2501: Liverpool ace has release clause in contract
2101: Report: Houllier holds talks with Nigerian ace
1401: Boro to bid for Heskey
1301: Liverpool receive transfer enquiry
1201: Cheyrou attracting interest
1101: Chelsea 'plan 25m bid for Owen'
1001: Houllier linked with Croatian ace
0501: Middlesbrough make Heskey enquiry
0301: 14million striker signs for Liverpool
0201: New Boot Room planned for Anfield?

Report: Liverpool ace has
release clause in contract

Kop Talk

It is reported today that Liverpool ace Didi Hamann has a special release clause in his contract that enables him to walk from his Anfield contract providing any interested clubs offer 5million or more for him.

The inspirational midfielder has been linked with a possible return to Germany in the summer and is said to have been unimpressed with recent suggestions by Gerard Houllier that he has to prove himself before earning a new contract.

Both Hamann and Houllier have had a mixed relationship over the last couple of years with various twists and turns.

Despite this, word recently had suggested everything was ok but the fact that the Reds are in no rush to discuss a new deal is worrying, even though both sides say they will hopefully sort something out.

Report: Houllier holds talks with Nigerian ace

Kop Talk

Liverpool have been linked with a possible move for Partizan Belgrade defender Taribo West.

The player has been linked with the Reds before but that was a number of years ago now.

If we recall correctly it would have been around the early days of Gerard Houllier's management.

He signed for Partizan Belgrade last year and we think he's available on a free transfer in the summer when he will be 30-years-old.

The player has had a somewhat up and down career having had spells at Auxerre, AC Milan, Inter, Derby County and Kaiserlautern.

It is claimed that the Nigerian international - who currently has a knee injury which will rule him out of the African Nations Cup - met Gerard Houllier at the weekend.

Boro to bid for Heskey

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Middlesbrough will test Liverpool's resolve to keep Emile Heskey with a bid for the inform striker.

But unless Auxerre perform a dramatic u-turn and allow Djibril Cisse to move to Anfield six months early, any move for Heskey is likely to be rebuffed.

Boro boss Steve McClaren is eager to take Heskey to the Riverside, but given Gerard Houllier's injury problems this season he won't leave himself short of strikers as his side bids for Champions League football.

Milan Baros is still a few weeks away from a first team comeback, Michael Owen has just returned from injury and Fl ore nt Si nama-Pongolle is only a rookie at the highest level.

If Cisse could be brought to Merseyside this month, Liverpool's stance could change, but the Reds were recently told there was no chance of the French striker joining before July.

A bid in the region of 6m for Heskey would still be extremely tempting for the Reds, especially since Heskey has just 18 months left on his current deal and the longer Liverpool wait the less likely they are to recoup much of the 10m they paid Leicester for his services in 1999.

Liverpool receive transfer enquiry

Kop Talk

Reports this morning claim that Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has enquired about the availability of Liverpool defender Djimi Traore.

Allardyce is looking to strengthen in defence but hasn't got the financial clout to make a firm offer for the player but has enquired about taking the Frenchman on loan until the end of the season if reports are accurate.

It is unlikely that the Reds would be prepared to let the defender leave Anfield at this moment in time.

Cheyrou attracting interest

Sky Sports

Celta Vigo are rumoured to be tracking Liverpool's Bruno Cheyrou, although there appears to be little opportunity for any transfer to be processed.

The midfielder scored a crucial winner for Gerard Houllier's side at Chelsea last week, but was relegated to the substitutes' bench for the 1-0 success against Aston Villa on Saturday.

However, Houllier is extremely unlikely to even consider allowing the Frenchman to leave as he has been fully supportive of the former Lille man since his arrival on Merseyside.

Cheyrou has struggled to make an impact at Anfield, but still appears to have Houllier's faith, and it would be a surprise if Celta were successful if they followed up their initial interest.

The 25-year-old was believed to be a loan target for the Liga side, who are struggling towards the foot of the table.

Chelsea 'plan 25m bid for Owen'


Chelsea have contacted Michael Owen's representatives as they prepare a 25million summer bid for the Liverpool striker, the News of the World reports.

Owen is set to hold talks with Liverpool over the next few weeks, but a Stamford Bridge 'source' told the paper: ''Owen's people have been told we are interested.

''We will compete with any club to try to bring Owen to Chelsea.''

Houllier linked with Croatian ace

Kop Talk

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is preparing a swoop for Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) 'keeper Stipe Pletikosa, claim reports.

The player - who was 25 earlier this week - is said to be keen on a move to England and if reports are true, he is seen as a permanent replacement for Jerzy Dudek and not just a stop-gap signing due to injuries.

Pletiskosa made his international debut for Croatia against Denmark in 1999 and was the first choice of Baric's predecessor Mirko Jovic in the 2002 World Cup at just 23.

His performances for Hadjuk Split had already attracted attention from a number of Europe's top clubs and he was on the verge of signing for Marseille in 2001.

Disappointingly that deal fell through and, after a short spell with Standard Liege, he returned to Croatia.

However, impressive performances in the Far East saw his reputation grow further and, after rumours suggesting a possible move to the Premiership, he joined Shakhtar Donetsk last summer.

Still some years from his peak, another good showing this summer could prompt a high-profile transfer.

Middlesbrough make Heskey enquiry

Kop Talk

Middlesbrough are reported to have made a formal enquiry with Liverpool regarding the availability of Emile Heskey.

Steve McClaren is the latest manager to consider making a move for the player with Blackburn Rovers and Celtic also said to be interested.

The player is available at the right place but with injuries to Milan Baros and Michael Owen, the Reds will be reluctant to sell until the summer, unless of course Auxerre could be persuaded to part with Djibril Cisse now rather than in the summer.

14million striker signs for Liverpool

Kop Talk

Various sources in France including L'Equipe are reporting that Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse has signed a 5-year contract with Liverpool.

It is reported that the player had a medical with the Reds earlier last month which ties in with our Insider report on 28th November.

Although everything looks in place for a transfer to go through, the reports in France suggest the deal will not be rubber stamped until the summer.

If these reports are accurate, the player will cost Liverpool approximately 14million.

New Boot Room planned for Anfield?

By Kevin Smith - LFC Online

If today's Mirror is to be believed Liverpool will not only be getting Martin O'Neill in the summer, but also his backroom staff.

The paper claims that the Celtic boss is in line to take over from Gerard Houllier at the end of the season and will bring John Robertson and Steve Walford with him.

Such a move would not only see Gerard Houllier on his way, but also Phil Thompson and Sammy Lee who would no longer be required under the new regime.

It is still only speculation at the moment, with the Mirror insisting that O'Neill has had no contact from the Liverpool board, but it is not a new rumour and will not go away unless Houllier can turn things around in the New Year.

Thor Zakariassen