Traore attracting interest from West Brom
West Bromwich Albion are being linked with a move for Liverpool
defender Djimi Traore.
The French defender failed to hold down a regular starting place at
Anfield under Gerard Houllier and will almost certainly be on the move
All transfer decisions will be decided by the new manager so West Brom
have been advised to return with a bid when things are resolved at
Anfield. It is believed that the club would be prepared to offload him if
a fee of around £1million was offered.
Blackburn Rovers have previously expressed an interest in the player and
there's talk that Leeds United may also be interested.
Meanwhile reports in London claim that Liverpool have cooled their
interest in Fulham's Steed Malbranque following Gerard Houllier's exit.
Ayala and Aimar
could make switch with Benitez
Newspaper reports today claim that Argentine duo Roberto Ayala and
Pablo Aimar could be on the plane to Liverpool if Rafael Benitez takes
over at Anfield.
Centre-back Ayala was only hours from joining Real Madrid earlier in the
season but the Spanish giants couldn't reach an agreement with Valencia so
the player instead stayed where he was and signed a contract extension
which now runs until 2008. He has however said he would move on if
Valencia wanted to cash in on him.
Playmaker Aimar - 'an adventurous and unpredictable player who offers
dashes of flair and can spark an attack out of nothing' (BBC) - is said to
have a close relationship with his manager and would be keen to follow
him, claim reports.
Liverpool will accept £40million Gerrard bid
Reports today claim that Chelsea are preparing a staggering £40million
bid for Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard in a deal that would cost the
Blues around £70m by the time you've included the player's salary and
The skipper will be offered a deal worth in excess of £130,000-a-week if
the reports are genuine and the fact that credible journalists are behind
them means they shouldn't be dismissed.
KopTalk sources insist that if a £40million bid is received it will be
accepted and the player will be free to make the move south.
Liverpool linked with Paris Saint Germain ace
French newspaper L'Equipe is reporting that Liverpool are interested in
recruiting Paris Saint Germain full-back Bernard Mendy.
The 22-year-old had a season-long loan spell at Bolton a couple of seasons
back and at the time Liverpool were heavily linked with him but nothing
ever materialised. The player also claimed in April 2003 that the Reds
were sniffing around him but again nothing happened.
L'Equipe are not known for publishing idle speculation but it is worth
noting that the player is currently negotiating a new contract with PSG as
he only has a year left on his existing deal.
fresh Liverpool link
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Tomas Rosicky is being linked with a
summer move to Liverpool.
Czech newspaper Sport has reported that Rosicky's manager is currently
holding talks with the Anfield club, where he would join compatriots
Vladimir Smicer and Milan Baros should a deal go through.
And the player himself admits he is hoping to leave the Bundesliga side.
"Even though I have a long contract in Dortmund, I still want to go in the
summer," Rosicky told Sport.
The 23-year-old midfielder is likely to find few complaints from Dortmund,
who would welcome a bid for the Czech international to try and recoup some
of the unearned income following a season without Champions League
Rosicky had previously spent a week on trial at Liverpool before his move
to Dortmund and has already spoken of his desire to play in the
Premiership whilst being linked with a move to Chelsea over the winter.
Reds eye Hertha keeper
Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a swoop for Hertha Berlin goalkeeper
Gabor Kiraly, in a move that would see Jerzy Dudek heading to Germany.
Reports in the German media have suggested that Hertha's Hungarian
shot-stopper could be on his way to Anfield in a dream move.
Kiraly has refused a new contract with the Old Lady and German daily
Kicker has reported that he has already been on Merseyside to undergo a
medical at Anfield.
The gifted shot-stopper, who joined Hertha in 1997 from Hungarian outfit
Haladas Szombathely, had lost his first-team status under interim coach
Hans Meyer to Christian Fiedler and was furious when Hertha told him that
his contract would not be renewed unless he would be willing to accept a
massive pay cut.
Hertha have only just avoided relegation after a disappointing campaign
and they might like to increase the pressure on the talented, but often
lethargic, Fiedler by bringing in Dudek.
Kiraly would be able to seal a summer move on a free transfer, but it
seems possible that Hertha will sign shot-stopper Dudek in exchange as the
Polish international is not happy about playing understudy to Chris
Dudek has played the majority of games this season but that has been down
to Kirkland's injury problems and it seems that the young Englishman will
be first choice whenever he is fit.
for £30m Gerrard swoop
By Alan Nixon - Daily Mirror
Chelsea are going to make a British-record £30million bid to take
Steven Gerrard from Liverpool.
Owner Roman Abramovich has approved the most ambitious transfer offer
since he took charge at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich has put chief
executive Peter Kenyon on the job of grabbing the England midfielder with
as much money as he needs to tempt Liverpool and their captain.
Chelsea insiders believe there is a chance Liverpool will accept the bid
and that Gerrard may also be open to offers if the moneyis right for him.
of a contract worth more than £100,000-a-week for Gerrard is being openly
discussed in the corridors of power at Chelsea.
Gerrard recently signed a new deal at Liverpool and was also made skipper
but his resolve will soon be tested.
Chelsea want Gerrard and have fortunes to spend once again this summer as
they go to the second stage of their bid for football power.
They have just had a top-level approach for Brazilian star Ronaldinho
turned down by Barcelona. The Russian was willing to pay around £40million
in fees plus mega wages for the South American.
Abramovich is demanding the best and will open the bidding at around
£30million for Gerrard before possibly going even higher.
Liverpool will be livid about Chelsea's interest, but they will find a
mega-offer hard to resist even with the prospect of money coming in from
The Anfield club are short of funds to compete at the top level as has
been proved by their talks with both the Thais and local millionaire
Selling Gerrard would be a devastating blow for the club, but they know
that there will be offers for him soon following his awesome form this
Barton close to
Manchester City's scouse midfielder Joey Barton is exceptionally close
to signing for Liverpool for a fee believed to be around £2.5m.
As we exclusively revealed in December of last year, Gérard Houllier has
been tracking the competitive midfielder and he looks to have finally
caught his man.
Sources from both ends of the East Lancs have told us that Barton is
exceptionally close to signing a 4-year contract for Liverpool.
After Manchester City's 5-1 rout of Everton in the last game of the season
at the City of Manchester Stadium, Barton said his goodbyes to the players
of staff of Manchester City.
Barton is a long time friend of Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard after
having grown up in the same streets together. Barton was released by
Everton early in his career and joined Manchester City when Kevin Keegan
spotted his potential in August of 2001.
He made his debut in a 2-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers two years later.
Five games later he was part of the Manchester City team that won 2-1 in
our last home game of the 2002/03 season.
His sudden rise in profile resulted in him winning an England under-21's
call up for the European Championships qualifier against Portugal at
Goodison Park. He scored on his debut that night but couldn't stop the
visitors going away with a 2-1 win.
He is not expected to be the only new signing to arrive at Anfield this
summer in what promises to be a very busy period for players coming in and
going out of Liverpool.
Traore and Mellor linked with Ipswich Town
Liverpool duo Neil Mellor and Djimi Traore have both been linked with a
possible summer move to Ipswich Town.
It's not the first time that Mellor has been linked with Town and his
future at Anfield isn't clear so an exit could be on the cards for a
nominal fee but the Reds are in no rush to off-load him. Traore on the
other hand has been told to find another club but he may prefer a return
The People newspaper reports that Town want both of them.
linked with goalkeeper
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Liverpool have been linkd with Galatasary and Columbia goalkeeper Farid
The 32 year old is available on a free transfer and with Kirkland's
continuing injury problems and Luzi expected to leave Houllier is said to
want top class back up for Dudek.
Mondragon is expected to arrive at Anfield for talks in the next few days.
However, the player is no longer first choice for Columbia and may have
trouble getting a work permit.
Liverpool eye duo
By Phil McNulty - BBC Sport Online
Liverpool will step up their interest in Manchester City's Joey Barton
and Nottingham Forest defender Michael Dawson at the end of the season.
Merseyside-born Barton has only 12 months left on his contract and has yet
to agree a new deal.
Forest also face a fight to hold on to talented 20-year-old Dawson, who is
a long-time target for top clubs.
And BBC Sport understands Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier is poised to
lead the chase for the pair.
Liverpool are likely to have to pay around £3m for Barton, while Dawson is
rated in the £5m bracket.
Barton is a close friend of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and recently
had a public disagreement with City manager Kevin Keegan after he was
Liverpool are also interested in Barton's team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips,
but will face a fight to land the winger after City's Premiership safety
Anfield boss Houllier will waste no time in re-shuffling his squad,
although they are still favourites to clinch a place in the money-spinning
Auxerre's Djibril Cisse will arrive in a £14m deal, while Liverpool
striker Emile Heskey is expected to sign for Birmingham City shortly after
the end of the season.
Reds in for Drogba?
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Liverpool have been linked with the man who knocked them out of this
season's UEFA cup.
Didier Drogba was valued at just £3m at Christmas but after helping
Marseille into the UEFA cup final his value has more than trebled to £10m.
Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester United are all said to be watching the
Midfielder flattered by Reds interest
Feyenoord midfielder Thomas Buffel has revealed he is flattered at
reported interest from Liverpool in his services.
Reports in Holland claim Liverpool had representatives watch Buffel in
international action for Belgium against Turkey last week.
Liverpool have been linked with the goalscoring midfielder in the past and
it is believed that The Reds have rekindled their interest in Buffel.
Buffel, who has also been linked with a move to Galatasaray, admitted he
would have to consider a move to Liverpool if they tried to sign him.
"It is possible they were impressed by my play in that match (against
Turkey). And if a club like them is interested you have to listen," Buffel
told Dutch newspaper Gazet van Antwepen.
"It's too early to speak about concrete interest."
Buffel is unsure of his future at Feyenoord and Reds boss Gerard Houllier
could be keen to bring him to Anfield as he plans to rebuild his squad
after a disappointing season.
opens talks with
Real Madrid and Barcelona
Michael Owen's agent Tony Stephens has opened talks with Real Madrid
and Barcelona claim credible sources today.
The Liverpool striker is still no closer to signing a new contract with
the Reds and alarm bells are now finally starting to sound within the
walls of Anfield because the player can sign a pre-contract with another
club in just 7 months time and leave on a free at the end of next season.
Some of us were hoping that Owen had delayed contract talks with the Reds
because he wanted to let his contract with SFX expire and let his father
manage his affairs meaning Terry would instead receive a tidy slice of his
new contract instead of SFX. However Owen signed a new two-year deal with
SFX only a few weeks ago leaving Stephens in control until 2006 at least.
(Ed: Another two years at Anfield perhaps?).
Leading football journalist Harry Harris today claims that Stephens is
currently talking to both Spanish clubs about a possible move although
there is no clear suggestion that Owen is aware of this if true. He also
points out that both clubs would prefer to recruit other targets and that
Owen is maybe a more relasitic option due to availability and cost issues.
It is rumoured that Owen has been offered a new deal worth a basic
£90,000-a-week to re-sign and remain at Anfield and the general vibe has
been positive. However the player and his agents know that if he proves to
be a star at Euro 2004, more lucrative offers will come in.
Liverpool chief Rick Parry is desperate to get the player to sign a new
deal before the tournament begins but because of the uncertainty Gerard
Houllier has identified PSV's Kezman as a direct replacement. Alan Smith
could be brought in to replace Emile Heskey providing he can be off-loaded
in the summer.
can make a move for Diouf
By Andy Hunter - Daily Post
New Marseille general manager Pape Diouf has revealed the French club
do have the financial muscle to strengthen this summer - increasing
namesake El Hadji's prospects of a Stade Velodrome move.
Liverpool's Diouf has been strongly linked with a return to Le Championnat
this summer after failing to impress at Anfield and incurring Gerard
Houllier's wrath on several occasions.
Marseille emerged as a possible destination after club officials met
Diouf's agent the night of Liverpool's acrimonious UEFA Cup exit.
The Senegal international was thought to be beyond the UEFA Cup
semi-finalists price-range, even though Liverpool are prepared to take a
huge loss on the striker signed for £10million from Lens in 2002.
But last night Pape Diouf insisted Marseille do have money to spend and
favour players with Le Championnat experience.
Marseille's general manager, who is continuing in his role as an agent and
declared his intention to keep Didier Drogba at the Velodrome, said: "We
have to hire players with recognised talent, and most of them who are
playing in Le Championnat.
"That is our philosophy. Christophe Bouchet (Marseille president) told me
the club will have the means to get a competitive team together in the
Liverpool linked with £5million defender
Liverpool want to sign Birmingham City defender Matthew Upson, claim
Gerard Houllier is looking at recruiting a centre-back and has identified
Upson as a possible recruit and is prepared to pay around £5million for
the player if you believe the reports.
The Liverpool boss showed interest in Upson a few years back but nothing
ever materialised. Another thing worth noting is that we have now been
linked heavily with around three centre-backs which suggests that we are
starting to make progress behind the scenes. It is also a clear indication
that the board still have faith in Gerard Houllier.
Arsenal paid Luton £1million for the player but he failed to hold down a
regular place and was farmed out to Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace
during the 2000-01 season. Birmingham eventually coughed up £1million for
By Dominic Fifield - The Guardian
Liverpool's attempts to rebuild for next season will include a bid for
the England Under-21 international Joey Barton, with the Manchester City
midfielder likely to spurn a vastly improved contract offer in favour of a
move to Anfield.
Barton has only a year to run on his deal, with City desperate to tie him
down for a further four years. But Gérard Houllier has identified the
21-year-old as a potential replacement for Dietmar Hamann, for whom they
will listen to offers, and hope to sign him for £2m.
Indeed, City privately suspect that preliminary talks may already have
taken place behind the scenes given that Barton's representatives, SFX,
have close links with Liverpool.
Barton, a boyhood Evertonian, is believed to be keen on a return to
Merseyside. His relationship with Kevin Keegan has been fractious since he
reacted to being omitted for the game against Southampton last month by
driving home and missing the match.
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool are reportedly set to join the race for Alan Smith after he
said he would be leaving Leeds after they were effectively relegated on
Several newspapers claim that Reds boss Gerard Houllier will compete with
the likes of Newcastle and Manchester United for the 23-year-old forward.
Auxerre forward Djibril Cisse is already expected to arrive at Anfield
during the summer for £14m.
And Houllier is believed to be keen to bring in another striker.
Michael Owen has yet to sign a new deal with Liverpool and it appears that
Emile Heskey is no longer part of Houllier's long-term plans.
Indeed, Heskey has been linked with a move to Steve Bruce's Birmingham
after turning down a mid-season move to Middlesbrough during the January
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has reportedly already held an
informal meeting with Smith's agent, although it is not known what the
Merseyside club would be willing to pay for the striker.
Liverpool eye Melchiot
Liverpool are "shock candidates" in the race to sign Mario Melchiot in
the summer, according to The People.
The Chelsea full-back will be available on a free transfer at the end of
He has attracted interest from several clubs, including Newcastle, but the
Reds are now reported to be in pole position to land him.