Cissokho talks up Liverpool interest

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France international left back Aly Cissokho has welcomed talk of a move to Liverpool.


acThere have been several reports linking the defender with a move to Anfield in recent years and some are now claiming that a move could materialise for the full back at last.

The twenty-five year old was strongly linked while playing for French club Lyon, but no move was made by Liverpool and he made the switch to La Liga club Valencia.

Valencia are now suffering financially and could be forced into a fire sale this Summer, which could see Cissokho available for a knock down fee.


“I will not believe that I am going anywhere until I am in Liverpool and having a medical.” Cissokho said.

“Liverpool is such a great club, so to be linked with them is fantastic. But there is nothing concrete from anyone at the moment.”

“If there is an opportunity to join such a club, I will take it. Valencia are a great club, in a great city, but Liverpool are a legendary club.”

Brendan Rodgers has been looking to add depth and competition to his squad for the upcoming season and Cissokho would certainly be competition for Jose Enrique at left back.


Suarez still wants to leave says agent

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Pere Guardiola, Luis Suarez’s agent, has told the club that his client wishes to leave Anfield to play for a Champions League club.

Pere Guardiola went to Merseyside and held separate meetings with Brendan Rodgers and Ian Ayre yesterday, which were planned and understood to be amicable.

suarezRodgers and Ayre both informed Guardiola that they have not changed their outlook and want Suarez to remain with the club next season.

Suarez himself has not been shy in expressing his desire to move on from the club and sign for a Champions League side, with Real Madrid mentioned as his preferred destination this Summer.


But so far no move has come from the Spanish giants, who have recently appointed Carlo Ancelotti as manager – who is reported to be a big fan of the striker, having reportedly been interested in Suarez while in charge of both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal have opened the bidding for the striker, with a £30m bid rejected last week. Liverpool gave Arsene Wenger’s club a swift answer and informed them that Suarez is ‘not for sale’.

It has been reported that an offer closer to the £50m mark would be required for the club to sell Suarez – and preferably to a foreign club as well. And were Suarez to opt to join another Premiership side, it would make a mockery of his claims that he and his family have been victimised by the English media after a string of misdemeanours on the pitch in his time with the club.

Chelsea, now managed by Jose Mourinho, have also been linked with a move for the forward, but no bid has been made as of yet with them reported to be tracking Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani as well.

The saga continues.

Liverpool reject Arsenal bid for Suarez

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Liverpool have rejected a £30m bid from Arsenal for striker Luis Suarez.

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It is being widely reported that the north London club made the approach late last week and formally bid for the wantaway Uruguayan, who remains on holiday after the Confederations Cup.

Arsenal are yet to return with an improved offer after seeing their opener flatly turned down with Liverpool reported to want closer to £45m for their star man – despite the response being given to Arsenal of ‘Not for sale’.

Club officials have been expecting enquiries for the forward after he said he was tired of life in England and wanted to move on from Anfield. But no offers or approaches had been made until Arsenal made the call.

Suarez has publicly stated that Real Madrid is his preferred destination and despite Carlo Ancelotti being appointed manager there has been no approach from the Spanish giants.


The offer from Arsenal came amidst bookmakers suspending betting on Suarez moving to Arsenal after a flurry of betting activity in Barcelona, where punters were backing him to make the switch.

However, it seems that a move to Arsene Wenger’s side is highly unlikely. Liverpool seem unwilling to sanction a move to a Premiership rival and Suarez himself has said that he has had enough of the English media and that he and his family have been “suffering” thanks to the press.

Arsenal have been lining up a move for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain and the Spaniards could be waiting for him leave before opening negotiations for Suarez.

Suarez, who has three years remaining on his recently signed contract, has been given three extra weeks off by the club after the Confederations Cup and is due back at Melwood in a fortnight for preseason training.

He will miss the Indonesia leg of the pre-season tour the week prior to that, but he is expected to join the Reds squad for the friendlies in Australia and Thailand.

This is becoming one of the transfer sagas of the Summer.

Kelly happy to be back to fitness

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Martin Kelly has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of returning to the first-team squad after recovering from knee surgery after a tough injury suffered last season.

The defender was rising to prominence at the club and also for England, having been called up to Roy Hodgson’s European Championship squad.

“My knee feels perfect and I’m just glad to be back with the team for pre-season,” Kelly said.

“It’s been 10 months now so the knee has had more than enough time to heal. Now I just feel unfit, I don’t feel like I’ve had a big injury. I’ve put it behind me — that was last season, this is a new season.

“I’ve had the injuries and I know how to look after my body now ‐ making sure it gets the right rest and food,” the defender continued. “That’s going to stand me in good stead. I know what limits my body can take now.

“We have pushed it to the limits over the past eight months so it can withstand the demands of the Premier League. Fingers crossed this is the season when it all turns around for me and I get that little bit of luck so I can really push on.”

Mignolet happy with competition

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New signing Simon Mignolet has said that he is happy to compete with Pepe Reina and Brad Jones for the number one shirt at the club.

The Belgian international was signed from Sunderland late last month for a reported £9m fee.

“That’s always what has happened when there’s competition,” Mignolet said.

“I’ve had competition in Sunderland and in Belgium with the national team.

“It’s not only Pepe – there’s a lot of good goalies at Liverpool, like Brad Jones for example – and it’s not only the position of the goalie where there is competition. It’s every single position on the field.

“There are only 11 players who can play and it is something that is normal with being a football player. You have to deal with that. Competition can only make you as an individual better and let you perform better. It can only be a positive thing.

“From the talks I had with the manager and the goalkeeping coach I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get forward.

“The signings they’d already done before July showed they really wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big club.

“I know how big a club this is but I think I’m only going to feel it once the games get going. The first few training sessions went okay. I’m very happy to be here and train.”

Suso learns from cup exit

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Suso has said he will learn from his experience with the Spanish U20 side after they were knocked out of the competition by Uruguay.

The midfielder appeared in all five games for his country at the tournament and feels he will learn from his time there.

“I think we have to learn from every moment, from every point of the tournament,” he said.

“I think this will obviously be the biggest one, and it will be a learning experience for all of us.

“We got nine points in the groups, but in the knockout stages we came up against the toughest teams we could have, I think, in Mexico and Uruguay.

“This is football, and if you want to win a World Cup you have to beat the best teams. We tried to do that today, but luck just wasn’t on our side.

“I think we played some good football, but in the first half both teams were playing really well. However, Uruguay were waiting for us to come at them and defended, which made it difficult for us to work through them in the first half.

“In the second half, though, I think we were the better side; the only real chance they had from then on was from the corner where they scored.”

Rodgers set to miss out on target

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Brendan Rodgers looks set to have to admit defeat in his pursuit of Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

 

Shakhtar Donetsk have informed the club that they have granted the goalscoring attacker permission to discuss terms with German club Borussia Dortmund after they accepted a bid of £20.5m for him.
The Bundesliga side are in need of a replacement for Mario Gotze, who has moved to rivals Bayern Munich – who defeated their rivals in May’s Champions League final thanks to a winner from Arjen Robben.

It’s a big blow to Rodgers’ plans, as he had earmarked the twenty-four year old as a key cog in his team for next season’s assault on the Premiership top four.

Negotiations with the Ukrainian club had been ongoing and Liverpool seemed on course to beat off competition from Dortmund as well as from English rivals Tottenham Hotspur. But it now seems likely that Mkhitaryan will pen a five year contract with the German club.

Rodgers backs Mignolet

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Brendan Rodgers has said that he thinks Simon Mignolet’s move to Anfield can help him overhaul Thibaut Courtois as Belgium’s number one goalkeeper.

Mignolet, a £9m signing from Sunderland, has been signed to compete with Pepe Reina according to Rodgers.

The Kop boss believes that playing regularly at a higher level will help push the keeper above the Atletico Madrid custodian into the top spot for his national side. Mignolet played every game for Sunderland last season and will be hoping to match that for his new side.

“We’ve brought in Simon Mignolet, who’s one of the top young goalkeepers in Europe – he’s shown that at Sunderland over the last few years.

“He’s got great stature and I think he was player of the season at Sunderland and I really think he can improve on that talent.

“He’s part of the Belgian set-up and it’s really their golden era of players so him coming here will hopefully increase his opportunities there also.” he told the official club website.

Rodgers happy with ‘winner’ Toure

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Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his admiration for new signing Kolo Toure after the new defender’s first week in preseason training with his new team.

The Liverpool manager has said that he personally scouted Toure at several City games last season and was impressed with what he saw from the Ivory Coast international.

“I saw him play a lot of games last year,” Rodgers said. “I saw him play at Aston Villa and in a lot of other games and I thought he was Manchester City’s best player.

“Losing someone like Jamie Carragher was going to leave a massive hole for us in terms of his experience.

“Kolo’s experience is going to be really important for us – but not just that. He’s someone with a winning mentality.

“There weren’t too many available who were better than Kolo Toure. He’s played with big clubs, he understands what a winning mentality is about.

“He’s a good man as well – he knows what the culture is like at a big club.”

Toure, who will wear the number four shirt for the club, said: “I like to lead when I’m on the pitch, I like to speak to the players and organise things.

“I know Jamie Carragher left the club and that’s the reason why I’m here. He was massive for this club, he was a great professional and a great example for me. I will try to do what he did but I think that’s going to be really difficult.

“It adds pressure because it’s always hard to replace a big, big player like Jamie. But I’m looking forward to that. I like challenges.”

Gerrard urges youngsters to push on

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has urged the club’s young stars to step up their performances in the coming season to help establish themselves in the first-team squad.

The likes of Martin Kelly, Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso all played their part in the first-team last season and Gerrard is hoping to see more consistency from the Melwood graduates.

“You only get described as a young lad for a certain amount of time and then it’s time to become a man and perform on a consistent basis,” he said.

“Of course it’s a big season for every player we’ve got, but I think the supporters will be looking for the young lads to step up now, try to push people out of the way and become regulars in the team.”

The likes of Jack Robinson, who spent the end of last season on loan at Wolves, and Jon Flanagan will both be looking to push on after seeing their chances limited under Brendan Rodgers after both being used by previous manager Kenny Dalglish.

Jordan Ibe made it into the first-team for his debut against QPR on the final day of the season and he capped it off with an assist for Philippe Coutinho to shoot the winner on another home grown star’s final game as Jamie Carragher hung up his boots one last time.

Spanish youngster Luis Alberto has joined from Sevilla after an impressive loan season with Barcelona B and his arrival will mean that the likes of Ibe, Sterling and Suso will need to be on their toes to keep their positions in the pecking order in the coming season.