Reds close in on Remy, forward undergoes medical

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Liverpool are closing in on their fifth summer signing, with widespread reports claiming Loic Remy has flown to Boston to complete a medical ahead of his move to Anfield.


The Reds agreed a fee of £8.5million for the the Queens Park Rangers striker, who spent last season on loan at Newcastle, with reports suggesting a move could be completed by Thursday.

Loic Remy

Remy caught the eye following his arrival at Loftus Road for the second half of the 2012-13 season, however his goals could not keep Harry Redknapp’s side in the Premier League.


He spent last season on loan at Newcastle United, and proved himself capable of scoring consistently at Premier League level, firing 14 goals in a season that was disrupted by niggling injuries and a three match suspension.

His record of 14 goals in 26 appearances appears to have caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers, who has activated a release clause in his contract that states Remy can join a Champions League club for a fee of £8.5million.

The France international is now set to join the Reds on their pre season tour of the United States, however the boss refused to comment on possible new arrivals at his press conference in Boston yesterday.

“I shall not talk about speculation on any player until they have signed,” he said.

“I will talk about them when they are signed and have agreed to come in.”


Rodgers: Liverpool is bigger than Suarez

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Brendan Rodgers has backed his Liverpool side to move forward without Luis Suarez next season, whilst insisting there is no ill feeling towards the striker following his sale to Barcelona.

Suarez is currently appealing his four month ban from all football related activity following his bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Whilst Barcelona confirmed last week the forward as ‘100% a Barcelona player’, Rodgers explained that no single player is bigger than Liverpool as a club. Suarez/Rodgers

“Luis hasn’t let me or the club down at all – he gave everything for Liverpool,” Rodgers said.

“Of course there have been issues, but they’re in the past. He was a brilliant player for us and for me, and I will always see him as a good man and a good friend.


“It’s a shame he’s not here but Liverpool, as a club, is bigger than any individual and we will move forward without him.

“It’s really exciting going into this season. We’ve qualified for the Champions League and brought in some good players. Hopefully we’ll progress.”

Rodgers also had words of praise for Reds skipper Steven Gerrard, who announced his retirement from international football on Monday.

And the boss reckons his decision will prove beneficial for Liverpool in their hunt for silverware this season.

“I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with Steven and I know how much it means to him to play for and captain England – he was a wonderful captain,” the Reds boss said. “But Liverpool means everything to him and there’s certainly no doubt missing out on international football means he will be fresher and at his optimum level as often as possible for us.”

Henderson: Gerrard is the countries greatest

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Jordan Henderson described Steven Gerrard as ‘the best player the country has ever seen’ following the Liverpool captain’s retirement from international football.

Gerrard brought the curtain down on a 14-year England career yesterday, citing Liverpool’s return to Champions League football as a major factor.

And Henderson has played a glowing tribute to the man who has captained him at both club and international level following the 34-year-old’s announcement.

Gerrard/Henderson

He told the clubs official website : “He’s probably been the best player this country has ever seen – not only as a player, but also as a leader and a captain.

“For me, playing with him is a pleasure and hopefully I can continue to do so for a very long time at Liverpool.

“For England supporters, it’s disappointing because he’s such a big player, but at the same time, for Liverpool fans it’s a big plus because it means he’ll be fresher and can have more breaks when internationals are on – and he’ll be raring to go.”


Henderson added: “He’s still got a huge part to play [at Liverpool]. That’s probably swayed his decision in terms of being fresh for the Champions League. He wants to make sure he’s 100 per cent in every game for the club.

“That is what will have been playing on his mind, and he’ll have a huge impact this season.”

“I’ve always said since day one since I came here, he’s helped me progress as a player and as a person as well.

“I’ve got a lot of thanks to give to him for that.

“Going away with England, he made it very comfortable for me – along with many other players as well. I’m sure everyone will miss that.

“It’s time for the [England] players to take responsibility and step up.”

 

Gerrard retires from international football

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Steven Gerrard has retired from international football, having won 114 caps for England over a period of 14 years.

The Liverpool and now former England captain, represented the three lions at three World Cups – 2006, 2010 and most recently 2014 – as well as three European Championships in 2000, 2004 and 2012.

After making his debut against Ukraine in 2000, Gerrard went on to become the third most capped player in England’s history, with 38 of the 114 coming as captain.

Gerrard - England The Liverpool skipper will now continue his association with the FA through an ambassadorial role.

Explaining the decision, Gerrard said: “I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again.

“However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward. “I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I’ve played under to the staff at the FA and, of course, all the players I’ve been fortunate to play alongside.

“In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results.

“I’d especially like to thank Roy [Hodgson], firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream.

“He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard. ”

This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.

“Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.

“To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club, I believe this is the right decision and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.”

England boss Roy Hodgson paid a glowing tribute to man he handed the captaincy to, following his appointment as England boss in 2012.

“While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country,” he said.

“I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.

“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard.

“He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him.

“We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players. I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward.”

Suso wants to force his way into first team plans

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Suso says he hopes to stay and force his way into Brendan Rodgers first team plans this season, having scored a fine goal in the 2-1 win over Preston in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

The Spanish youngster spent last season on loan with Almeria, and impressed with his performances.

And whilst the Reds continue to strengthen the squad with new signings, Suso remains hopeful he will have a part to play next season.

Suso

“I really want to be here and play for Liverpool and I’m trying to do my best every day in training and show the manager what I’m capable of,” Suso told the club’s official website.

“I learned a lot during my loan spell and I was playing regular football. I’m not really a young player anymore so I’ve got more responsibilities now and I will work as hard as I can to try and get a chance.”

Suso was delighted to register his first goal for Liverpool in the 2-1 victory at Deepdale.

“It was a very nice moment for me,” added Suso.

“I’ve been waiting a very long time to score a goal and I’m happy. The team put in a good performance and we have to be happy.

“I’ve been waiting so long now to score a goal for Liverpool. Last season while I was on loan in Spain I was watching Liverpool play on the TV and wanting to score a goal for them and now I’ve got one.”

Wisdom set for West Brom loan

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Andre Wisdom is set to join West Brom Albion on loan for the 2014-15 season, in order to get regular first team football at Premier League level.

The 21-year-old impressed during a season long loan with Derby County last season, and Brendan Rodgers has confirmed he will be looking to continue his development at the Hawthorns next season, following the Reds 2-1 win over Preston on Saturday.

Andre Wisdom

“After today, Andre is going to go on loan to West Brom,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s official website. “He had a very successful period at Derby last year, he did very well under Steve McClaren.

“He now has the opportunity to go to another very good coach in Alan Irvine, who I know from my youth days. He is an excellent coach and West Brom are an excellent club.

“West Brom have been a rising club for the last few years in the Premier League. He’ll go there and it will be another chance for his education and development to continue.

“He’ll join up with them sooner rather than later and spend the season there on loan. That will be another step for him in his development, playing regularly in the Premier League.”

Fowler confirmed as club ambassador

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Robbie Fowler has taken the next step in his distinguished career with Liverpool, after being confirmed as an official ambassador for the club.

The Toxteth born forward joined the Reds academy at the age of nine, and went on to become one of the greatest strikers in the clubs history.

Fowler

Having lifted the League Cup in 1995, Fowler was a part of the squad that lifted the historic cup treble in 2001, scoring in the UEFA Cup final win over Alves in Dortmund.

Fowler was sold to Leeds for £11million the following season, but made an emotional return to the club in January 2006.

He went on to play another 18 months for his beloved Reds, and ended up surpassing Kenny Dalglish in the Reds scoring charts, leaving with a record of 183 goals in 369 appearances.

His new role as club ambassador will see Fowler attend matches, support club initiatives, work with commercial partners and work as a mentor back at the Academy.

“Liverpool has been a massive part of my life for 30 years now,” the 39-year-old commented. “It’s been an honour to play for this club and it’s even more of a privilege to be asked to be an ambassador.

“I’m looking forward to representing this great club and will do all I can to support success both on and off the pitch.”

 

Boss offers the latest on recruitment plans

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Brendan Rodgers is delighted with the transfer business conducted by the club this summer, and has vowed to continue to strengthen should the right type of player become available.

The boss has recruited England international’s Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as talented youngsters Emre Can and Lazar Markovic. And with Champions League football on the horizon next term, Rodgers says there is work going on behind the scenes in order to strengthen the squad further. Man of the season - Brendan Rodgers

“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 as strong a squad as possible,” said the manager.

“We are getting the right type of player in. But 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.”

The Reds fired 101 goals over the course of the 2013-14 Premier League season, but have lost 31 goal striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Rodgers says he is looking to bring in players that can help spread the goalscoring across the team.

He said: “In the times Daniel [Sturridge] has 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.

“When I came in, people talked about how Luis didn’t score regularly, how he didn’t get enough opportunities or take them. In the last two years we’ve proved with the number of chances we create 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.”

Rodgers: I’ve seen development already

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Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool will improve upon their performances of last season, saying he has already seen development in the clubs group of young players over the early stages of pre-season. Speaking after the Reds 2-1 defeat to Brondby in Denmark, Rodgers backed his team to progress in his third season at the helm. Brendan Rodgers

“We’ll go and do our best,” the boss responded when asked about August’s season start, his third at the helm. “Our best last year nearly won us the title.

“This year, we know it’s going to be extremely competitive. Every team will strengthen and we’ll be exactly the same. But the beauty for us is that we’re a young group and we’re bringing in young players that are hungry.

“We will progress again from last season. It’s going to be a really exciting season. I’ve seen development in the players already in the short period of time that we’ve been back. This season we have the belief to go along with the quality. “We want to improve and continually improve. We’re working very hard behind the scenes, as we always do, in terms of getting the best quality players into the club. “It’s looking at the players that can come in and add the goals and add to our game. That’s something that we will always look to continue to do at the club.”

The boss was able to use all of his 23-man squad during the pre-season defeat, and had words of praise for Jordan Ibe in particular. The 18-year-old winger put in an eye catching display, and created the goal for Kristoffer Peterson with a superb run.

Rodgers reveals Agger remains a part of his plans

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Brendan Rodgers took time out following Liverpool’s pre-season defeat to Brondby, to reveal Daniel Agger remains very much a part of his plans at Anfield, despite the reported interest in Southampton defender Dejan Lovren.

Agger has been consistently linked with a move away from Liverpool, after struggling to hold down a regular first team place in Rodgers’ side last season.

The Dane admitted at the end of the season he does not want to continue as a third choice centre back, whilst the potential arrival of Lovren may see him fall further down the pecking order. Daniel Agger

But Rodgers was keen to stress that the 29-year-old remains a key part of his plans.

“Agger is one of the best players we have. He has been unlucky because he has been plagued by injuries last season,” Rodgers said.

“He is a good player, he is experienced and we can use that in the upcoming season.

“He has been out injured for a number of games – some of that has just been unfortunate. He’s an excellent player, an international captain and he’s had a very good career at Liverpool.

“Daniel has signed a contract with us [which expires in June 2016] and he showed in the first half, what an excellent player he is,” he added.

Agger has previously attracted attention from Barcelona, but has always stated he would remain at Liverpool for as long as the club want him.