicks from Ipswich two years ago.
And the Tractor Boys will also be celebrating if the deal does go through,
as they'll receive a windfall of around £2.5million from a sell-on clause in
ready to sell hitman Torres
Atletico Madrid will spark a transfer scramble next week by confirming
that star striker Fernando Torres will be in the summer sales.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked with
moves for Torres in the past and would be forced to offer at least
£15million for his services.
Tottenham, West Ham and Newcastle also have the funds to mount rival bids -
but the lure of Champions League football gives the big four a major
The 23-year-old has scored 82 goals in 212 league appearance for Atletico,
while his record for Spain is 14 in 42 games.
His club's failure to earn a UEFA Cup slot this season means they are
expecting to lose their star forward and the Premier League is the most
Reds ask Addicks
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has reportedly firmed up his interest in
Charlton striker Darren Bent.
Reds manager Benitez is checking out the availability of the other names on
his shortlist after learning Samuel Eto'o has decided to stay at Barcelona.
England striker Bent, 23, hit 15 goals last season as the Addicks battled in
vain to survive in the Premiership.
But although Benitez has plenty of funds available, the Spaniard is likely
to baulk at Charlton's £14million valuation of their prize asset.
West Ham, Tottenham and Valencia have also been linked with Bent, and
Charlton are keen to sell early in the window to boost their transfer kitty.
Juande on Liverpool's
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly lining up a move for one
of the brightest prospects in Spanish football Juande.
The Real Betis midfielder broke into the first team towards the end of last
season and his performances have caught the eye of Benitez.
The Sevilla-based club are one of a handful of Spanish sides eager to sign
Reds winger Mark Gonzalez with sources claiming that Betis are lining up a
£2.3million deal for the Chile international.
Benitez is keen to do business with the La Liga outfit, but part of any deal
for Gonzalez will involve the Merseysiders gaining first option on Juande.
The 20-year-old is a defensive midfielder and with the likes of Javier
Mascherano and Momo Sissoko already at the Premiership giants, Benitez may
opt to let Juande continue his development in Spain next season.
More new deals
in Reds pipeline
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is expected to target the names of Xabi
Alonso and Jose Reina to the list of players accepting new contracts.
England duo Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher sealed new four-year deals
tying them to Anfield until 2011 on Monday, but Benitez could have more
trouble keeping Alonso as he prepares for the new season.
Reina seems certain to extend his deal, as does full-back Steve Finnan, but
speculation from Spain suggests Alonso is seriously considering a move to
Benitez, who returns from holiday at the end of the week, aims to move
heaven and earth to prevent Alonso's departure, but that deal is the most
worrying point as he attempts to keep a string of senior men at Anfield.
Bolton prepare to take Cissé from Liverpool
By Dominic Fifield - The Guardian
Bolton Wanderers hope to sign the unsettled Liverpool striker Djibril
Cissé on loan in a move that could pave the way for Nicolas Anelka to leave
the Reebok in search of Champions League football.
The Wanderers chairman, Phil Gartside, stated publicly yesterday that he
would resist bids for Anelka after Manchester United sought clarification on
the striker's availability last month. "Sammy Lee is looking to build a
squad for next season and we absolutely have no interest in selling any of
our better players," he said. "Nicolas, of course, is one such player."
But Lee is concerned the 28-year-old may be tempted away by a club, in
England or abroad, who are competing in next season's European Cup. With
that in mind, he is preparing to turn his attentions to Cissé and has been
given the go-ahead by Gartside to pursue the forward.
Cissé, Liverpool's record signing when he was bought by Gérard Houllier from
Auxerre three years ago for £14.1m, spent last season at Marseille where,
after finally recovering from a broken leg sustained on international duty
with France before last summer's World Cup, he scored eight goals in 21
Despite that tally and the fact that Cissé has two years to run on his
contract on Merseyside, Rafael Benítez has made it clear he sees no future
for the striker at Anfield and Liverpool are keen to recoup about £6m for
Marseille have indicated they would struggle to meet that fee and Cissé is
understood to be keener to play in the Premiership or La Liga next term. He
owns a property in Cheshire and Bolton, as Uefa Cup qualifiers, are
potentially an attractive proposition.
Betis 'seeking Dudek
By Tom Adams - Sky Sports
Reports in Spain claim that Real Betis are engaged in talks with
Liverpool over the possible signing of Jerzy Dudek.
The Polish keeper will leave Anfield in the summer after seeing his
international hopes fade as a result of his failure to dislodge Jose Reina
in Rafa Benitez's plans.
Spain has now emerged as a realistic destination for the keeper as Marca
reports that the Andalucian club have begun to talk with their English
counterparts about a possible deal for the former Feyenoord man.
The two clubs have already been negotiating a transfer for out-of-favour
Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez, and Dudek could be joining his young
team-mate on the plane to Spain if a double deal can be arranged.
Dudek's final game for Liverpool came in the 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth in
April, and the Pole will always be fondly remembered on Merseyside after his
penalty shoot-out heroics in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final heroics
Hammers chase Bellamy
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
West Ham are the latest side todeclare an interest in signing
Aston Villa, Spurs and Backburn are all reportedly keen on signing the Wales
striker. Now West Ham have also entered the chase and are prepared to offer
better personal terms than the other three.
Liverpool want £12m for Bellamy but none of the sides are prepared to pay
that. The Reds will definitely make a profit on the £6m they paid for
Bellamy last Summer however.
Bolton want Carson
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Bolton Wanderers want to sign Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson.
Former Liverpool coach Sammy Lee, now manager at the Reebok Stadium, wants
to sign Scott Carson to replace Sunderland bound Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The Reds don't want to lose Carson but may be prepared to let him join
Bolton on a season long loan.
Rafa to raise
cash for Eto'o raid
Rafael Benitez will sell Momo Sissoko and Craig Bellamy and then ask
Liverpool's owners for the rest of the cash needed to sign Samuel Eto'o.
New Anfield honchos George Gillett and Tom Hicks have promised to back
Benitez in the transfer market this summer - but the Spaniard knows he will
have to help fund a £35million for Barcelona hitman Eto'o.
Benitez is ready to offload fiery striker Bellamy, who is being chased by
West Ham and Aston Villa, for around £6million - and Sissoko is also surplus
to requirements following the successful impact of Javier Mascherano at
The Mali midfielder has fallen behind Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Steven
Gerrard in the pecking order - and would command a fee of £7million, with
both Barca and Juventus said to be monitoring him.
Benitez is desperate to break Chelsea and Manchester United's stranglehold
on the Premiership title race - and believes Eto'o is the world-class
striker Liverpool need to bid for the English crown.
Reds look to £30m Eto'o
Rafa Benitez is reportedly ready to splash up to £30m on Samuel Eto'o
while Momo Sissoko's agent insists the midfielder will stay.
Benitez is looking for at least one new striker and Barcelona star Eto'o is
said to top his summer wish-list.
The Reds will face big competition for the Cameroon international - not
least from Premiership rivals Manchester United - who is thought to be
unsettled at the Nou Camp and indicated recently he would be willing to move
Barca to fight for Eto'o
By Mark Kendall - Sky Sports
Reports in Spain claim Barcelona will fight tooth and nail to keep Samuel
Eto'o in the face of renewed interest from a host of Europe's most powerful
The Cameroon striker - who is currently on international duty preparing for
a match with Liberia on Saturday - has enjoyed another productive season for
Barca despite a serious knee injury earlier in the campaign that sidelined
him for four months.
The African has still managed to bag 13 goals - including 12 in 15 league
starts - cementing his reputation as one of the continent's top marksmen.
However, renowned for his outspoken views, Eto'o has caused a certain amount
of unrest at Camp Nou and had a highly-publicised fall-out with Ronaldinho
earlier in the term.
It was thought that Barca were preparing to offload him this summer with
Arsenal's Thierry Henry his preferred replacement, but the Catalan giants
are now reported to have changed their stance.
His fine form, which has been the catalyst for Barca's resurgent title bid,
has convinced the club's hierarchy to retain his services although they will
make it clear to the 26-year-old that further controversial outbursts will
not be tolerated.
Eto'o's list of admirers reads like a who's who of Europe's premier outfits
with Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Milan and
Internazionale all ready to make their move given encouragement.
Rafa Benitez, armed with a substantial summer transfer kitty, is thought to
have pinpointed Eto'o as the prolific goalscorer to spearhead what is likely
to be a revamped side next term with Spanish sports newspaper AS claiming an
incredible €60 million (£40 million) is being readied.
They would be sure to face stiff competition for the former Mallorca
hot-man, although it would now appear that Barca will shun all offers to
keep hold of their coveted striker.
eye Momo swoop
European heavyweights Juventus and Barcelona are reportedly ready to
battle it out for the signature of Liverpool midfielder
The Mali international is keen to have talks with Reds chief Rafa Benitez
over his lack of first-team action at Anfield after the January arrival of
"If I am not to leave," Sissoko told Tuttosport, "Then I must play more."
But with Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Mascherano already ahead of the
22-year-old in the central-midfield pecking order, and the likelihood of
further additions being made to the squad, Sissoko looks almost certain to
be surplus to requirements.
Signed from Valencia for £5.6million in July 2005, Sissoko has made 36
Premiership starts and could command a fee in the region £7million.
Juventus are looking to stengthen after returning to Serie A following
relegation for their part in the Italian match-fixing scandal, while
Barcelona are keen to add more bite to their midfield to supplement the
attacking flair of Ronaldinho and company.
Robbie to Rangers?
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Robbie Fowler has been linked with a move to Rangers.
Fowler has been told he can leave Liverpool this Summer and Glasgow Rangers
are the latest side to express an interest in the Scouser.
Celtic were also chasing Fowler but their interest may have cooled after
signing Hibs striker Chris Killen.