Rumours

July - 2006

 
HEADLINES
3107: Sochaux linked with Liverpool approach
2707: Brescia starlet catches Reds' eye
2607: Reds back in for Kuyt
2507: Pennant could be Liverpool bound
2507: Benitez lands 6m Pennant
2407: Preston to enter Mellor battle
2407: Striker rumoured to be discussing...
2107: Duff given permission to speak...
2007: Pennant deal close?
2007: Reds target Real starlet
1807: Kuyt flies in
1807: Charlton join chase for Liverpool...
1707: Benitez aims to bring in Alves
1607: Rafa linked with shock Real raid
1407: Bolton ready to make bid for Traore
0907: Liverpool linked with former Houllier...
0607: Spurs in Kewell link
0407: Reds back in for Joaquin
0407: Liverpool in talks with defender?
0407: Pearce moves in to try and get Hamann
0307: Alves deal still on as Pennant enters...
0207: Kewell exit still on
0207: No contract offer for Trabelsi
0107: Reds back away from Kuyt move
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2006
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JULY 31
Sochaux linked with Liverpool approach

Kop Talk

French outfit Sochaux are reported to have made an enquiry regarding the availability of Anthony Le Tallec.

If you believe the rumours, Rafa didn't like the player's attitude from day one which is why he didn't hesitate in loaning him out.

His attitude was also questioned while with Sunderland last season and he's publicly stated that he wants to leave Anfield and return to France.

If the boss can find a buyer he wouldn't hesitate in selling him but for now he may have to loan him out if there's no sign of any cash.

Big things were expected from the French youngster but so far he's failed to live up to those expectations.


JULY 27
Brescia starlet catches Reds' eye

By Nadia Carminati - Sky Sports

Liverpool have asked for information on Brescia starlet Savio Nsereko, according to reports in Italy.

In the transfer speculation columns in Italy, Nsereko has emerged as a potential target for FA Cup winners Liverpool.

Nsereko is a teenage midfielder who was born in Uganda, but also holds a German passport.

He started out his career in Germany with 1860 Munich, but linked up with Serie B side Brescia last summer.

Last season was spent in the Brescia youth team and Nsereko, who turned 17 on Thursday, is rated highly by his current club.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez is always keen to add young potential to his squad and is thought to have enquired about Nsereko's talent.


JULY 26
Reds back in for Kuyt

By Gerrit van Leeuwen - Sky Sports

Liverpool are reported to have rekindled their interest in Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt.

Reports emanating from Holland claim Liverpool have reopened talks with Feyenoord about signing the Dutch international.

The FA Cup holders have been linked with Kuyt for some time after keeping tabs on his progress at De Kuip.

Kuyt's future at Feyenoord has been the subject of intense speculation for some time with the player considering moving on a for a new challenge.

Liverpool's interest in Kuyt was thought to have waned because of Feyenoord's price tag on the player.

The Dutch giants are thought to be holding out for a fee in the region of 10 million for Kuyt, which initially put Liverpool off.

However, reports are circulating that Liverpool are ready to do business with Feyenoord to bring Kuyt to Anfield.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez is in the market for a new striker having let Fernando Morientes and Djibril Cisse move on and he is trying to raise funds by offloading some of his fringe players.


JULY 25
Pennant could be Liverpool bound

By Paul Walker and John Curtis - PA Sport

Liverpool are on the brink of capturing winger Jermaine Pennant in a 6million plus move from Birmingham.

Sources close to the Coca-Cola Championship club claim a deal has been agreed and that the player is on his way to Liverpool for further talks.

Liverpool have been trailing the former Arsenal youngster for several weeks, but had Sevilla's Brazilian right-sided midfielder Daniel Alves as their number one target.

But the Spanish club are insisting on a 12million deal, and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez considers that too high, a fee which would wipe out his entire summer transfer budget.

Benitez claimed on Monday that there "could be another two players in by the weekend," and his first target was clearly Pennant.

Birmingham have confirmed that they have turned down one bid of 3.5million from the Anfield club, and Blues boss Steve Bruce claimed he was insisting on an 8million fee because of the 25% sell-on clause in the deal when he signed the player from Arsenal for 3million 12 months ago.

Talks during the day are believed to have seen Liverpool agree a 6.2million deal, which will leave Benitez funds to bring in another striker.

That could be Feyenoord's Holland international Dirk Kuyt, but again they will have to try to negotiate down the Dutch club's 12million asking price.

Liverpool have tried one player-cash approach, believed to involve Jan Kromkamp and Jerzy Dudek in part exchange, which was rejected.

But if the deal for Pennant - whose agent declined to discuss the situation tonight - finally goes through, it will solve a year long problem for Benitez.

He has been trying to sign a right-sided attacker for the past three transfer windows.


JULY 25
Benitez lands 6m Pennant

By David Maddock - Daily Mirror

Jermaine pennant will join Liver pool after Birmingham last night accepted a 6million bid for the England Under-21 winger.

Anfield boss Rafael Benitez conceded he had been priced out of the race to sign Daniel Alves, his No.1 target to play wide on the right, after Sevilla refused to budge on their inflated 12m asking price for the Brazilian.

Benitez admitted Liverpool simply could not afford to buy Alves and instead switched his sights to 23-year-old former Arsenal midfielder Pennant.

Liverpool had an initial bid of 3m turned down by City manager Steve Bruce, but last night Benitez went back with double that amount and Birmingham - relegated from the Premiership last season - had little option but to reluctantly accept.

Pennant is expected to complete contract talks with Liverpool today and, if he passes a medical, the deal should go through in time for him to join his new team-mates when they fly out this week for a pre-season training camp in Austria.

It is a dramatic about-turn for Benitez, who felt certain of landing Alves, and even travelled to Spain last week in an attempt to hurry through a deal.

"You can say the price is the price, but you also have to consider the market, and we cannot pay a fee over the market price," said Benitez.

"Some clubs may pay more than the player is worth, but we can't do that at Liverpool. We can't pay over the market price.

"I am not the kind of manager who will pay 20m if the value is only 10million." Benitez eventually lost patience with Sevilla, who refused to budge on the 12m they wanted for Alves.

But Benitez had little room for manoeuvre as Alves would use up all his transfer kitty, leaving him nothing to bring in the forward he also wants.

He has been chasing Holland striker Dirk Kuyt all summer, but with a price tag close to a prohibitive 12m the switch to Pennant instead of Alves still leaves him with a chance of landing the Feyenoord player.


JULY 24
Preston to enter Mellor battle

Clubcall Sports

Prestin are the latest club to be linked with a move for Liverpool striker Neil Mellor, who looks set to be moved on from Anfield this summer.

Paul Simpson is keen to add to strikeforce rather than deplete it and has already been confirmed talks over a possible deal for Geoff Horsfield, and now Mellor is on the wish-list.

The striker seems to have little future at Anfield and spent the second half of last season on loan with Wigan, and would relish the chance of regular first-team football.
Liverpool have already added Craig Bellamy to the squad this summer and another striker is on Rafa Benitez's wish-list meaning Mellor will be allowed to leave.

A loan move is the most likely option for North End but Liverpool are trying to raise funds for Benitez's own transfer plans and may look to do a permanent deal for the striker.


JULY 24
Striker rumoured to be
discussing Liverpool move

Kop Talk

19-year-old Greek striker Lazarus Hrjstodoylopoyloy is rumoured to be on Merseyside discussing a move to Anfield.

The PAOK forward was first scouted last season and favourable reports were handed over to Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

Reports in Greece claim that the player's club are none to happy with our alleged approach. They state that the youngster missed training without permission yesterday.

It is claimed that if PAOK discover he has been on Merseyside discussing a possible move to Anfield, that they will make an official complaint.


JULY 21
Duff given permission to speak to Liverpool

Kop Talk

Chelsea winger Damien Duff has been given permission to discuss a possible transfer to Anfield.

Former Reds boss Gerard Houllier tried to bring him to Anfield but a proposed move was shelved when Roman Abramovich arrived at Stamford Bridge.

For the benefit of those on other planets, we simply couldn't compete financially as a result of Chelsea's dramatic cash injection at the time.

The 27-year-old Irishman has been excused from training today so that he can sort out his future.

Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are also keen on the possibility of landing him but it is highly unlikely that he would snub the chance to sign for Liverpool if his previous opinions about the club haven't changed.


JULY 20
Pennant deal close?

By Al Campbell - LFC Online


Liverpool are rumoured to be ready to bid 6m for Birmingham City's Jermaine Pennant.

Pennant could be a Liverpool player by the end of the week as the Reds seem prepared to match Birmingham's valuation of the player.

Rafael Benitez had been looking at other options, such as Daniel Alves of Sevilla, but with that move seemingly stalled it looks like the Liverpool boss will turn to Pennant.


JULY 20
Reds target Real starlet

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool are thought to be planning another raid on Spain for Real Madrid youngster Esteban Granero.

Reports emanating from Spain suggests Liverpool are planning a move for the highly-rated midfielder.

Granero is currently plying his trade at Madrid B side's Castilla and he has impressed in the Segunda Liga.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been alerted to the attacking midfielder by his Spanish scouting staff and he is believed to be a big fan of Granero.

Benitez is looking to bring in a new midfielder ahead of the new season and he could make a move for the Spanish youth international.

The 18-year-old is highly-regarded within the corridors of Real Madrid and the Spanish giants are determined to keep hold of the young talent.


JULY 18
Kuyt flies in

By John Edwards - Daily Mail

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is on the brink of landing 10million Dirk Kuyt after wearing down Feyenoord's resistance with no fewer than four bids for the Holland striker.

Anfield sources believe Benitez will finally get his man in the next 48 hours after bombarding reluctant sellers Feyenoord with a series of part-exchange proposals that involved keeper Jerzy Dudek and right back Jan Kromkamp.

With Kuyt, who is 26 on Saturday, making it clear he favours a move to the Premiership, and placing Anfield ahead of Newcastle as his preferred destination, Feyenoord appear on the point of caving in after allowing him to miss training and leaving him off the team picture for the new season.

Players on World Cup duty were due back yesterday for the start of pre-season training and the official squad photograph, but Kuyt was absent from both.

He has been given seven days to sort out his future and Feyenoord are aware he has told friends that joining Liverpool would be a 'dream move'.

Liverpool feared Feyenoord's insistence on a 13.75m fee would dash their hopes but are now investigating claims that he has a 10.3m escape clause in his contract.

An opening gambit of 5.5m plus Kromkamp was given short shrift, as was a follow-up package of 6.2m plus the Holland right back and former Feyenoord keeper Dudek.

A 6.9m-plus-player bid also failed and Feyenoord were holding out for their original valuation when Liverpool returned with a straight cash offer of 8.25m.

Feyenoord are desperate to keep their World Cup striker after seeing him carry their attack almost single-handedly last season when he scored 22 goals in 33 league outings and have told him he must report for training and forget about leaving, unless a compromise is reached by the end of the week.

Benitez wants him to compete for a place up front with Peter Crouch, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Fowler and hopes some common ground can be found around 10m.


JULY 18
Charlton join chase for Liverpool defender

Fans FC

Djimi Traore has emerged as a target for Addicks boss Iain Dowie

The Frenchman, who can play either as a left-back or in the centre of defence, has been told he can leave this summer by Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Bolton have been linked with the player, who is available for 600,000, while a move to Birmingham City has also been mentioned as part of an exchange deal for winger Jermaine Pennant.


JULY 17
Benitez aims to bring in Alves

By Nick Peet - Liverpool Echo

Rafa Benitez was today reported to be in Spain trying to resolve the long-running bid to bring Daniel Alves to Anfield.

The Reds boss left Wrexham within minutes of the final whistle and reports today claim he landed in Spain. Chief executive Rick Parry said: "We are happy with who we have brought in but we haven't finished yet."

Benitez confirmed last week that a right-sided midfielder is his transfer priority, though Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has said: "I've already forgotten about it, because I don't want to put him in the shop window."

Reports in Holland also claim Dirk Kuyt's future will be decided in the next 48 hours. Liverpool have been tracking the Feyenoord striker for some time, but cannot afford both Alves and the Dutch international.


JULY 16
Rafa linked with shock Real raid

EatSleepSport

Liverpool are said to be lining up a move Real Madrid star Guti who has confessed he could be on the move this summer.

Reports in Spain claim the attacking midfielder will not figure in the plans of new coach Fabio Capello at the Bernabeu and that has triggered rumours Liverpool along with Manchester United and Arsenal are keen.

The 29-year-old has also revealed he fears for his future under the new regime and could decide to move on if he is to slip down the pecking order with the Spanish giants.

"If new people come in or if the coach decides I'm not going to play then the best things is to do something new," the player revealed when quizzed over his future.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez is still looking to strengthen his squad and has also confirmed his interest in Juventus striker David Trezeguet along with his team-mates Gianluca Zambrotta and Mauro Camoranesi.


JULY 14
Bolton ready to make bid for Traore

By Nick Smith - Daily Post

Bolton Wanderers are lining up a bid for Djimi Traore.

The out-of-favour left back has been told by manager Rafael Benitez that he can leave for the right price in a bid to generate more transfer funds.

And after missing out on Didi Hamann when he decided to go to Manchester City yesterday, Bolton manager Sam Allardyce is ready to swoop on Anfield again, with a bid in the region of 1million.


JULY 9
Liverpool linked with former Houllier target

Kop Talk

Liverpool have again been linked with Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

Former Reds boss Gerard Houllier was an admirer of the West Ham ace who has also been linked with us several times while Rafa has been in charge.

Today's newspapers claim that the Benayoun is wanted by Rafa to help supply the attack.


JULY 6
Spurs in Kewell link

EatSleepSport

Tottenham have been linked with a move to bring Liverpool's Australian winger Harry Kewell to White Hart Lane.

The search for a wide left sided player has seen Spurs boss Martin Jol linked with a host of players including Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing, Anderlecht's Christian Wilhelmsson, Chelsea's Damien Duff and free agent Denilson and now Kewell has been added to that list.

Liverpool have been successful in landing a work permit for Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez which means they could allow Kewell to leave.

Despite a better season last time out Kewell's time at Anfield as been blighted by injury and loss of form and a reasonable offer may prove enough to persuade Rafael Benitez to allow him to leave.

Tottenham are not alone in having an interest in the player, who had a mixed World cup with the Australians, as the former Leeds winger is also being linked with a switch to German giants Bayern Munich.


JULY 4
Reds back in for Joaquin

By Mark Kendall - Sky Sports

Reports in Spain claim Liverpool have rekindled their interest in Real Betis star Joaquin.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez is desperate to bring in a right-sided midfielder and has been chasing Sevilla's Daniel Alves.

However, he appears to have been priced out of a move for the Brazilian having refused to meet the Primera outfit's asking price.

It now seems he has retrained his sights on Joaquin whom he was linked with last season.

The wide man has just returned from World Cup duty and has made it clear that he intends to depart Betis for a new challenge this summer.

Los Verdiblancos are ready to grant him his wish with new president Pepe Leon admitting he will cash in if the right offer comes along.

"Betis would be equally happy to keep Joaquin or to have their coffers full," Leon stated. "Him leaving would not ruin the dream (of taking over as president) for me.

"There have always been a lot of teams after the player, but nobody has yet decided to make the final move."

Liverpool could be about to change all that with Spanish sources suggesting they will offer 16 million (10 million) plus Antonio Barragan, Jerzy Dudek and Boudewijn Zenden to land their man.

However, it now appears unlikely that Barragan will be used as a makeweight in the deal as he is close to agreeing a move to Deportivo La Coruna.

Betis were interested in the young defender, but the chance to link up with former coach Joaquin Caparros - with whom he worked at Sevilla before joining Liverpool - seems to have swayed Barragan towards Depor.


JULY 4
Liverpool in talks with defender?

Clubcall Sports

Liverpool have emerged as clear favourites to land Tunisian international defender Hatem Trabelsi, according to reports.

Claims are suggesting that talks are at an advanced stage with the right-back - who is now a free agent following his five-year spell with Ajax.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez was hoping to sign Sevilla's Daniel Alves, but the 10million asking price of the Brazilian appears higher than Liverpool's valuation of the player, leaving Benitez to go for Trabelsi.

The 28-year-old impressed for Tunisia during the World Cup and was understood to be a target for Arsenal, however, it appears Liverpool are favourites to land his signature.


JULY 4
Pearce moves in to try and get Hamann

By Ian Doyle - Daily Post Staff

Manchester City are tracking Dietmar Hamann as the Liverpool midfielder's proposed move to Bolton Wanderers looks set to finally collapse.

Bolton believed they were on the verge of signing the 32-year-old former Germany international after agreeing a deal in principle last month.

But with Hamann understood to have had second thoughts over the transfer as Bolton instead concentrated on securing the services of their current defensive midfielder Ivan Campo for another two seasons.

Now Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce is ready to offer Hamann the two-year deal he is seeking, although there are a number of substantial obstacles City must overcome for the move to become a reality.

Hamann would have to agree to a significant cut in wages, while the transfer is likely to be met with anger and possible action from Bolton, with Trotters manager Sam Allardyce unhappy at the prospect of the midfielder joining a rival Premiership club having effectively reneged on a deal to move to the Reebok.


JULY 3
Alves deal still on as Pennant enters picture

By Ian Doyle - Daily Post

Liverpool have not completely given up hope of signing Daniel Alves - although Rafael Benitez is prepared to turn to Jermaine Pennant should his patience finally run out.

Reports from Spain yesterday stated Liverpool have offered Sevilla 9.5million for Brazilian right-back Alves, a fee which would rise to almost 11m based on appearances and other bonus payments depending on the player's progress at Anfield.

It has been suggested the stumbling block is the mode of payment, with the Spaniards agreeing to the deal in principle but seeking a larger down payment.

Benitez remains keen on the player but is on the brink of pulling the plug on the deal, with pre-season starting on Monday and the Spaniard wanting time to work with his new signings.

And the Liverpool manager is ready to move for Birmingham City winger Pennant as a cheaper alternative.

With Birmingham facing up to Championship football after their relegation last season, Pennant would need no persuading to depart for Anfield.

And with the 23-year-old commanding a fee in the region of 3. 5m, that would leave Benitez the funds to bring in another main striker, with Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt still his preferred choice.


JULY 2
Kewell exit still on

Kop Talk

According to newspaper reports today, Liverpool winger Harry Kewell is still facing an Anfield exit.

It is claimed that Rafa will get shot of Kewell if Daniel Alves is granted a work permit this week.

The Liverpool boss needs to sell to fund a move for Dirk Kuyt but with Kewell currently out injured, it makes an immediate exit look highly unlikely.


JULY 2
No contract offer for Trabelsi

Kop Talk

According to newspaper reports today here in the UK, Ajax defender Hatem Trabelsi is yet to receive a contract offer from Liverpool.

The Tunisian star has been linked with the Reds for some time and as he's available on a Bosman free, he's attracting renewed interest from Anfield.

It is claimed that Rafa will decide this week whether to press ahead with a deal.

Trabelsi is currently enjoying a family holiday while his agent tries to find him a new club.


JULY 1
Reds back away from Kuyt move

Anfield Online

Liverpool are believed to have decided against a move for Dirk Kuyt and are instead refocussing efforts on signing Jermaine Defoe after Feyenoord issued their price tag.

Feyenoord want 14 million, and with Arsenal and striker-less Newcastle now in the fray the reds simply do not believe the player is worth the bidding war.

Although the reds have been monitoring the Dutch striker for the best part of 2 seasons, the manager and board both believe any figure above 10 million is simply not justified for the unproven international player.


Thor Zakariassen