Sunday, July 20, 2014

Will the Reds go the same way as Spurs?

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson believes the Reds will get it right this summer when spending a record £100million.

Tottenham enjoyed a similar luxury after selling Gareth Bale last summer although their spending did not work on improving the team but Lawrenson doesn’t think Brendan Rodgers will make the same mistakes after letting Luis Suarez leave.

“Spending £100million for the first time in the club’s history is a huge statement,” Lawrenson wrote in the Liverpool Echo.

“I know some will point to the splurge from Tottenham after they sold Gareth Bale last summer as cause for concern but Liverpool’s situation is different.

“We’ve signed four so far and yes seven or eight in total will change the dynamic of the dressing room so that is something to be wary about.

“But Spurs just went on a spending spree.

“There was no definitive plan, no idea of who was going to play in what a position and they just signed players to try and replace Bale.

“Liverpool are different.

“Brendan has implemented a definitive style of play and the squad was so good last year that he won’t sign players for the sake of it.

“Every single player brought in will have an assigned role and there is still plenty of time for Brendan to get the right players for the Reds.”

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Borini to be offloaded to Sunderland...Good Deal for Liverpool!!!

GUS POYET has confirmed Sunderland are waiting to discuss personal terms with Fabio Borini after agreeing a fee for the Liverpool striker.

Sunderland took a big step towards re-signing last season’s loan success Borini yesterday when they agreed a fee of £14million with Liverpool for the Italian.

And after today’s opening pre-season friendly against Darlington 1883, Poyet confirmed that Sunderland are now just waiting to hold talks with Borini himself, although the 23-year-old is thought to be keen on a return to the Stadium of Light.

“What I can say is that we have agreed (a deal) with Liverpool, we are waiting for correspondence and then we move on from there,” said Poyet after Sunderland’s 5-1 victory against the Quakers.

“It’s clear the impact Fabio had last season.

“And we are going to spend that amount of money on a player that we know how much he can give us.

“He would be perfect for us.

“It’s an ongoing thing.

“We have done the steps that we needed to do properly, and now we are waiting. We want to do things the right way.”

Borini finished Sunderland’s joint-top scorer last season with 10 goals and the Black Cats have been in talks with Liverpool throughout the summer.

And despite handing Borini a start in Liverpool’s friendly with Preston today, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the former Chelsea youngster’s likely departure.

“He spent a really successful period with Sunderland last year and it’s obviously a fantastic club,” said Rodgers.

“They’ve offered to buy Fabio and that’s where it’s at.

“There is an agreement between the two clubs, but nothing is agreed with the player as of yet.

“So at the moment he’s still very much a Liverpool player, but when that changes I’m sure you’ll be among the first to know.”

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Is this ex-Red on his way back?

Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has sparked speculation that he could make a return to the club after posting on his official Twitter account that he was on his way to Merseyside.

The 27-year-old still remains a popular figure among the Liverpool faithful after proving to be a useful squad player during his four years at the club.

Since leaving the Reds in 2011 the Holland forward has since gone on to play for 1889 Hoffenheim and Ajax, as well as his current side Kasımpaşa S.K.

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Liverpool win against Preston (Video Highlights)

Liverpool came from behind to beat League One side Preston North End on Saturday. It was their first friendly victory of the preseason, after falling 2-1 to a late strike from Danish team Brondby.

It looked as though this preseason match might turn out much the same. Preston grabbed a goal late in the first half, with Josh Brownhill tapping in.

Rickie Lambert made his senior debut for Liverpool, just 22 years after joining the academy. Emre Can was impressive in midfield, but lasted just twenty minutes in his first appearance for the Reds, coming off with a calf strain and replaced by Jordon Ibe.

Then Brendan Rodgers rang the changes: Suso and Jack Robinson came on to start the second. Lloyd Jones, Sebastian Coates, Conor Coady, Krisztian Adorjan, Jordan Rossiter, Kristoffer Peterson and Kevin Stewart were all introduced in later in the half.

It was Ibe, however, that proved the difference maker. The 18-year-old created both goals for Liverpool, setting up Suso for the equalizer in the 74th minute, and then Kristoffer Peterson three minutes later for the winner. Suso’s finish on the first was particularly lovely, a curling strike into the net.

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Have Liverpool made a mistake by not signing highly rated striker?

Juventus have announced the signing of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for 20 million euros. Should have liverpool signed him?

On Friday, Morata flew to Turin to undergo a medical with the Serie A champions ahead of penning a five-year contract on Saturday.

Juventus will pay 20 million euros to Real over a period of three years, while the Spanish club have the option to buy back the 21-year-old for a fee up to 30 million euros at the end of the 2015-16 or 2016-17 seasons.

The Spain under-21 international scored eight goals in 23 Primera Division appearances for Champions League winners Real.

Morata will link up with new Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, who is planning for the 2014-15 season after recently replacing Antonio Conte at the helm.

"Juve are one of the best clubs in the world, and the best in Italy," Morata said through Juventus' official Twitter account. "I am keen to contribute to the pursuit of further success.

"I've spoken to Allegri and I have a strong desire to get to work. I've wanted to play for Juve for a long time and the club have always shown a strong interest in me.

"I feel ready. I know it will be hard, but I'm ready to tackle Serie A head on.''

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Liverpool looking at the Real deal

The promising Spaniard could be sold as Carlo Ancelotti's side are looking to make room for the Colombia international, with Liverpool keen to lure him to England

Real Madrid are ready to cash in on Isco this summer as they are looking to generate funds for Monaco star James Rodriguez, with Liverpool sitting in pole position to sign the former Malaga star.

The Liga giants are close to an agreement with the Ligue 1 side for the Colombia international and Isco could be sacrificed as Carlo Ancelotti aims to trim his bulging squad ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

Monaco had informed Madrid that it would take a mega €90 million bid to land James - a figure that president Florentino Perez would be willing to pay as he looks to land his marquee Galactico signing.

With Toni Kroos having already arrived from Bayern Munich, Madrid are keen to offload some fringe players first, though.

Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria have both been heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu side, but Madrid are keen to hold on to the Germany international - irrespective of interest from Arsenal and Chelsea - while they are only willing to let go of Di Maria if an offer in the region of €60 million comes in.

Isco is therefore the most likely of Madrid's talented set of midfielders to be moved on and Liverpool and Manchester City, who have a long-standing interest in the Spaniard, are closely monitoring the situation.

Manuel Pellegrini's side would be more interested in a loan deal, however, leaving Liverpool in pole position for the gifted midfielder, who only joined Madrid from Malaga last year.

The former Malaga star, who can operate in any position behind the central striker, is not keen on a bit-part role behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James and could be attracted by the prospect of becoming Liverpool's main man following the departure of Suarez.

The 22-year-old has a contract with Madrid until June 2018.

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Rodgers eyeing top players to replace Suarez

Brendan Rodgers wants a massive signing as the club look to spend big on their squad, including moves for Loic Remy, Dejan Lovren and Ben Davies

Liverpool will smash through the £100million spending barrier in a single summer this year for the first time in the club's history.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has already spent £60m and still has QPR striker Loic Remy, Southampton defender Dejan Lovren and Ben Davies, the exciting young Swansea full-back, in his sights.

Rodgers will use the cash received from Barcelona for Luis Suarez to finance the Reds' next batch of moves, and said: “We are working hard behind the scenes to find players, but it will not be a direct replacement [for Suarez].

"We are looking for several players who can add to what we have and improve us again.”

Tottenham were destabilised last summer when they brought in seven players using the £85m Real Madrid paid for winger Gareth Bale.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas lost his job four months later, after the north London club failed to keep up with the title challengers and saw their Champions League qualification hopes fade too.

However, as Rodgers prepares to spend the Suarez money, he argued cashing in on the Uruguayan will only make Liverpool stronger because it offers them the chance to compete with domestic financial superpowers Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Northern Irishman, who steered the Kop club to a surprise second place last season, said: “Obviously, Luis going gives us the clout to go and spend more and we are getting the right type of player in.

“We certainly won’t spend just for the sake of spending. It has to be the sort of player who is going to improve us. But we will definitely be stronger this season - no doubt.”

The Anfield giants have already signed Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic this off-season, but appear certain to more than DOUBLE that outlay before the window closes at the end of August.

As well as Remy, Lovren and Davies, Rodgers will also target a top class midfielder - with names such as World Cup stars Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba on the radar.

Rodgers added: “The signings we have made have no relation to Luis going. Absolutely. These are players that were always earmarked to come in.

“We felt last year we just never had the depth, and we are in the Champions League this year, so we have to ensure we have a strong as squad as possible. That is what we will do, no question.”

Liverpool tried to use some of the Suarez cash to attract one of the real stars of the World Cup in Chile icon Alexis Sanchez, but the versatile Barcelona forward chose instead to join Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.

That has already provoked fears among some Reds fans that the club no longer has the allure to attract the top echelon of stars - men who have their pick of the world’s leading clubs.

Rodgers though, begs to differ.

He will show his intent by paying £20m for Lovren, and will also target Remy - who will be available for around £8m because of a clause in his contract - after accepting any pursuit of Swansea striker Wilfried Bony is simply too complicated.

He will also target a genuine big hitter in midfield, with even Germany’s Marco Reus on his wish list.

Rodgers argued that losing out on Sanchez to Arsene Wenger's Londoners was simply a question of location, location, location.

“I don’t think we will struggle to attract players,” he said. “Sanchez was one where geography dictated where he wanted to go, simple as that.

“It’s been the other way [too]. Lots of players are really impressed by what we are doing as club and really excited about coming here.

"It wasn’t a lack of ambition, far from it. The player and his family simply wanted to choose to live where they did.

"He’s a fantastic player. He would have suited us. His profile would’ve been great. But it was not to be and we move on.”

That is exactly what Liverpool will do as they adjust to life after Suarez, and the Anfield manager will calmly go about the business of replacing a man who provided the impetus for a sustained title challenge with 31 goals last season.

He will not though, obsess over a search for a direct replacement, but instead try to spread the goalscoring burden throughout his new signings.

Remy is an attractive target because his proven Premier League track record almost guarantees 20 goals a season.

And with Lambert and Lallana also proven top-flight scorers, Rodgers is confident his side will have the firepower and creativity to thrive without Suarez - especially as Daniel Sturridge showed during England's brief World Cup campaign that he's now nudging towards the elite level.

“In the times Daniel’s played up there without Luis, he has shown his qualities, but the onus is not really on one player - the strength of us has been the team,” he explained.

“When I came in here, Luis was talked of as someone who didn’t score regularly, didn’t get enough opportunities - or take them. Over the last two years, he proved that with the number of chances we created, you can get goals.

“But it is not just about him. We scored 101 goals last season and he got 31 of them - we have goals all across the team and will bring in players we think can assist with making them.

“The club will be stronger without him - absolutely."

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