May - 2005

3105: West Brom set to make Liverpool loan...
3105: Charlton and Birmingham battle...
3105: Houllier considers Baros
2905: Johnson exit talk hots up
2805: Wright-Phillips linked with Reds
2105: Liverpool close in on Hargreaves
2105: Benitez warned off o'Neil
2105: Belgian chance for Le Tallec
2005: Liverpool join chase for £5million Saints...
1805: Dudek leaving in swap deal?
1805: Benitez ready to open talks over £6m...
1605: Inter Milan linked with Liverpool's...
1305: Villa linked with shock swoop...
1105: Lyon plan Reds raid
1005: Anfield alerted as Van der Vaart...
1005: Liverpool slap £8million price tag...
0305: Liverpool agree £8million transfer fee
January February  March
October November  December
July August September
April  May June 
January February Marc

MAY 31
West Brom set to make Liverpool loan swoop

Fans FC

Bryan Robson will explore the possibility of signing goalkeeper Chris Kirkland on a season-long loan

Kirkland has been hit by a number of injuries since joining Liverpool from Coventry City in 2001 and with Anfield boss Rafael Benitez set to sign a new number one this summer, may allow Kirkland out on loan to get some first team games under his belt.

Baggies boss Robson expressed some concern about the form of Russell Hoult during the season just ended and although number two Tomasz Kuszczak performed well when needed, Kirkland would provide extra competition for the 'keeper's jersey.

MAY 31
Charlton and Birmingham battle for Smicer

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Charlton and Birmingham are leading the chase for European Cup hero Vladimir Smicer following his triumphant Anfield exit.

The Czech international is currently back in Prague after bringing the curtain down on his Reds career in extraordinary style.

But the 32-year-old wants to remain in Premiership football and will be discussing a move with Steve Bruce and Alan Curbishley over the next few weeks.

Smicer could be reunited with former team-mate Danny Murphy at The Valley and a move to the capital appears to be his preferred option at this stage.

However, Birmingham are also keen to pair the creative midfielder with another former teammate, Emile Heskey. Smicer's close friend Patrik Berger will also be playing in the Midlands next season, at rivals Aston Villa.

MAY 31
Houllier considers Baros

By Patrick Haond - Sky Sports

One of Gerard Houllier's first actions as manager of Lyon could be to make a swoop on his former club Liverpool.

The man understood to be top of Houllier's list of targets is unsettled striker Milan Baros.

The 23-year-old has admitted that his Anfield future is far from certain and he has indicated an interest in moving to Spain, with Valencia showing particular interest.

However, news of possible interest from Lyon, and his former boss Houllier, is almost certain to appeal to Baros.

MAY 29
Johnson exit talk hots up


Andy Johnson is set to leave Crystal Palace this summer with Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Manchester City all chasing his signature.

The striker is reportedly keen to leave Selhurst Park to enhance his chances of forcing his way into Sven-Goran Eriksson's 2006 World Cup squad.

Johnson was the Premiership's second-highest scorer this season with 21 league goals and made his first international start for England against the USA in Chicago on Saturday evening.

And newspaper reports suggest that following Palace's relegation to the Championship, Johnson sees a move to a Premiership club as the only way to keep himself in Eriksson's plans.

A close friend told the News of the World: "Andy is on the brink of making Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad and knows he must stay in the Premiership to make it to Germany.

"He scored more goals than any English player in the league last season and sweated blood to try to keep Palace up.

"He was heartbroken when they were relegated but now he is desperate to hang on to his England dream."

Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle are all thought to be considering bids in the region of £6m for the player, while new Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce is reportedly willing to offer Jon Macken as part of a deal.

MAY 28
Wright-Phillips linked with Reds

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Sean Wright-Phillips is the latest player to linked with a move to European Cup holders Liverpool.

Liverpool had been linked with the nippy winger before but it was assumed that Wright-Phillips would plump for his father's old club Arsenal. However, as the Champions of Europe, Liverpool's pulling power has increased drastically and a move to the Reds could be on the cards.

Manchester City will want around £15m for Wright-Phillips but Rafael Benitez will be given serious funds this summer as the Reds chase the title so a deal is possible.

Wright-Phillips would become Rafael Benitez' second English signing.

MAY 21
Liverpool close in on Hargreaves

By Dominic Fifield - The Guardian

Rafael Benítez will continue to reshape his Liverpool squad by moving to sign the England international Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich this summer, reviving the midfielder's hopes of featuring in next year's World Cup finals in the process.

The two clubs are close to agreeing a £2.5m deal for the 24-year-old, who won his 25th cap in the 4-0 trouncing of Northern Ireland at Old Trafford at the end of March.

Hargreaves is on £45,000 a week, which Liverpool would be prepared to match, and has a year left on his contract.

MAY 21
Benitez warned off o'Neil

Champions League finalists Liverpool have been told by Portsmouth that a move for England under-21 skipper Gary o'Neil will be blocked by Milan Mandaric.

The Pompey chief sees o'Neil as one of the key players for the club to build its future team around. His quick dismissal of the player's availability should make that very clear to Rafael Benitez, if he was interested in signing the player at all.

The player himself is bound to be flattered by the interest he is attracting from one of Europe's biggest clubs. Pompey fans are convinced that he is more than happy to stay with the southcoast club.

O'Neil's contract runs until June 2009 after he extended his contract in January. So even if Benitez is interested in signing the player he is bound to cost more than the Spaniard will be willing to spend.

MAY 21
Belgian chance for Le Tallec

By Gerrit van Leeuwen - Sky Sports

Liverpool are reportedly ready to offer Anderlecht the chance to sign Anthony Le Tallec on loan.

The French starlet has struggled to make an impact at Anfield under Rafa Benitez and may be shipped out again next term.

Le Tallec was farmed out to St Etienne at the start of this campaign but cut short his spell back in Ligue 1 in January.

Since returning to Merseyside, the young attacker has made seven appearances under Benitez but does not currently seem likely to become a regular.

To that end, Benitez is keen for the 20-year-old to accrue further experience and reports suggest he could be on his way to Anderlecht.

The Belgian outfit have purportedly been offered the opportunity to take Le Tallec on loan next season and, should the deal materialise, the youngster will be hoping for greater involvement than during his disappointing stint at St Etienne.

MAY 20
Liverpool join chase for £5million Saints star

Fans FC

England new boy Peter Crouch is a target for the Reds after Southampton's relegation from the Premiership.

Crouch's displays this season have earned him a host of new admirers as well as a call-up to the England squad and although Southampton are keen to keep him, Liverpool's interest will tempt the player.

Anfield boss Rafael Benitez is looking to add a more physical presence to his front-line and Crouch fits the bill of a player who still has plenty of time to improve under the Spanish coach.

Bolton are also keen on a move for Crouch but may be put off by Southampton's asking price.

MAY 18
Dudek leaving in swap deal?

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Jerzy Dudek may be set to return to his old club Feyenoord in a player plus cash deal.

Liverpool have been linked with Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt and with Jose Reina apparently on his way to Anfield the Reds are set to offload Jerzy Dudek and could offer him back to his old club as a makeweight in the Kuyt deal.

MAY 18
Benitez ready to open talks over £6m Milito

By Andy Hunter - Daily Post

Real Zaragoza's Argentine centre-half Gabriel Milito has emerged as a £6million transfer target for Rafael Benitez this summer.

The Liverpool manager will strengthen in several areas during the close season, with added competition alongside Jamie Carragher in the heart of defence a priority.

And he is prepared to make another transfer raid on Spain by entering the race for the highlyrated Milito - with Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt another considered target.

Manchester United and Barcelona have both been linked with 24-year-old Milito this season, but Liverpool are ready to steal a march on the pair by opening talks with Zaragoza.

The Spanish outfit are loathe to lose their outstanding defender of the past two seasons and Milito insisted he was happy at La Romareda when the United and Barca interest first emerged.

But Liverpool are ready to test that resolve by meeting Zaragoza's £6m valuation of the Argentinian international, who is under contract at Real until 2007.

Milito rose to prominence with Independiente and would have joined Real Madrid two years ago only for the deal to collapse at the 11th hour when he failed a medical with a knee problem.

His career was resurrected at Zaragoza, where he won the Copa del Rey in his first season with the club and helped their dramatic league improvement this term.

Zaragoza insist they will resist any approach for Milito - "I don't believe the club will sell Gabriel," said sporting director Miguel Pardaza - but whether they can reject a £6m offer from Liverpool will become clear over the summer.

MAY 16
Inter Milan linked with Liverpool's Riise

Kop Talk

Italian reports claim that Serie A outfit Inter Milan are keen on signing Liverpool's John Arne Riise.

It is suggested that the Italians will offer the out-of-favour Alvaro Recoba in some kind of deal to try and tempt Rafa into selling.

This one started last week and remains weak but it is the silly season now so it'll give you something to think about.

MAY 13
Villa linked with shock swoop
for Liverpool's Czech star

Fans FC

Milan Baros is a surprise summer target for Aston Villa boss
David O'Leary

The Czech international has spoken of his frustration at not being a regular for Liverpool under Rafael Benitez and has been linked with moves abroad to clubs in Spain and Italy.

Now Villa have reportedly enterered the chase for the 23-year-old, one of the stars of Euro 2004.

O'Leary has been given a large transfer kitty to spend in the summer and a goalscorer is top of his shopping list.

MAY 11
Lyon plan Reds raid

By Patrick Haond - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Lyon could be ready to plan a raid on Liverpool as they search for a new striker.

The French champions have revealed they are willing to let Sidney Govou leave in the summer and are already targeting possible replacements.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted he is keen to bolster his squad and that a new striker and midfielder are his top priorities.

Aulas has revealed he had contact with Liverpool duo Milan Baros and Harry Kewell over a possible move to Stade Gerland.

Baros could be a option for Lyon as he is thought to be considering his future at Anfield.

The Czech Republic star is unhappy at how he is being used by Reds boss Rafa Benitez and admitted several clubs have made offers for his services.

Kewell's future at Anfield is also uncertain as he has failed to live up to expectations since his move from Leeds two seasons ago and his injury problems have frustrated Benitez.

MAY 10
Anfield alerted as Van der Vaart
hands in transfer request

Kop Talk

Former Liverpool target Rafael van der Vaart has handed in a transfer request at Ajax.

The Dutch international was targeted for some time by former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier with a proposed transfer falling through shortly before he was given the bullet. Earlier this season Van der Vaart admitted that he had spoken to Liverpool executives about a possible move with nobody at Anfield coming out and rubbishing his claims.

It is understood that the 22-year-old is a target of German side Hamburg but Manchester United and Arsenal have previously sniffed around him. Barcelona were always believed to be his preferred destination so it will be interesting to see how they respond to the developments.

Explaining what had gone down, Ajax Director Arie van Eijde said: "We know that he doesn't want to sign a new contract and through his agent he has informed us that he wants to leave Ajax. I know through Lerby (his agent) that Van der Vaart went to Hamburg last weekend.

"He informed this on Monday morning. There is no official interest yet, as far as I can tell. Up until now no club has called us with the news they want to sign Van der Vaart, so we sit back and wait for things to happen."

Van der Vaart has just a year left on his existing deal and with Rafa having tried to sign him while at Valencia, you can expect him to register an interest, if he hasn't done already.

MAY 10
Liverpool slap £8million price tag on Kop star

Kop Talk

Liverpool are reportedly informing clubs interested in buying Milan Baros this summer that they want to see at least £8million in cash put on the table for the Czech striker.

Baros has failed to reproduce the form he showed at Euro 2004 and while Rafael Benitez is in no rush to get shot of him, the player is available for transfer providing realistic offers come in.

Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson remains a target and Michael Owen is a serious option but Rafa is also checking on the availability of several strikers across Europe.

If Baros is sold, the cash will certainly go towards a direct replacement.

Liverpool agree £8million transfer fee

Kop Talk

Reports in Spain claim that Liverpool have agreed an £8million fee with Villarreal for their goalkeeper Jose Reina.

Reina's agent Garcia Quilom, who also represents Rafael Benitez and Luis Garcia, has privately indicated that a deal has been struck although he hasn't officially gone on record as saying this. It is rumoured that Reina will sign a 3-year contract with an option of a further 12 months.

Liverpool could play down the claims, especially if no official agreement is
in place yet.

Jerzy Dudek could return to former club Feyenoord who have reportedly registered an interest in him.

Thor Zakariassen ©