24 June 2008


Yossi Benayoun may be sold to raise cash
Jun 24 2008 by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post

LIVERPOOL will consider cashing in on Yossi Benayoun if they receive any concrete offers.
The Israeli playmaker, bought for £5million from West Ham last summer, has not previously been on the list of players manager Rafael Benitez is looking to offload as he continues to seek the funds that will land him his targets.
But with Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp admitting an interest, while also expressing doubts over raising the necessary cash to take striker Peter Crouch from Anfield, Liverpool’s hand could be forced.
Benitez would prefer to retain Benayoun as a useful squad member as the player is happy on Merseyside despite his apparent lack of first team opportunities.
He recently said: “There are three or four clubs in England willing to buy me after the season I have just had.
“But I want to stay at Liverpool until the end of my career.”
He did play in 30 Premier League games last season but started in only half of those, while his biggest impact came in the Champions League group stages when he scored a hat-trick in the 8-0 win over Besiktas.
He also hit a treble in the FA Cup win over Havant & Waterlooville but generally found it difficult to force his way into Benitez’s preferred attacking formation for much of the campaign.
Bids of £6m would be well within range of the likes of Portsmouth and other reported potential suitors such as Manchester City and Middlesbrough.
And with Benitez’s attempts to raise money from other squad members currently stalling, any hope of snaring enough cash to bring in both Gareth Barry and David Silva could rest on what they would be able to get for Benayoun.
No headway has been made in negotiations to agree a fee with Aston Villa for Scott Carson, while Liverpool have still to reach the Midlands side’s £18m valuation of their captain Barry.
Juventus are expected to make their move for Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso after both the club and the player hinted they wanted a deal to be done.
But even the minimum £10m Benitez hoped to get for Crouch could be in jeopardy after Portsmouth manager Redknapp admitted he is cooling to the idea of bringing the striker back to Fratton Park.
But he did admit an interest in Benayoun despite bringing in winger Glen Little from Reading, albeit on a free transfer, last week.
Redknapp said: “Of course I’d like to have someone like Yossi Benayoun.
“He’s a top player. I don’t know what the chances are of getting him out of Liverpool.
“It’s known I like Crouchie, too. But it doesn’t look like anything is happening there. I think Liverpool want a bit too much money for him.
“If that’s the case then we’ll move on to the next option.”
Liverpool have added another friendly to their pre-season programme by confirming a game against Norwegian side Valerengen in Oslo on August 5 (6pm).
Liverpool’s confirmed friendlies are: July 12 v Tranmere (a); July 16 v FC Lucerne (Grenchen); July 19 v Wisla Krakow (Friborg); July 22 v Hertha Berlin (Berlin); July 30 v Villarreal (Villarreal); August 2 v Rangers (a); August 5 v Valerengen (Oslo).

22 June 2008

Analysis: Gillett and Hicks relationship to still end in acrimony

With news of George Gillett Jr and Tom Hicks trying to patch up their differences, we thought we should ask an expert to read between the lines. Oliver Kay (The Times) talks to James Major.

Can this be true? We thought their relationship was "unworkable"...
And I still suspect it is in the long term. But for now, with Hicks blocking Gillett's sale to DIC and with some kind of direction desperately needed in the Anfield boardroom, it seems that they have decided to stop being quite so childish and to try to get along.
This rumour had been doing the rounds for a couple of weeks and was actually denied by people who you would imagine would be keen to portray a united front. Even in the past week or so, there have been strong indications that Gillett will not sell his stake to Hicks under any circumstances due to the hostility between the two of them.
But Hicks has already proved he is willing to resurrect his relationship with Rafa Benitez, so it seems that there is a pragmatic side to him and to Gillett.

Where does this latest news fit into the bigger picture? Are the DIC investors still circling?
DIC's offer is still there, but they are now resigned to playing the "long game". It seemed at one stage that a takeover deal could be done by mid-March, but Hicks did not allow Gillett to sell to DIC. I don't think DIC, having persisted so long, are of a mind to give up on this. They still feel that the Hicks-Gillett partnership is flimsy in the extreme and that it is only a matter of time before the Americans are forced to sell.

Gillett speaks of backing Benitez in the transfer market? What does this mean in reality? We thought they were skint.
They are not necessarily skint, but money is sufficiently tight for them to have been unable to raise their bid for Gareth Barry until they have the £4 million in the bank from John Arne Riise's transfer to AS Roma.
Similiarly the sales of Peter Crouch (probably to Portsmouth) and Xabi Alonso (probably to Juventus) appear to be vital if Benitez is to have room to manoeuvre in the transfer market this summer.
I think by the time the summer is over we will have seen at least a dozen players leave Liverpool and I would be surprised if Liverpool's net outlay this summer is more than about £10 million. It doesn't sound like a recipe for a title challenge, does it?
One interesting aspect of this is that, in the past, Benitez would have been up in arms about this, complaining about how little money he has to work with and how difficult it will be to compete. This summer we have not heard a peep out of him and he appears content to wheel and deal rather than to risk losing his job.

If you had a fiver to bet, how would you say this saga will end?
I would be staggered if this partnership survives in its current form. There are rumours that one or other of them could bring in a new investor, but surely that would complicate things even more. One thing is certain: Liverpool need money, both for squad reinforcement and to build their new stadium, if they are to remain competitive.
That is what Gillett and Hicks were brought in to provide and so far there is no indication whatsoever that they have anything like the resources to do that. Moreover, they have brought embarrassment on the club, squabbling not only with each other but with Benitez and Rick Parry, the chief executive. This autumn they are going to be under serious pressure to provide the funding for the new stadium. If they can't do that, they simply have to sell.
So, in answer to your question, I see this saga rumbling on and on. DIC still expect to get their foot in the door at some point, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict how or when they are going to be able to force a breakthrough.

21 June 2008

Liverpool warn they will not be held to ransom in transfer market

By David Maddock

Liverpool last night warned that they will not be held to ransom in the summer transfer market.
Manager Rafa Benitez has been thwarted in his aim to bring Gareth Barry and James Milner to Anfield.
Aston Villa want a staggering £20million for their skipper Barry, while Newcastle insist midfielder Milner will not be allowed to leave for less than £10m.
Even unheralded players Benitez had his eye on such as Albert Riera come with vastly inflated price tags.
Espanyol want £12m for left winger Riera, even though he has only one Spain cap and failed in the Prem with Manchester City.
That has led Benitez to rethink his strategy, and he is now ready to turn his back on the deals he has pursued and walk away if necessary.
He has been linked with Valencia's international winger David Silva, but only if the price is right.
In contrast Liverpool believe they have been more realistic when it comes to selling their players.
And yesterday they came down in their valuation of John Arne Riise to allow the defender to move to Roma for £4m.
They have also come to a compromise with Juventus over the £14m sale of midfielder Xabi Alonso to Juventus.
And they are prepared to negotiate for want-away England striker Peter Crouch.
That should give Benitez around £30m to spend on new signings and he has made it clear to the club's owners that he will not be held to ransom.
But there is some hope for Rafa over the Barry deal, as Villa have signed fellow midfielder Steve Sidwell from Chelsea, which suggests they are prepared to move closer to Liverpool's £15m offer.

20 June 2008


Sporting Life

David Villa is not one of Liverpool's transfer targets this summer, according to reports.
The Liverpool Echo claims that Rafa Benitez is not interested in the Valencia forward, despite reports linking them with a bid for Villa.
Villa, who is currently the top-scorer at Euro 2008 with four strikes, was quoted as saying he would be interested in a move to Merseyside last week, but moved to dampen any speculation on Wednesday morning.
He said: "I have heard that I am supposed to have said that I would prefer to go to Liverpool to play next season or that I want Chelsea to be my next team.
"I have not said anything like that. My club insists I am not for sale and, believe me, I am totally focused on the European Championships.
"As far as I know, nobody from Liverpool has been in touch, but in any case my future is not something I have in my mind at the moment. I do not understand why people put words in my mouth.
"I always say the same thing. Nobody from Valencia has told me that I am for sale. In any case, I am not at all worried about that at the moment.
"My priority, for now, is to play well in Euro 2008."

Rafa sees Olic as perfect partner for Torres

Olic (above) scored for Croatia's second goal past Germany's Jens Lehmann in their group match and wheels away in delight.

By Simon Jones (The Daily Mail)
Last updated at 1:04 PM on 19th June 2008

Liverpool are monitoring Croatia's striker Ivica Olic.
German sources say manager Rafa Benitez sees Hamburg's Olic as the ideal foil for Fernando Torres.
"All this is not currently an issue for me," he told Mopo when asked about interest from Italy, England and Spain.
"I want to, and must have, my mind on the European Championship - for Croatia!
"Once I'm back home, I will quickly get together with HSV.
"I think I'll play next year for Hamburg. And even longer. But so much is possible in football."
It's true. Any grand football event... it will be a good platform to showcase your talent and attracts the big club. In this case, it's newspapers were attracted and connect it to what ever team the writers fancy. hahaha... Do we need another striker? We have Kuyt and Babel and sometimes striker in Gerrard. hmmm....

Benítez targets £20m Silva

Andy Hunter and Tom Kington
The Guardian,
Friday June 20, 2008

Rafael Benítez has targeted the Valencia midfielder David Silva for a summer move to Liverpool providing he can raise the funds necessary to prise the Spain international from the Mestalla.
The 22-year-old Silva is valued at £20m by Valencia and so is beyond Benítez's budget as the Liverpool manager concentrates his resources on Gareth Barry and Andrea Dossena. Should Benítez complete those deals and increase his funds with the sales of Xabi Alonso, Peter Crouch, Scott Carson and Jermaine Pennant, and with almost £4m now banked from the departure of John Arne Riise to Roma, he will turn to Silva in the search for quality wide players for next season.
Valencia's price tag would remain prohibitive but Liverpool hope the current financial pressures at the Spanish club, with Benítez's former employers having to fund a new stadium, will force them to reduce the asking price for the versatile Silva. The player is also close to Liverpool's chief scout, Eduardo Macia, who coached him through Valencia's youth system.


Liverpool defender John Arne Riise leaves Anfield and heads for Roma

By Sportsmail Reporter
Last updated at 8:07 PM on 18th June 2008

AS Roma have signed Norwegian international defender John Arne Riise from Liverpool for around £4million, the Serie A club said on Wednesday.
Riise has signed a four-year contract according to statement on the club's Web site (www.asroma.it).
The statement read: "AS Roma announce they have reached an agreement with Liverpool Football Club for the acquisition of the sporting rights of the player John Arne Riise with effectfrom July 1 2008."
The 27-year-old, who can also play on the left side of midfield, notched up over 300 appearances for Liverpool after moving to Anfield from Monaco in 2001.
He was part of the squad that won the Champions League final in 2005.

Seven years ago Liverpool swooped to sign Norwegian starlet John Arne Riise from Monaco.
The highly-rated full-back, who had a reputation for his explosive shooting, went on to enjoy a hugely successful debut season with the Reds with highlights including superb goals against rivals Manchester United and Everton. During a trophy-laden spell with the club he won one Champions League, an FA Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, a League Cup and two FA Charity Shields. He played 348 times, netting an impressive total of 31 goals before signing for Roma yesterday, almost seven years to the day he arrived at Anfield.

AWAY JERSEY 2008/09 (cloudy red...?)

I guess this cloudy colour is better than yellow or green. Though I think I am accustomed already with the White color with reds jersey that LFC have wore since Reebok days (and sometimes look so similar with Bolton home jersey! = only to show how dull Reebok is in creative dept.). Usually, the design combination between red and cloudy is often use by us for exercise, jogging or whatever. I supposed... it will be good. It won't be flashy. As I hate flashy colours like the Dutch oranje (no offence Kuyt!). Let's wait til it arrive on our shore. Mind you... the imitation Made In Thailand or China is much much cheaper here. After all, one of the Reebok jersey that I got for RM270 is labelled MADE IN HONG KONG. All are neighbouring country! Might as well I opt for a mere RM35 MADE IN THAILAND. hahaha....

18 June 2008

We'll never deal on Fernando Torres - Tom Hicks

Jun 17 2008 EXCLUSIVE

by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo

THE final nail in Chelsea's bid to prise Fernando Torres from Anfield has been hammered by co-owner Tom Hicks.
The American has declared that not even an offer in excess of £50m – the current world record – would see the club’s player of the year leave.
“There is no price at which we would consider selling Fernando Torres,” said Texas-based Hicks. “The Chelsea rumours in the media are total rubbish.”
Despite manager Rafael Benitez, chief executive Rick Parry and finally the player himself dismissing a stream of reports linking Liverpool’s top scorer with a move south, speculation has continued.
One Sunday report claimed Chelsea were planning a £40m bid to test Liverpool’s resolve, and another suggested that “one half” of Liverpool’s American ownership team was prepared to do business.
But Hicks has made it clear that despite the obvious divisions which exist at the club, all parties are united on the future of their prize asset.

While Torres’ Anfield future is secure, one player who is heading for the Anfield exit door is John Arne Riise.
But the Norwegian defender is praying that he is not priced out of a move to Serie A side Roma with the Reds believed to be holding out for £5m.
Roma boss Luciano Spalletti has gone on record saying Riise would give his side a new dimension, and the defender said: “That was nice what was said by the coach (Spalletti), but this is only something I have heard from media reports,” said Riise.
“I have only one year of my contract left, so the price is lower than a year ago – £5m seems a little high for me.
“I need to play and need to be in a team where I can become better, because I know I can become better.
“When you change club, you get a kick-start and a set of new challenges.”
utusanLFC :
I remember fondly of his bullet free-kick on the right-corner of Manure goalpost that beat a certain clown goalkeeper from France. Also the emergence of Gerrard then. wow... that was a wonderful season for Risse. You have serve this club honorably (though your own goals are beyond believes too) and for that, we shall bid you a good farewell. SALUTE! SALUTE! SALUTE!

16 June 2008

David Villa hints at Anfield move

Oliver Kay

David Villa, the leading goalscorer in the European Championship finals, has indicated that Liverpool would be his preferred destination this summer if the Merseyside club’s American owners can find the minimum £25 million or so that would be needed to prise him from Valencia.
The Spain forward has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid, but he was keen to register his interest in moving to Anfield. “Liverpool have a Spanish coach [Rafael BenÍtez] and I have lots of friends there,” the 26-year-old said.
BenÍtez is understood to have explored the possibility of such a move, but it would appear a remote prospect at a time when Liverpool are struggling to meet Aston Villa’s £20 million valuation of Gareth Barry. He hopes to raise £10 million by selling Peter Crouch to Portsmouth this week, but it is unlikely that the club’s owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr, would sanction a club-record bid for Villa.
utusanLFC :

this is strange. earlier I read he declined to join Chelshit and prefer to go to either Barca or Real. Suddenly, The Times wrote differently... hahaha... what ever the truth, UK newspaper are the beacon of spinning journalism in the world. I personally hard to believe Villa would like to join Liverpool, regardless of how many it could be with the Spanish players in the LFC line-up. Everybody understand why every player wishes to play with Barca & Real. Villa certainly knows that very well from his Valencia window.


Paul Eaton 16 June 2008

Liverpool will kick-off the 2008-09 Barclays Premier League campaign with an away trip to Roy Keane's Sunderland.
The game at the Stadium of Light will take place on August 16 when the Reds will be looking for a similar performance to the one which gave them a 2-0 victory in the corresponding fixture last season. Middlesbrough are the first visitors to Anfield the following weekend with Manchester United arriving on Merseyside in mid-September. The first derby of the season takes place at Goodison Park on September 27 with the Anfield fixture on January 17. Our Boxing Day clash next season will be a home game with Bolton while we will also end the campaign at home when Juande Ramos' Tottenham will be the opponents. Please note that all of these fixtures are subject to change for television purposes and/or police requests. It is envisaged that the first set of television fixtures will be confirmed on Thursday, 3rd July.
Liverpool's fixture list for the 2008-09 Barclays Premier League campaign is as follows:

16 Sunderland (a)
23 Middlesbrough (h)
30 Aston Villa (a)
13 Manchester United (h)
20 Stoke City (h)
27 Everton (a)
4 Manchester City (a)
18 Wigan Athletic (h)
25 Chelsea (a)
29 Portsmouth (h)
1 Tottenham Hotspur (a)
8 West Bromwich Albion (h)
15 Bolton Wanderers (a)
22 Fulham (h)
29 West Ham United (h)
6 Blackburn Rovers (a)
13 Hull City (h)
20 Arsenal (a)
26 Bolton Wanderers (h)
28 Newcastle United (a)
10 Stoke City (a)
17 Everton (h)
27 Wigan Athletic (a)
31 Chelsea (h)
7 Portsmouth (a)
21 Manchester City (h)
28 Middlesbrough (a)
4 Sunderland (h)
14 Manchester United (a)
21 Aston Villa (h)
4 Fulham (a)
11 Blackburn Rovers (h)
18 Arsenal (h)
25 Hull City (a)
2 Newcastle United (h)
9 West Ham United (a)
16 West Bromwich Albion (a)
24 Tottenham Hotspur (h)

14 June 2008


Paul Hassall 13 June 2008

Dirk Kuyt powered home a superb first-half header as Holland booked their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 with a convincing 4-1 win over France in Berne.
The Reds forward, who retained his place in the starting XI after starring in the Group C opener against Italy, got the Dutch off to the perfect start on nine minutes when he rose well to bullet Gio Van Bronckhorst's right-wing corner beyond Gregory Coupet. It was a deserved lead that Marco Van Basten's men held through to the interval and although Kuyt was replaced by Robin Van Persie on 55 minutes, Holland continued to look threatening with the Arsenal man doubling their advantage within four minutes of taking to the field. France responded and Thierry Henry reduced the arrears with a neat finish on 71 minutes before the Dutch restored their two goal cushion courtesy of substitute Arjen Robben's magnificent individual effort less than a minute later. Wesley Sneijder put the icing on the cake with a fourth in injury-time to wrap up another sensational victory and assure Holland of top spot in the Group with a game to spare.

I follow only 2 teams : Holland & Spain for obvious reason : Kuyt for Holland and Torres for Spain. My money is for this 2 teams to beat a hell lot of the others. In Holland case, up to now... they have bamboosted 7 goals... And Spain 4 (tonight's game against Sweden should be interesting!)

Juventus lost interest in Alonso

RAFA BENITEZ’S bid to fund Gareth Barry’s transfer with Xabi Alonso’s exit have been dealt a double blow.
Villa boss Martin O’Neill rejected Liverpool’s latest £13m offer for Barry yesterday, and reports in Italy now claim that Juventus have switched their attentions from Alonso to Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger after refusing to meet the Reds’ £15m asking price.
A deal for Alonso appeared to be close last week when the player’s agent went to Turin for talks – money Benitez would have used to fund Barry’s arrival.
But Juve officials said on Wednesday they were now looking at other players.
The news came on the same day that Villa rejected Liverpool’s latest offer for their skipper.

utusanLFC :
so? Xabi Alonso won't have to leave LFC. yeahhhh! yeah!
C'mon Rafa.... Alonso is still good. I still have a strong reservation towards Gareth and the manner the war erupted with Villa is not our style... hey... if they want to keep him, let them have it. We still have Alonso... a much much more experience and skill midfielder.


By John Curtis, PA Sport

Former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis believes Liverpool should have to pay up to £20million if they want to sign midfielder Gareth Barry.
Villa have already rejected three offers for the England midfielder, who has stated his desire to play Champions League football after a decade with the midlands club.
It seems inevitable that 27-year-old Barry will leave for Anfield after making nearly 400 appearances for Villa.
But Ellis, current owner Randy Lerner's predecessor at Villa, was known for striking a hard bargain and believes the current regime should take the same approach in terms of selling Barry.
Ellis, who was at the helm when Villa paid Brighton £500,000 for Barry, said: "If Gareth goes, and I fear he will as Steven Gerrard has been begging him to do so - then right now I wouldn't sell him for less than £15million.
"I am proud of the fact that we took a bit of a gamble and paid £500,000 for him and Michael Standing 10 years ago.
"On the financial side at least, paying half a million for Barry and selling him for £20million - hopefully if that is the sale price - is not a bad deal.
"If I was advising Liverpool, I would say 'dig deep' because he is such a good asset. It will be a big loss to Villa and I would fight like hell to keep him - but of course I am no longer there."
Ellis can understand Barry's desire to play Champions League football but knows he will be difficult to replace.
He said: "He sees the Champions League football as something that he should be in. His friend is Steven Gerrard, they room together for the internationals and as such he is being persuaded to go there.
"But, like I said, it will be a big loss to Villa should he go."
Should Barry leave Villa manager Martin O'Neill could turn his attention to Chelsea's Steve Sidwell, Fulham's Jimmy Bullard and Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone as possible midfield replacements.
Crystal Palace teenager Shaun Scannell, wide players James Milner and Aaron Lennon, Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda and Sporting Braga right-back Joao Pereira are also on O'Neill's radar.

Liverpool issue warning on Torres

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer BBCSports

Liverpool have dismissed claims that Fernando Torres could be tempted away from Anfield by a massive bid from new Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The 24-year-old Spain striker was at the centre of speculation that he was a top target for Scolari, along with AC Milan's Brazil superstar Kaka.
But Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry told BBC Sport: "Fernando Torres is just not for sale to anyone.
"It is as simple as that, really - he is not going anywhere."
Torres took the Premier League by storm last season, scoring 33 goals after his move to Liverpool from his boyhood club Atletico Madrid.
And he has already delivered an impressive performance for Spain in their 4-1 win against Russia in their opening game of Euro 2008.
Scolari has been handed a huge transfer budget by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and Torres was among a number of names listed as players he will attempt to sign once he arrives at Stamford Bridge on 1 July.
But Parry has made it clear even Abramovich's millions will not prise Torres away from Liverpool after only one season on Merseyside.

13 June 2008

Martin O'Neil refuses to talk to Rafael Benitez over Barry row

By James Nursey 13/06/2008
Daily Mirror UK

Martin O'Neill has angrily broken off all contact with Liverpool after becoming infuriated by their dogged pursuit of Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry.
The Villa boss is refusing to acknowledge attempts by Reds manager Rafa Benitez and chief executive Rick Parry to enter into any dialogue over Barry.
Liverpool only learned their third bid of £13m for the midfielder had been rejected yesterday through a curt fax.
O'Neill, usually so hands-on, has instructed Villa owner Randy Lerner's PA Paul Faulkner to field all communications from Anfield.
His stubborn tactics have left Liverpool officials exasperated as they hoped to finally buy Barry, 27, this week. And the star himself is getting increasingly despondent at the failure of the two clubs to resolve his future after he made it clear to O'Neill he wanted to go.
Liverpool are now reluctant to table a new bid for Barry while they have no insight into what O'Neill will accept for the versatile left-sided player.
And the ill-feeling at Villa - sparked by Benitez making public Liverpool's initial £10m offer for Barry on the eve of the penultimate game of the season - has only increased.
O'Neill has since slammed the Reds' Spanish manager in a tirade and even dropped Villa's former Liverpool midfielder Patrik Berger for recommending that Barry moves to his old club.
O'Neill is now trying to concentrate his energies on strengthening his squad as they kick-off their InterToto Cup campaign in five weeks.
Brazilian midfielder Paulo Assuncao, 28, who has bought out the final year of his contract at Porto, is a target.
utusanLFC :
my question to you remains : Is Gareth Barry that good? Is he that good to be the epicentre of a serious blowout between the two clubs? hmmm... I wouldn't mind if the war is about taking David Villa to LFC... he is a well known commodity. Gareth?... You tell me.

Liverpool win race to sign James Milner

By James Nursey
Daily Mirror UK

Rafa Benitez is set to inflict more misery on Aston Villa by beating them to Newcastle star James Milner, as Liverpool also close in on Gareth Barry.
Boss Benitez and Anfield chief executive Rick Parry have made contact with the Magpies to offer Jermaine Pennant in part-exchange for Milner.
And the clubs are now haggling over how much cash Liverpool must also pay for £7million-rated Milner, who penned a new four-year contract last July.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wants to raise funds for new players and trim the the club's wage bill while ambitious Milner is keen for European football to boost his England ambitions.
The winger's likely move to Merseyside is another huge blow for Villa manager Martin O'Neill, who tried to sign Milner in August 2006 and wants him this summer.
O'Neill has already been fighting a losing and increasingly tense battle to keep Villa's inspirational captain Barry out of the Reds' clutches.
But Villa are resigned to the versatile 27-year-old midfielder quitting after he told O'Neill this month he wanted to move to Anfield.
Parry is putting the finishing touches to a third cash bid of £15m, with £3m in add-ons, for Barry which Liverpool hope will finally ensure they get permission to speak to the ace.
Villa are holding out for £20m but Barry, who has 20 England caps, is on standby to open talks with the Anfield giants after returning from holiday and a compromise is set to be thrashed out.
Liverpool are also hopeful of securing the arrival of Newcastle's 22-year-old former Leeds trainee Milner using fellow winger Pennant as bait.
Pennant, 25, is surplus to requirements after failing to make a sustained impact since a £6.7m move from Birmingham in July 2006 and was originally offered to Villa in the Reds' first £10m bid for Barry.
utusanLFC :
wow... if this is true (LFC yet to officially announce any) it looks like Rafa is buying UK- originated palyer- only this summer... aside from one or two from Europe.


Torres and Kaka top list as Blues plot transfer binge

By Sam Wallace and Jason Burt
Friday, 13 June 2008

Chelsea have told Luiz Felipe Scolari that they believe they can deliver him the Brazilian playmaker Kaka and will also step up their efforts to sign Fernando Torres in what promises to be a highly expensive and extremely attritional summer of transfer pursuits. After five years at Chelsea, Roman Abramovich is preparing to bankroll a sequence of signings that will be his most high-profile yet.
The club now believe that they have the marquee name to attract some of the biggest stars in world football. The appointment of Scolari was attractive to the Chelsea hierarchy because of the influence he will have on Kaka, who is regarded as a viable target because of Milan's failure to qualify for the Champions League next season. While Torres would be a much more difficult prospect given his huge significance to Liverpool, both in terms of the goals he scores and his popularity with the supporters, no limit is being placed on the ambitions of the club.
With £578m already invested in Chelsea it would now seem to be the case that Abramovich is prepared to raise the stakes once again and change the whole economics of the transfer market by breaking records to take established stars from some of the biggest clubs in the world. Liverpool's recent financial result and the stalemate in their ownership issues have given Chelsea the belief that even Torres has a price.
It is understood that the contract with Scolari is yet to be signed but that Chelsea have enough assurances to know that he will not be performing another one of his famous U-turns come the end of the month. It is also unclear whether the two sides have agreed over the length of his contract. The Portuguese football federation is not happy at the manner in which the announcement was made: Scolari's agreement with Chelsea had always been that it would be done as soon as Portugal had qualified for the quarter-finals. In fact it was not until Turkey's subsequent win over Switzerland that they were assured of a place.
The signing of the Portugal right-back Jose Bosingwa from Porto for £16.1m this summer would appear to have been the first sanctioned by Scolari. He gave his Portugal players the day off yesterday and Deco, the Barcelona midfielder, is understood to have left his team's training camp in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, for discussions about his future. The 29-year-old is a natural target for both Scolari and his old adversary Jose Mourinho at Internazionale.
The degree of secrecy with which Scolari's deal to join Chelsea was concluded became apparent yesterday when sources at the club revealed that the club's new manager-in-waiting decided against visiting Stamford Bridge and training ground in case he was spotted there. The Brazilian has not yet seen his new place of work and did not even meet with Abramovich after the Russian billionaire watched Portugal's victory over the Czech Republic in Geneva on Wednesday night.
Scolari is keen not to give the impression that his mind is anywhere but on the job of leading Portugal in Euro 2008 and did not want to run the risk of being pictured with Abramovich even after Chelsea's dramatic announcement on Wednesday that the job was his. The Brazilian hardly emerged from the squad hotel in Neuchâtel yesterday apart from a few hours he spent in a boat on the nearby lake. He has agreed with the Portuguese football federation that he will speak about his decision at a press conference tomorrow ahead of Sunday's final group game against Switzerland.
As far as his backroom staff at Chelsea are concerned, Scolari is eager to meet with Steve Clarke, the former Chelsea player who served under Mourinho and Avram Grant. Clarke is eager to manage a club of his own, potentially at a level beneath the Premier League, but with no offers yet on the table will meet with Scolari.
The two have never met and are reserving judgement on whether they could work together until Scolari takes over the club next month. The Brazilian will not be bringing quite the same entourage as accompanied Mourinho when he took over at the club in 2004. As opposed to Mourinho, Scolari prefers to work, in the main, with those he finds at the club and national teams that he has managed in the past. However, his two closest assistants are set to join Chelsea: his assistant Flavio "Murtosa" Teixeira and the fitness coach Darlan Schneider, who is Scolari's nephew.
The Portuguese football federation has given up any hope of changing Scolari's mind and they are already looking at potential replacements. Carlos Queiroz, the Manchester United assistant, has been mentioned as have the Portuguese coaches Fernando Santos and Manuel Jose.
Collectors' items: Four faces that could be heading for Chelsea
*Kaka Surely top of the shopping list – but at what price?
*David Villa Could reform the forward line performing so brilliantly for Spain with Fernando Torres, who seems happy at Anfield, but might be lured away.
*Deco Leaving Barcelona – his agent, Acaz Fellegger, acts as Scolari's spokesman
what a good speculation.... Torres could be lured away? hahaha...

11 June 2008


In the 20th minute Liverpool’s No 9 latched on to Joan Capdevila’s forward pass and made a mug of Denis Kolodin.
As Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev ran to narrow the angle, Torres slid the ball back to Villa who rolled it into the empty net.
Simple. Brutal. And brilliantly effective. (The Sun UK)
utusanLFC :
it's like watching a Liverpool game... well,... a bit perhaps. May be the desire to watch Torres in action again. He didn't score but he was instrumental in providing David Villa path to score the 1st goal for Spain. It was enjoyable as Russia did try their best to inflict some shots towards the Spanish's net. But nature's rule. Malaysian satellite tv, Astro is still at a lousy phase. at about 1.05am, a heavy rain poured Shah Alam... where I stayed. Then the coverage is gone. I waited for 10 minutes when I got an SMS from a friend over in Cheras, some 35km away, informing me that Torres has been substituted. Since my only reason to watch Spain is to root for Torres and now he is no longer on the field, I decided to go to sleep early. So switch off the tv. Thanks to the rain and the lousy technology of Astro. Of course, this morning I check on the result and I saw that I have missed three goals in the 2nd half. Again, thanks to the lousy technology of Astro. Afterwards, I should be watching the goals highlights.

10 June 2008


and you think this kind of think can only be done by a kid...? naaa... I'm a grown-up man and a professional for that matter. But this is my passion. Go figure!



You'll get this nice cool shirt when you register at LSCM or renewing your membership. I got it last year... and this year, I want the umbrella. The one with big Liverbird on it...

Benítez budget intact despite £33m Kop loss

Andy Hunter
The Guardian, Tuesday June 10 2008

Rafael Benítez has been assured his transfer budget will not be reduced as a result of the substantial losses incurred during Tom Hicks' and George Gillett's takeover of Liverpool, although the Spaniard's spending rests heavily on the amount raised through player sales this summer.
The first set of accounts released by Kop Holdings Limited, the company formed to facilitate the purchase of Liverpool in February 2007, have revealed a loss of £33m for the year ending July 31, 2007, with £1.2m reclaimed by Gillett and Hicks in personal expenses. Gillett claimed expenses totalling £823,000 for the loans required to complete the initial £220m takeover.
He also claimed £375,000 in travel and legal expenses, of which £100,000 were unpaid as of July 31 last year. Kop Holdings also incurred £133,000 in transaction expenses from Hicks, who claimed £198,000 in travel, legal and other expenses; £244,000 of Hicks' total was listed as unpaid as of July 31, 2007.
The Americans also wrote off £10.32m when they abandoned the original plans for a new stadium on Stanley Park in favour of their own design while Kop Investment LLC, the parent company, made an inter-company loan of £64m to the club to service the interest repayments on January's refinancing package.
Despite these ominous figures, the £350m refinancing deal accounted for this summer's transfer dealings and Benítez's budget is in place, although it is understood to be far from what the manager would like. The Spaniard will have to raise much of his revenue through sales and Liverpool have opened negotiations with Roma regarding the possible sale of John Arne Riise, though the Italians have not met the £5m asking price.

06 June 2008

Barry can go: Villa to cave in and take £14m Liverpool offer

Is this fella that good that required us to have an open spat with Villa? I hope so...

Last updated at 10:30 PM on 05th June 2008

Aston Villa are reluctantly ready to allow Gareth Barry to join Liverpool in a £14million deal even though manager Martin O'Neill remains adamant the England midfielder should stay.
Senior figures at Villa Park now view the matter as a lost cause and feel holding out for the best price is the only viable option. They, and Barry, may be kept waiting though Rafa Benitez continues his frantic efforts to generate the necessary funds through outgoing transfers.
His attempts to find common ground with Portsmouth over Peter Crouch have foundered on his demand for £10million plus players, with midfielder Sulley Muntari believed to be at the top of his wanted list.
Portsmouth have no intention of meeting Liverpool's valuation and negotiations with Juventus are proving just as difficult over the terms of Xabi Alonso's proposed move there. With the Italians insisting on staggered payments over three years, the Liverpool boss wants £16million in the hope of securing enough up front to finance his Barry move.
His hopes of agreeing a player-exchange deal with Villa have been hit by a clear signal from Crouch that he is only interested in joining Portsmouth, although O'Neill could accept right back Steve Finnan as part of the package.
Liverpool have failed to attract acceptable offers for other fringe players, such as Jermaine Pennant and John Arne Riise, although Roma are lining up a £5m bid for the Norwegian. Udinese left back Andrea Dossena is about complete his £7m move and could be followed into Anfield by Newcastle winger James Milner or Espanyol's Riera.
With Villa confident of landing Milner, Riera looks favourite to fill the vacancy on the flanks with Espanyol already seeking a replacement.

04 June 2008

Liverpool prepare improved £14m offer in battle for Barry

Andy Hunter
The Guardian,
Wednesday June 4 2008

Liverpool are to intensify efforts to prise Gareth Barry from Aston Villa by increasing their £10m offer to bring the England midfielder to Anfield. Their manager, Rafael Benítez, who is hoping to force through the sale of Xabi Alonso to Juventus before the European Championship commences this weekend, has been encouraged by Barry's public admission that he wishes to play in the Champions League and has instructed a second bid for the 27-year-old.
Liverpool had a complex offer of cash plus, in the words of Martin O'Neill, "a mishmash of nameless players in exchange", rejected out of hand by the Villa manager two days before the final game of the Premier League season. The timing of that offer, and particularly
Liverpool's willingness to make their approach public, infuriated O'Neill, who still hopes to commit his captain to a new long-term contract at Villa Park.
Speaking after England's friendly win against Trinidad & Tobago, Barry revealed he hoped to clarify his future with O'Neill this week. Even if Barry rejects an increase on his existing £47,000-a-week wage at Villa and an extension to a contract that has two years remaining, however, Benítez's hopes of a swift resolution to an acrimonious transfer appear optimistic.
Liverpool's initial £10m-rated bid fell short of O'Neill's valuation and while their second offer is expected to be worth in the region of £14m, again with players such as Scott Carson and John Arne Riise offered in exchange, Villa want closer to £18m.
Benítez is confident of swelling his transfer budget by holding out for £16m for Alonso, although that rests on the Spain international's desire to call time on his four-year Anfield career in favour of a move to Italy. Alonso has a five-year contract offer on the table from the Italian club, who had an initial bid for the midfielder rejected by Liverpool a fortnight ago. The 26-year-old would prefer a return to Spain but, in the absence of serious interest from his homeland, will have little option but to accept Juventus' offer.
One deal with fewer complications is Liverpool's pursuit of the Udinese left-back Andrea Dossena. Though the Italians want £8m for the 26-year-old and Liverpool initially offered £6m, the defender is close to completing his move to Anfield.
Liverpool were reported last night to have approached Manchester City's chief executive, Alistair Mackintosh, regarding him moving to Anfield. The move would cast doubt on the future of Rick Parry, who was called upon to resign by the club's co-owner Tom Hicks last season.



The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish

The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish
If we have them now, say farewell to Arsenal, Man.U and Chelsea... if...