July - 2008

3107: Liverpool FC in fresh talks over Barry
3107: Barry demands to be sold to Liverpool
3107: Ince eyes £6m
          Liverpool winger Pennant

2607: Alonso is a target for Fenerbahce
2507: Liverpool FC edge closer to Keane
2507: Alonso set for talks on Anfield future
          as Arbeloa edges to exit door

2207: Reds to land striker
2007: Reds keen on PSG ace
1707: Liverpool FC ready to launch Keane bid
1707: Rovers favourites to win Carson race
1607: Leto linked with Olympiakos
1607: Liverpool put Barry deal on ice
1507: Reports: Alonso will still be sold
1507: Toon in for Insua
1507: Ince to move for Pennant?
0707: Stoke eyeing Carson swoop
0607: Reds linked to VfB star
0607: Reds prepare final Barry bid
0307: Reds in for Brazilian keeper
0207: Portsmouth to step up bid for Crouch


Liverpool FC in fresh
talks over Barry

Liverpool Echo

Fresh talks are under way between Liverpool and Aston Villa to thrash out Gareth Barry’s proposed move to Anfield, the Echo understands.

Rafa Benitez has lined up England international Barry as one of the key summer targets to strengthen his squad in a bid to launch a strong Premier League title challenge in the forthcoming season.

The Midlands club have already rejected several bids by the Reds to prise their captain from Villa Park.

The Echo also understands, however, that reports that a deal has been completed are premature.

Barry demands
to be sold to Liverpool

By David Maddock And James Nursey - Daily Mirror

Furious Gareth Barry will this morning demand he be sold to Liverpool after a day of high drama and sheer farce in his ongoing transfer saga.

Aston Villa issued a statement last night insisting the Merseyside club had missed a deadline to sign him, despite the two clubs AGREEING an £18million fee.

That left the England midfielder fuming because he believed he had finally been offered a solution to the ongoing drama.

The Mirror can reveal that a tense day of negotiations between Anfield Chief Executive Rick Parry and Villa owner Randy Lerner led to both parties deciding in principle on an £18million fee.

Talks had begun again in earnest at the start of this week, with Villa claiming all parties had agreed to a deadline of 5pm last evening to conclude a deal.

Liverpool deny they agreed to such a deadline.

Ince eyes £6m
Liverpool winger Pennant

By Peter Ferguson - Daily Mail

Paul Ince will dip into the £15million that Blackburn receive from Tottenham for David Bentley to try
to complete a deal for Jermaine Pennant.

The Rovers boss faces late competition for the £6m-rated Liverpool winger from Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, whose chances of landing Shaun Wright-Phillips from Chelsea look slim.

Blackburn still hope to beat him to a £5m deal, knowing Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez would prefer to sell Pennant, unspectacular in two years at Anfield since a £6.7m move from Birmingham, rather than lose versatile Yossi Benayoun to £6m bidders Manchester City or West Ham.

Blackburn will owe about £6.5m of the Bentley cash to Arsenal, who have a sell-on clause for the England player they let go for £1.5m three years ago.

Alonso is a target for Fenerbahce

The Mirror

Xabi Alonso has been offered a move to Turkey's Fenerbahce as Liverpool look to raise cash to buy
Gareth Barry.

Kop boss Rafa Benitez has agreed a £12million-plus deal with Fenerbahce to sell Alonso, and held talks with the midfielder yesterday to thrash out his future.

Fenerbahce want Alonso to spearhead their Champions League bid next season and have tabled a bid that they hope will land the Euro 2008 winner's signature.

Alonso, 26, fell out of favour towards the end of last season when the Reds began their pursuit of £18m-rated midfielder Barry.

He returned to Anfield for pre-season training yesterday and met with Benitez. And Alonso says he would have 'no problem' staying on Merseyside.

Liverpool FC edge closer to Keane

By Ian Doyle - Daily Post

Robbie Keane edged nearer a move to Liverpool after he was left out of a Tottenham Hotspur match last night.

The Republic of Ireland striker was not involved as Spurs took on Spanish side Hercules.

Keane – who is not thought to have been carrying any injury – was not even named on the substitutes’ bench by manager Juande Ramos.

Both Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent, also linked with moves away from White Hart Lane, started the game.

Keane’s omission is a clear signal that Tottenham have accepted the 28-year-old’s future lies away from the club, with Liverpool confident a deal can be brokered in the coming days.

Reds manager Rafael Benitez has earmarked the £20m-rated Keane to replace the recently departed Peter Crouch.

Keane, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is desperate to complete the switch.

Alonso set for talks on Anfield future
as Arbeloa edges to exit door

By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post

Xabi Alonso will hold talks with Rafael Benitez today to clarify his future at Liverpool – as Alvaro Arbeloa edged towards the exit door.

Alonso and Arbeloa return to training at Melwood today along with fellow Euro 2008 winners Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina.

And Alonso is expected to waste no time in asking Benitez whether he remains part of the manager’s long-term plans.

Liverpool were willing to sell the midfielder for £16million to Juventus earlier this month before the Italians pulled the plug on the deal and signed Sevilla’s Christian Poulsen instead.

The Anfield outfit had planned to then use the transfer fee to finance their move for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry.

But if Benitez decides Alonso remains an integral part of the squad, it could severely test his intent on pursuing Barry, with Liverpool refusing to raise their most recent offer for the England international.

Alonso has previously intimated he would have “no problem” staying at Liverpool.

One player likely to leave Anfield in the near future, however, is Arbeloa, who is understood to want a return to his homeland for personal reasons.

Liverpool should have no problems in cashing in on the defender, whose stock is at an all-time high following his part in helping Spain win the European Championships last month.

Reds to land striker

By Patrick Haond - Sky Sports

Liverpool are reported to be close to finalising the signing of Paris Saint Germain striker David Ngog.

Reports in France suggest Liverpool have agreed a fee in the region of £1.5million with PSG for the 19-year-old.

The youngster turned down a new deal at the Parc Des Princes and the club are now willing to let him move on.

Ngog, who is a cousin of former Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, is believed to have impressed Liverpool scouts after making his PSG debut last season.

Liverpool are believed to have offered Ngog a four-year deal to move to Anfield and the highly-rated forward is expected to tie up his switch before the end of the week.

Reds keen on PSG ace

By Laurent Picard - Setanta Sports

Reports in France claim Liverpool have made a bid to lure Paris Saint Germain young striker David Ngog, cousin of Jean-Alain Boumsong.

Ngog, 19, was told last week by head coach Paul Le Guen he can move on subject to a suitable offer be made and it has been claimed that Rafa Benitez has made an offer to sign the Frenchman.

The Reds’ French scout Laurent Viaud, a former Monaco player, is believed to have suggested the club sign the youngster.

The athletic attacker appeared 19 times in the top flight last season, scoring once at Parc des Princes.

Ngog refused to sign a new deal with the capital club and is under contract until 2009. He was not called up to play the friendly with Clermont last Saturday.

Liverpool FC ready
to launch Keane bid

By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post

Tottenham Hotspur are bracing themselves for
a substantial bid from Liverpool for Robbie Keane.

Rafael Benitez has earmarked the Republic of Ireland international as he attempts to bolster his strike-force following the departure of Peter Crouch to Portsmouth.

And Liverpool are expected to make an official offer in the next few days as Benitez’s transfer priority shifts away from Gareth Barry.

Tottenham are keen to keep Keane, particularly as speculation increases over Dimitar Berbatov joining Manchester United, and will ask for £20million.

Liverpool consider that valuation exorbitant. But Keane is a lifelong Liverpool fan and is desperate for a move to Anfield to become a reality.

The development comes after Benitez opted to put a proposed move for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry on ice, following the collapse of Xabi Alonso’s transfer to Juventus.

The Liverpool manager, working within specific financial constraints, still wants to bring Barry to the club, but will only move if Villa lower their asking price.

Rovers favourites to win Carson race


Blackburn have emerged as favourites to sign Liverpool keeper Scott Carson after reportedly accepting a bid for Brad Friedel from Aston Villa.

Carson, who spent last season on loan at Villa Park, is heading for the Anfield exit door this summer as he no longer figures in Rafael Benitez's plans.

But the 22-year-old's destination is shrouded in mystery, with several clubs in the race to recruit him.

Carson spent the day at the Britannia Stadium earlier this week after Premier League new boys Stoke had a bid of £4million accepted by the Reds.

But the England stopper is also believed to have held talks with West Brom, who were tipped to be front of the queue before Rovers entered the frame.

Blackburn boss Paul Ince has accepted a £2.5million bid from Villa for USA giant Friedel, according to The Guardian, and sees Carson as the American's long-term successor at Ewood Park.

However, Ince may face further competition as Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has also been alerted to Carson's availability - and is pondering an offer having seen Mark Schwarzer leave to join Fulham this summer.

Leto linked with Olympiakos

By Fotis Voinikas - Sky Sports

Olympiakos are reportedly in talks with Liverpool over
the signing of midfielder Sebastian Leto.

Leto joined The Reds last summer from Lanus but has struggled for first-team opportunities since his switch.

The Argentine has previously been linked with a move away from Anfield, with rumours suggesting he could be used as part of a swap deal for Espanyol's Albert Riera.

However, fresh reports claim Leto, 21, could be set to join Olympiakos for a fee in the region of €1.6million (£1.3million) after the Greek champions held discussions with Liverpool over the weekend.

Liverpool put Barry deal on ice

By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo

Liverpool are ready to put their move for Gareth Barry on ice - unless Aston Villa lower their valuation of the player.

The Reds protracted chase for the England international is now reaching epic proportions and with no sign of a deal being done Liverpool are ready to concentrate their efforts on bringing in Rafa Benitez’s remaining summer transfer targets.

With Villa refusing to budge on their £18m valuation of Barry the two clubs have reached stalemate as Liverpool are not prepared to pay that price.

The 27-year-old was today returning to training with Villa as Martin O’Neill softened his previously hardline stance on his wantaway club captain.

But Barry’s desire to quit Villa Park has not lessened, nor has Benitez’s desire to bring him to Anfield – meaning O’Neill will have to decide whether or not he wants to do deal with Liverpool or face the prospect of keeping a player who has already publicly admitted he sees his future elsewhere.

Villa kick off their competitive season on Saturday – after back-to-back defeats in friendlies – with an Intertoto Cup tie at Odense in Denmark, but Barry will not be involved.

The face-off between the two clubs has now been going on for more that two months and with the new Premiership season set to begin in just a month Benitez knows he cannot afford to see his team building plans held up any longer by Villa’s refusal to lower their price.

The Reds boss is keen to add two more new recruits to his squad and will now concentrate his efforts on bringing those players to Anfield before looking at the Barry situation once more, unless O’Neill is prepared to compromise in the meantime.

Reports: Alonso will still be sold

Football 365

Xabi Alonso is still expected to leave Liverpool this summer despite Juventus' decision to sign Danish international Christian Poulsen instead.

Having failed to agree on a price with Liverpool for the Spaniard, Juve yesterday unveiled Poulsen and announced that they would only return to the transfer market for a new goalkeeper.

The announcement does not signal a reprieve for Alonso, however, with The Liverpool Echo adamant that 'he is still heading for the Anfield exit door.'

According to the newspaper, Rafa Benitez's 'summer spending plans still hinge heavily on what money he can generate from the transfer market. And Alonso will have to be sacrificed to fund those plans.'

To date, Benitez's wheeling and dealing has raised a profit of £8m, a significant amount but still not enough to finance the transfer of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa. That particular task has gained new urgency after Martin O'Neill confirmed that Arsenal had voiced an interest in buying the midfielder.

As well as remaining intent on offloading Alonso, Liverpool are poised to sell Scott Carson for £4m to either Stoke City or West Brom this week while Jermaine Pennant could be sold to Blackburn Rovers for approximately £5m.

Yet even those injections into Benitez's transfer kitty would leave the Anfield boss short of the funds required to finalise the capture of Barry as well as pursue Tottenham's Robbie Keane.

Thus it is likely that Alonso's four-year stint at Anfield will come to an end this summer - although, given that Juventus have withdrawn their interest, Pool may have to settle for far less than the £15m they were demanding for the 26-year-old.

Toon in for Insua

Newcastle United are thought to be keen on a loan move for Liverpool's promising full-back, Emiliano Insua.

The Argentine was kept at Anfield for this coming season supposedly under express orders from manager Rafael Benitez, but the Toon are still hopeful of securing his services, if only for a year on loan.

With new signing Andrea Dossena and Fabio Aurelio more established internationals in Insua's position, the move may remain an outside possibility, particularly as John-Arne Riise has left for Roma.

The 19-year-old would most likely head straight into the Magpies' starting line-up ahead of Jose Enrique, who has failed to live up to his £6.3 million billing from Villarreal.

Ince to move for Pennant?

By Paul - Roversnet

According to reports, Blackburn Rovers are set to make a move for Jermaine Pennant when David Bentley leaves.

Liverpool, Tottenham and Villa are all interested in Bentley but Villa are the only club to make an offer so far, it is still very likely that he will leave soon.

Boss Paul Ince wants £17 million for Bentley and by all accounts, he is willing to part with some of that cash for Pennant.

Liverpool landed the winger from Birmingham City for £6.7million two years ago, now he is valued at £5 million.

Stoke eyeing Carson swoop

By Ray Winston -

Stoke City are thought to be lining up a sensational swoop for outgoing Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson...

The England international spent the season on loan at Aston Villa, who were eager to make the move permanent until protracted negotiations with the Reds over their captain Gareth Barry somewhat soured the relationship between both clubs.

So, despite Carson's eagnerness to head back to Villa Park, even with Barry's impending and inevitable exit on the horizon, the 22-year-old will almost certainly be playing his football elsewhere next season.

With playing second fiddle to Jose Reina at Liverpool being out of the question, Premier League new boys Stoke City have emerged as unlikely contenders for his signature.

Having initially been valued at £10 million, Carson would be well out of Stoke's price range. However, this was thought primarily to be a deterrent to prevent Villa from landing their man, as they are now opting for troubled Tottenham Hotspur keeper Paul Robinson.

Quite how much Stoke will be able to pay for Carson remains a matter of contention, particularly as £5 million is likely to be the absolute minimum the Reds would let their man leave for.

Reds linked to VfB star

By Laurent Picard - Setanta Sports

Fernando Meira’s agent claims that his client can leave Stuttgart for the right price, while Liverpool are believed to be huge admirers of the centre back.

The Portugal international has been one of the best players in Die Bundesliga in the last few seasons, and a move from the German league after seven years could be in the air.

The Reds, busy in the market having signed full backs Andrea Dossena and Philipp Degen, could invest in another defender, although an official announcement is yet to be made.

Meira’s representative Roger Wittman reckons that as soon as Stuttgart will decide the defender can leave HSV, a host of clubs will make an offer for the highly rated 30-year-old.

“If the club puts him up for sale, everything will happen very quickly,” he said.

“There’s always interest in a player of his quality.”

Reds prepare final Barry bid

Sporting Life

Liverpool reportedly want to offer Steve Finnan to Aston Villa in a final bid to land Gareth Barry for less than
the £18million asking price.

Barry's proposed move to Anfield has been one of the summer's longest transfer sagas but Martin O'Neill has accepted his skipper will leave, and has urged his counterpart Rafa Benitez to stump up the cash and get the deal done.

Liverpool do not want to pay much above £15million, though, and will now offer Finnan to Villa in order to save money for their other summer targets.

O'Neill is a known admirer of the right-back and has been linked with a straight cash bid anyway, so Liverpool are hopeful they will finally be able to take Barry to Anfield.

The News of the World says Finnan will be valued at around £1.5million in the deal, with Villa due a further £500,000 if the Reds finish in the top four of the Premier League next season.

A source close to Liverpool said in the newspaper: "There has been so much haggling in the past week and the mood has been very tense at times but both sides seem to be close to deal."

Reds in for Brazilian keeper

By Laurent Picard - Setanta Sports

Palmeiras goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri has made the trip to Europe to secure a work permit, amid suggestions he is on his way to Liverpool.

The 25-year-old is only second choice at Palmeiras, but local press reports suggest he has caught the eye of Liverpool who have not been deterred by his reported £3 million asking price.

Jose Reina’s understudy Charles Itandje failed to impress last season during his rare appearances and the Frenchman is reported to be on his way to Galatasaray.

The Reds are in the hunt for a keeper and Palmeiras coach Wanderley Luxemburgo has allowed him to miss the club’s pre-season training camp in order to travel to Italy to apply for a passport.

Palmeiras’ sporting director Genaro Marin reckons his club are negotiating with a European side, while agent Juninho has refused to divulge the identity of the team in question.

Portsmouth to step up
bid for Crouch

By Chris Beesley - Daily Post

Portsmouth are ready to step up their bid to sign Liverpool striker Peter Crouch as it emerged that the FA Cup winners are heading for a showdown with Kanu over his contract demands.

After playing more than 20 matches for the Fratton Park outfit last season, the 31-year-old Nigerian triggered the offer of a new one-year deal as stipulated in the contract he signed with the club last summer.

However Kanu, who netted the winning goal against Cardiff in last season’s FA Cup final to give the south coast club their first major trophy for 58 years, is now expected to tell them he wants a two-year deal.

The former Arsenal and West Brom striker, who has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes under Harry Redknapp following relegation at the Hawthorns in 2006, has reported to have declared as much on Nigerian radio and is set to return to his club next Tuesday to discuss his future.

Portsmouth remain unconvinced though and chief executive Peter Storrie, who handles all contract and transfer details for Redknapp, said: “Kanu will be back in training next week when we hope he will sign the contract he has been offered.

“In accordance with last year’s deal, we have given him another 12 months. At this moment in time he has not signed it.

“All talk he now wants a two-year contract is news to us. I was not aware of that at all. He hasn’t spoken to me about it.

“No-one knows whether what he has supposedly said is factual or not – I will be interested to hear what he has to say when he returns next week.

“As it stands there is a contract there to be signed. If he wants longer nothing has been said to me.”

Storrie has already revealed that Portsmouth remain still very much in the hunt for Crouch despite having a £9m bid for the Liverpool centre-forward rejected last week.

Whether Kanu stays or not, the England international remains Redknapp’s number one striking target ahead of the club’s first ever European campaign.

Thor Zakariassen ©