Sunday, July 19, 2009

Liverpool to battle Spurs for Young signature?

By Soccernet staff July 19, 2009

Liverpool are ready to join Tottenham in bidding to sign Ashley Young from Aston Villa, according to reports in the News of the World.

The winger is one of the best prospects in the league and Villa have reportedly rejected an opening £18m offer from Tottenham, saying it is nowhere near their £30m valuation of the player.

Now the door may be open for Liverpool to get involved as their move for Valencia midfielder David Silva has stalled.

However, while Villa are bracing themselves for Liverpool's offer, manager Martin O'Neill has said he does not want to see the player leave.

O'Neill insisted on Thursday: "There have been a lot of stories about Ashley - and that's what they are - stories."

He added: "No-one has come in and asked us about Ashley Young and I have got to tell you, if they did they would get short shrift."

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Paul Eaton 09 July 2009

New Liverpool signing Glen Johnson met up with his Anfield teammates for the first time on Wednesday - and we were there to snap some exclusive pictures at Melwood.

The England defender will be officially paraded as a Liverpool player on Thursday, when he will give his first interviews since swapping Fratton Park for Anfield last month.

But before his unveiling as Rafael Benitez's first summer signing, our new right back was getting used to his new surroundings at the club's training complex.






Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Jimmy Rice 07 July 2009

We went down to Melwood to bring you these exclusive shots of those among Rafa Benitez's squad who have returned to training following the summer break.











(Final photo shows physio Matt Konopinski, sports therapist Ivan Ortega and fitness coach Eduardo Parra Garcia)

Real admit, Liverpool are pricing us out

Real Madrid director-general Jorge Valdano has told a Spanish radio station that it is likely the Spanish giants won’t be able to meet Liverpool’s price tag they’ve put on midfielder Xabi Alonso.

Alonso has been one of Real’s most targeted players this summer, but it is thought Rafa Benitez wants at least £35million for the Spanish international.

Speaking to Cadena Sar, Valdano said, “Xabi Alonso is a priority if he fits into our budget, and this doesn’t seem the case. We are very far from the figures that Liverpool have set out.

“Liverpool have taken up a difficult stance over Xabi Alonso. I don’t like to talk about the private details of negotiations.

“We are studying many alternatives. We want someone who can channel the play and there aren’t many like that in the world.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Benitez defends £17m Johnson transfer fee

By Soccernet staff June 24, 2009

Liverpool's decision to splash out around £17.5m on Portsmouth wing-back Glen Johnson has raised a few eyebrows, and now Rafael Benitez has defended spending over the odds in order to "compete in the top four".

Glen Johnson


Glen Johnson: Now an England regular

The 24-year-old England international agreed terms with the Anfield club on Monday, meaning only formalities remain before he completes a move.

The financial hit will be softened by the fact Portsmouth still owe the Reds around £7m from the deal which took Peter Crouch to Fratton Park 12 months ago and it is believed the two clubs have agreed to merge this into the deal leaving a £10m fee.

Even so, Liverpool will be paying a huge fee for a player who cost Pompey just £4m two summers ago.

"Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more,'' said Benitez. "You can't compete in the top four of the Premier League unless you spend some money.

"We were looking for a player of quality and also somebody who is British because of the new Champions League rules. Glen Johnson fits both categories.''

Johnson's stock has risen considerably over the last 12 months, from a player getting into scrapes off the pitch, to a firm regular in Fabio Capello's England plans.

As Liverpool have endured problems in the full-back areas throughout Benitez's tenure, this time the manager will hope he has a right-back for the long-term.

Benitez is also confident he will make other signings while securing the long-term futures of his best players.

"We have a plan. We can sign one more player if necessary, but that's without any players leaving,'' he told the Liverpool Echo. "Alvaro Arbeloa has had a very good season but he has one year left on his contract.

"If he signs that will be good because we will have more competition, but if we get a good offer we will have to consider it.''

Benitez is also hoping to offload Sebastien Leto, Andriy Voronin and Andrea Dossena.

Leto is expected to sign for Panathinaikos shortly.

"I think that the possibilities to play at Panathinaikos next season right now are more than 90%,'' said the Argentinian winger. "I have been waiting for something from Olympiakos all these weeks but they didn't make a move to buy me so far.''


Jimmy Rice 23 June 2009

Fernando Torres has assured Liverpool fans he and his fellow Spaniards will return to Anfield fresh and ready to aid another title assault in 2009-10 despite their Confederations Cup antics.
Torres has featured in all three of Spain's fixtures so far in South Africa, while Xabi Alonso, Albert Riera, Alvaro Arbeloa and Pepe Reina have also played prominent roles to help set up Wednesday's semi-final with the USA.

Rafa Benitez will allow his countrymen extra time to recuperate before they join up with their clubmates for the pre-season tour of Asia.

Kopites are hoping Torres in particular comes back feeling 100 per cent after an injury-hit 2008-09.

"After our holidays are over we have to join up with the team for Liverpool's Asian tour," said our No.9.

"We can't wait for the tournament to end so that we can go on holiday, with the Cup, so as to get some rest. We will return for the new season with plenty of energy as it is going to be an exciting season for Liverpool and also for Spain, as there is a World Cup at the end."

Victory on Wednesday night could set up a dream final of Spain versus Brazil.

Torres added: "It's not the same playing against Brazil as it is playing against any other team.

"They are currently playing well, scoring goals; they have great players and this may well help give the tournament the importance it deserves.

"A Spain-Brazil final would be a match the whole world would like to see and a match that everyone would want to play in. I'm sure it would be a game full of good football."

One of the most controversial elements of this summer's tournament has been the sound emanating from the stands, with fans playing their distinctive vuvuzela throughout matches.

Torres, though, has been overwhelmed by the support he has encountered for both his club and country.

"Since arriving, I have seen a lot of people with Liverpool banners and wearing Liverpool shirts with my name on the back," said the 25-year-old, who with three goals is the tournament's joint top scorer alongside strike partner David Villa.

"To tell the truth, it came as a surprise because I didn't expect this so far from Spain and England.

"I have not grown tired of signing autographs as it's a delight to have so many fans so far from my own country. It's surprising to see how people with just the minimum resources available have more drive and enthusiasm than anyone. The children, for example, come up to you wearing a smile from ear to ear."

Meanwhile, the competition has allowed Torres to expand his already-impressive collection of opponents' shirts.

He explained: "I've had the opportunity to swap shirts with opponents, and these will all be added to my collection.

"I keep them all, but I've yet to find time to put them all on show anywhere. I have all of the shirts from the Premier League and my father has the ones from Spain.

"One day I will get them all together, like a museum. I'm sure that I have tops that will bring back plenty of memories. I have swapped shirts with Zidane, Raul, Beckham, Figo, Ronaldinho. I guess that with the passing of time their value will grow."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chelsea match Liverpool's £17.5m bid for Johnson

By Soccernet staff June 19, 2009

Portsmouth executive chairman Peter Storrie has confirmed Chelsea have matched Liverpool's £17.5m bid for England defender Glen Johnson.

Glen Johnson


Glen Johnson: Off to pastures new?

Pompey accepted a bid from Liverpool earlier this week and the 24-year-old looked set to seal a move to Anfield. However, Storrie has confirmed the Fratton Park club have also now agreed terms with Chelsea - Johnson's former club.

The in-demand full-back now has a decision to make, with both sides keen to tie up a deal this week.

"The matter will come to a conclusion at the beginning of next week. I do not have a preference over the move, it is up to Glen," Storrie said. "The deals are almost identical so it really is down to him and what club he prefers, which one is going to pay him more money.

"Glen wants to play regularly in the Champions League, he has got himself back in the England side so I understand that. Sometimes you have to be fair to players."

Storrie admits that Johnson needs to be playing Champions League football next season in order to secure his place in Fabio Capello's starting XI - with the World Cup finals now less than 12 months away.

"It's a big year for him with the World Cup coming up," he added. "Playing Champions League football will make him an even better player than he is today."