May - 2006

3105: Monaco keen on Traore
3105: Reds face Alves competition
2705: Reds linked with Pennant
2505: Reds close to agreeing transfer fee
2505: Dudek on the move?
2305: Nando demands to scupper Betis bid
2205: Reds ponder Melli move
2005: Rafa targets Barca's Giuly
1905: Traore may be first out of Anfield
1905: Ruthless Rafa to axe first-team duo
1805: Spurs ponder Defoe/Kewell swap
1805: Defoe, Bent, Bellamy - LATEST
1605: Defoe speculation returns
1505: Liverpool in talks over 180million...
1505: Rafa's 20million plus transfer kitty
1505: Liverpool linked with Premier League...
1305: Reds back in for Benfica ace
1005: Liverpool and Spurs chase defender
0805: Cisse sale to fund Reds' SWP swoop
January  February   March
September October  November
April  May  June  July  August
January February  March
October November  December
July August September
April  May June 
January February March

MAY 31
Monaco keen on Traore

By Patrick Haond - Sky Sports

Monaco are thought to be interested in bringing Liverpool defender Djimi Traore to Stade Louis II.

Traore is keen to quit Anfield, with The Reds unlikely to stand in the player's way, and is rumoured to be a target for the Principality club.

Monaco have already met the 26-year-old and talks between the two clubs are due to open in the coming days to discuss the possibility of either a loan move or permanent transfer.

Meanwhile, Monaco defender Francois Modesto has agreed a contract extension at the club.

The 27-year-old was a regular in their starting line-up last term and club officials have been satisfied by his performances.

Despite serious interest from Rangers, Marseille and Galatasaray, the French stopper has accepted a contract offer to stay at Monaco until 2010.

MAY 31
Reds face Alves competition

By James Carroll - Shankly Gates

Liverpool face competition from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid for the signature of Seville winger Daniel Alves.

Alves is believed to be Rafael Benitez's top transfer target this summer and it's though that Liverpool have made a 7m offer for the services of the 23-year-old.

However, Real Madrid are now thought to have registered an interest although Barcelona's hopes of landing the Brazilian were dealt a set back when Javier Saviola said he will not be making his loan move to Seville from the Nou Camp a permanent one.

It was thought that the newly crowned European Champions wanted to use Saviola as part of a deal to sign Alves.

Alves's agent, Jose Rodriguez Baster, said yesterday: "Barcelona were put in contact with us to know Daniel's situation and we directly transferred them to Sevilla. Since then, we have not spoken with them."

"Nothing can be discarded and, in addition, there are great clubs also involved who have not yet been publicised."

"I cannot say it, with respect to the clubs, but I can say that there are three important clubs, at European level, that have shown their interest in Alves."

MAY 27
Reds linked with Pennant

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

The Reds have this morning been linked with a 3.5m move for Birmingham City's Jermaine Pennant.

It is no secret that Rafael Benitez is seeking a right sided midfielder and Pennant could fit the bill. Birmingham's relegation suggests they will be willing to do business.

MAY 25
Reds close to agreeing transfer fee

Kop Talk

Liverpool are close to agreeing a transfer fee with Valencia for Fernando Morientes.

Valencia sports director Amedao Carboni has been trying to negotiate a deal for the striker who failed miserably at Anfield following his 6.3million arrival in January 2005.

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry initially valued the Spaniard at 4million but the latest reports have the fee nearer to the 3million mark with Carboni trying to bring it down further.

Speaking recently, Morientes said: "I'm the first to accept my form has been disappointing.

"I haven't hit the level of performance I achieved when I was with Real but I've still got a lot to offer."

MAY 25
Dudek on the move?

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Jerzy Dudek has been linked with a move to Portsmouth.

Dudek has lost his place in the Liverpool first team to Pepe Reina and the lack of first team action cost the goalkeeper his place in Poland's World Cup squad.

Dudek is determined to leave Liverpool this Summer as he wants regular first team action and Fratton Park could be the Pole's destination.

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has money to spend after keeping Pompey in the top flight and is set to table a bid for Dudek. However, Liverpool will only sell if Portsmouth are able to match their valuation on the player.

MAY 23
Nando demands to scupper Betis bid

Sporting Life

Real Betis want to sign Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes, but his financial demands could scupper the deal.

The Spanish international moved to Anfield from Real Madrid for a fee of 6.3million in January 2005.

But since then he's failed miserably to live up to his lofty reputation, and has struggled to make a regular first-team impression.

Liverpool now seem ready to offload him, and are resigned to losing cash in the process.

But according to The Liverpool Echo any deal could be scuppered by the player's financial demands.

The paper says Betis are believed to be ready to pay 2.5million for Morrientes.

Espanyol and Fenerbahce are also reportedly interested in signing him.

MAY 22
Reds ponder Melli move

By Francisco Acedo - Sky Sports

Liverpool are ready to turn to Spain again for summer reinforcements after being linked with a move for Real Betis defender Melli.

Reports emanating from Spain suggest Liverpool are keeping tabs on the young central defender.

The Reds are believed to have watched Melli on several occasions this season after he impressed in the two UEFA Champions League encounters between the sides this year.

Melli is highly-regarded at Betis and he still has four years to run on his contract with the Seville-based club.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez is thought to be in the market for a new defender, as he looks to build a side capable of mounting a serious Premiership challenge next season.

Melli admits he is flattered by the interest, but insists he has not heard anything from Liverpool.

"A club like Liverpool is always interested in Spanish football and I remember our two matches in the Champions League," said Melli.

"I am happy by the interest, but I have not received any contact with Liverpool.

"That is a subject for Betis and my agent."

MAY 20
Rafa targets Barca's Giuly

By John Cross And David Maddock - Daily Mirror

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is chasing Champions League winner Ludovic Giuly, who has hit contract deadlock at Barcelona.

Giuly, 29, played in the Champions League Final but has not been a regular in the side and his lack of games cost him a place in the France World Cup squad.

The winger wants a two-year extension at the Nou Camp but has only been offered 12 months, which alerted Benitez.

Benitez will pay 3m to bring Giuly to the club, which it emerged last night may be close to being taken over by the billionaire Kraft family.

The Americans behind the Kraft Foods empire admitted they were on the verge of buying Liverpool earlier in the year, after extensive talks with the Anfield board, have cleared the way for a renewed bid,

They own Major League Soccer team New England Revolution and American football side New England Patriots.

MAY 19
Traore may be first out of Anfield

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Djimi Traore is set to be the first out of the Anfield exit door this summer as Liverpool seek suitable offers for the defender.

The Frenchman has failed to build on his triumphant Champions League campaign which saw him rewarded with anew contract last year.

Now the left-back has been told he can leave Liverpool for the right price.

Manager Rafa Benitez had high hopes Traore would acquire some consistency and erase some of the mistakes which blighted his career.

But the 26-year-old has been unable to claim aregular starting place this term, when he fell well behind John Arne Riise and Stephen Warnock in the pecking order.

The imminent arrival of Valencia full-back Fabio Aurelio will further relegate Traore, while his chances of forcing his way in at centre-half are dashed by the signings of long-term prospects Daniel Agger and Gabriel Paletta.

Benitez will be hoping to attract adecent fee for a player who's acquired vast European experience since joining Liverpool in 1999.

Fulham and Everton have made bids for the versatile defender in the past, although it remains to be seen if their interest will be revived.

Manchester City also made an enquiry for the left back towards the end of the season, but Stuart Pearce has limited funds and is understood to be unwilling to meet Benitez's valuation.

Bolton are another club who've been linked with Traore previously, and Sam Allardyce is reported to have more money at his disposal this summer.

Numerous Liverpool players are currently being linked with moves out of the club, but as so often in the past, shifting those who are surplus to requirements is often as difficult as recruiting new faces.

While players such as Jan Kromkamp and, more surprisingly, Harry Kewell are also regularly being touted as possible departures, Benitez will be assessing all his transfer options before making such major decisions.

And he certainly won't be prepared to let players of such calibre leave on the cheap.

The futures of many current stars will become clearer after the World Cup, particularly if they impress and attract substantial offers.

Much depends on whether Benitez can secure his top transfer targets, and how much wheeling and dealing will be required to bring them to the club, before he makes a final decision on who to let go.

MAY 19
Ruthless Rafa to axe first-team duo

Kop Talk

Fresh reports today claim that Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will allow Harry Kewell to leave the club for around 5million over
the summer.

With the boss bringing in other options for the flanks he's ready to get shot of the Australian if a buyer can be found.

Another player who has again been linked with an exit is Jan Kromkamp despite the fact that he's only been at Anfield 5 minutes. Ajax have registered an interest in the player and Rafa will hope he's involved at the World Cup Finals to boost his fee.

More and more reports continue to circulate about these two and the speculation is starting to gain ground. However, it is highly unlikely that anyone at Anfield would admit either player is available.

MAY 18
Spurs ponder Defoe/Kewell swap

Sporting Life

Tottenham are reportedly considering swapping Jermain Defoe for Liverpool's Harry Kewell.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez is keen to bolster his strikeforce and has long been linked with a move for England World Cup hopeful Defoe.

Defoe, who has been placed on standby for the finals in Germany, has endured a frustrating season at White Hart Lane, playing second fiddle for much of the campaign to Robbie Keane and Mido. And with manager Martin Jol having just spent 10.9million on Bayer Leverkusen striker Dimitar Berbatov, Defoe may now be ready to quit north London.

Should Defoe favour a move to Anfield, the Reds could be prepared to sacrifice Kewell in exchange for the England frontman.

The Australian has just enjoyed his best season yet for Liverpool, but has yet to truly convince Benitez on his ability to perform at the highest level, while a series of nagging fitness issues also are a cause for concern with the former Leeds star limping off in the finals of the Carling Cup, Champions League and FA Cup.

And with left-sided Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez set to arrive in the summer to provide cover and competition for the likes of Bolo Zenden and the versatile John Arne Riise, Benitez could be willing to dispose of Kewell's services.

Kewell's arrival would in turn end Jol's search for a quality left-sided midfielder, with Andy Reid yet to convince and Edgar Davids and Teemu Tainio more comfortable in the centre of the park.

Jol has also been linked with a 3million move for Chelsea striker Carlton Cole, which could plug the gap Defoe leaves behind, while the ambitious Spurs boss is also thought to be keen on West Ham left-back Paul Konchesky.

MAY 18
Defoe, Bent, Bellamy - LATEST

Kop Talk

Liverpool are refusing to meet Charlton's 12million valuation of their striker Darren Bent.

The Reds have tabled a bid for the hitman which falls well short of the Charlton's valuation and Rick Parry has told them to "take it or leave it".

Jermain Defoe remains an option although claims that Liverpool have already signed him are nonsense.

The player remains keen on a move to Anfield and with Spurs having signed Dimitar Berbatov, his future at White Hart Lane would appear doomed.

With Berbatov in the bag, Liverpool are now expecting Spurs to offer the player to us any time now.

Rick Parry will approach Blackburn Rovers regarding striker Craig Bellamy before the week is out.

The controversial Welsh mouth-piece isn't everyone's cup of tea but we wouldn't object to his signing. If anything, he'd probably the easiest to sign and the cheapeast out of the three.

If Rafa manages to bring in one of these three he will still persue another striker which many fans would class as real top draw in comparison.

* The Liverpool board of directors will hold a routine board meeting at Anfield today to discuss investment and progress in the transfer market.

MAY 16
Defoe speculation returns

Kop Talk

If you believe the latest rumours, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has turned his attentions back to Jermain Defoe after Charlton started demanding silly money for Darren Bent.

The Spurs striker has been linked with the Reds since January.

However a spat between both clubs soured relations and that could make negotiations difficult, if indeed a formal bid is tabled.

If Rafa does sign someone in the mould of Defoe, Bent etc, you can still expect him to target another striker so if they don't take your fancy, don't despair as it's likely two strikers will be brought in at least.

MAY 15
Liverpool in talks
over 180million investment

Kop Talk

Liverpool are reportedly negotiating a possible 180million investment with a consortium headed by Robin Herd, the former Oxford United chairman who is probably best known for designing Concorde.

The KopTalk editor has maintained for some time that matters relating to investment would intensify during the month of May and according to him, you can expect further developments soon.

However, it should be pointed out that he hasn't had an update for some time but this is something that he'll be investigating tomorrow (Monday) as he's currently nursing a hangover and can't be arsed to speak to anyone today.

Reds chief executive Rick Parry is said to be meeting Herd tomorrow to discuss if the consortium's interest is serious and if so, Parry will be seeking confirmation of the funds they have to play with.

A report in The People, says: 'Herd's group have edged in front of another potential bidder from Russia and, if the cash is in place, there could be an announcement shortly about substantial funds for players and ground development.

'The identity of the group is known to Liverpool insiders but is a closely-guarded secret outside. However, motor racing figures like Eddie Jordan may be involved.'

MAY 15
Rafa's 20million plus transfer kitty

Kop Talk

A snippet in one of today's British newspapers states that Rafael Benitez will have 20million to spend in the summer plus money from the sale of any players.

There's no real confirmation as to what the boss will have to spend but we're really looking forward to this summer as we expect some real gems to be brought in.

Top targets include Fernando Torres and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

MAY 13
Liverpool linked with Premier League swoop

Kop Talk

Newspaper reports in the UK today claim that Liverpool are to swoop for West Ham ace Yossi Benayoun.

Former boss Gerard Houllier tried to sign the player but failed and he eventually ended up a Hammer.

He played a blinder in the Cup Final at the weekend and if you believe the reports, this has persuaded Rafa to make a firm offer.

According to sources close to the Benayoun camp, Rafa had sounded out the player BEFORE the Cup Final.

The 25-year-old who cost West Ham 2.5million, can play on either wing or off a central striker.

6million is what West Ham will want for the Israel international if you believe the various reports that are circulating today.

MAY 13
Reds back in for Benfica ace

By Francisco Acedo - Sky Sports

Liverpool are reported to have rekindled their interest in giant Benfica defender Luisao.

The Reds have been monitoring the Brazilian international for some time and even submitted an offer for him - understood to have been around 10 million (6 million) - last summer.

They were unsuccessful at that time and subsequently went on to purchase Daniel Agger in January.

However, with the young Dane still to fully adapt to the rigours of life at Anfield, boss Rafa Benitez is looking to further strengthen his defence and is ready to move for Luisao again.

The imposing centre half will have done his stock at Anfield no harm with a couple of excellent displays against The Reds as Benfica knocked them out of this season's UEFA Champions League - including the winning goal in the first leg in Portugal.

Benitez is prepared to raise his already substantial offer for the player, but Benfica are understood to be very reticent to sell.

However, the player has hinted he would be interested in a move to the Premiership outfit, stating: "Everything depends on Benfica, but it is logical that I want to progress in the world of football."

MAY 10
Liverpool and Spurs chase defender

Kop Talk

Newspaper reports today claim that Liverpool along with Spurs, are "chasing" Southampton starlet Gareth Bale.

The 16-year-old left-back became the second youngest player after Theo Walcott to make the Southampton first team.

He's already been selected for the England Under 21's and if you believe the reports, which we do as he has been scouted by us several times, Rafa would like to see him snapped up.

Cisse sale to fund Reds' SWP swoop


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is ready to offload Djibril Cisse in order to generate funds for a 14million bid for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Benitez saw his troops clock up an 11th win on the trot at Portsmouth on Sunday - but aims to push Chelsea harder for the title next season after finishing nine points behind the champions in third place.

The Spanish boss is waiting for winger Mark Gonzalez to arrive at Anfield from his loan spell at Real Sociedad - but wants Chelsea flyer Wright-Phillips to provide competition on the right flank.

Both Steven Gerrard and striker Cisse have been played on the right of midfield this season - but the French ace is widely expected to leave Merseyside this summer and return to his homeland.

Any cash generated from the sale of Cisse will go towards capturing Wright-Phillips, who cost 21million from Manchester City last summer but has struggled to settle at Stamford Bridge, starting just 15 games for the champions.

Thor Zakariassen