Downing leaves for West Ham

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Liverpool Football Club has today confirmed that Stewart Downing has left to join West Ham United on a four year contract after completing his medical and signing the deal.


downing3The 29 year old former England international signed from Aston Villa for £20m in the Summer of 2011 and leaves for a fraction of that figure with a £6m fee being reported as the price tag for his services.


Downing played in ninety-one games for the club and scored seven goals during that time. He famously failed to contribute a single goal or assist in his first Premiership season with the club.

The highlight of his time at Anfield is the League Cup final of 2012 where Downing was named man of the match and scored a penalty in the shootout, helping the club to lift the trophy.

He will link up with former team-mates Andy Carroll and Joe Cole, who have both also signed for West Ham this year.


Downing set for West Ham move

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downing2It is being reported this morning that Stewart Downing is undergoing at medical with fellow Premiership side West Ham United after a fee, said to be around £5m, was agreed with the club.


Downing has struggled to make an impact at Anfield since arriving from Aston Villa for £20m in the Summer of 2011 as one of Kenny Dalglish’s signings – and he will join another in Andy Carroll should he complete his switch. He would link up with two other former Reds at Upton Park in Joe Cole and Alou Diarra.

Downing notably failed to notch a single goal or assist in the Premiership in his first season with Liverpool, but he managed a total of seven goals in all competitions in his two seasons with the club.

Agger interested in Barcelona move?

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Daniel Agger’s agent has confirmed that Barcelona are interested in his client – and the defender could be interested in making a switch to Spain.

“We are aware that Barcelona have made an offer for Daniel that Liverpool have rejected. Daniel has a contract with Liverpool for three years and it would be up to the clubs to agree a fee for his transfer in order for that to change,” Per Steffensen said.

It has been reported by The Guardian that the Spanish champions have made an offer of just under £15m, which has been rejected by Liverpool – but they are expected to come back with an increased bid.

The Spanish side are desperate to sign a centre back this Summer with club captain Carles Puyol now 35 and suffering more frequently with injury. Gerard Pique, Puyol’s usual partner, is their only other established centre-back with former Red Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Sergio Busquets often required to fill in. Marc Muniesa has recently transferred to Stoke City.


aggerNew Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has prioritised signing a central defender and has reportedly seen a £35m offer for Chelsea’s Brazilian stopper David Luiz rejected – and Agger is seen as a more realistic target by the Camp Nou hierarchy.

Brendan Rodgers, who last week appointed Agger as vice captain, expects the Dane to remain loyal to the club.

“This is all about loyalty. He’s obviously a world-class defender. Daniel is very committed to Liverpool; he’s one of the players that have really impressed me. If we’re talking about loyalty, he was one of the first players that I spoke to when I became the manager,” he said.

“At the time, there were a number of big clubs looking to sign Daniel. But he gave me his word that for as long as I wanted him to be at Liverpool, he would be at Liverpool. He has never swayed from that,” he added.

Rodgers looking to fix Suarez situation

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Brendan Rodgers has said that he will do what he can to fix the situation between the club and wantaway striker Luis Suarez.

The Uruguay international has been training with the reserves and alone since publicly admitting that he wants to leave Anfield and move to a Champions League club, with Arsenal having two bids rejected. He has also claimed that the club have gone back on their word that he could leave this Summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League themselves.

lsRodgers has taken a hard line approach to Suarez and has publicly demanded an apology from the striker, something the 26 year old is reportedly refusing to do.

But the Liverpool manager seems to be patient in waiting for Suarez to come round to the idea that he will not be allowed to leave Anfield this Summer.

“It is something that we have to do everything we can to fix,” Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com

“If we have got to sit and wait, then so be it. But this is a club that has got great values, and we hope that the situation can be resolved amicably, and I am sure it will be.

“There has been a lot said and a lot reported, and we have made a stance, as a club and as a manager, of the commitment and the standards required.

“If you don’t have that commitment and those standards then you won’t play. It’s as simple as that.

“There’s no problem between me and him, it is quite calm. But obviously I have got to respect the club and the team.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, if they’re not pulling their weight then they are letting down the club, the city and everyone who has stood by them.

“So until I get that assurance that we are going to get nothing but 100 per cent commitment, then there will be no solution.”

Rodgers gives updates on Costa and Cissokho

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Brendan Rodgers has given updates on the reported moves for Diego Costa and Aly Cissokho today.

He told reporters that Atletico Madrid forward Costa has agreed a new deal with the Spanish side, which signals the end of the chase for the Reds manager.

coscisRodgers reported bid over £21m to activate a release clause in the Brazilian’s contract, but he has chosen to extend his deal with the Champions League side.

Rodgers is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail: “I believe Costa has signed an extension. There’s nothing in terms of players to add.

“We’ve signed players early on and we hope to sign some more before the end of the window. In the meantime, there’s nothing at the minute.”

“There’s nothing on the Cissokho story,” Rodgers added, after the Frenchman was quoted as saying he had agreed terms on a move to Anfield.

Agger named vice-captain

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Daniel Agger has been named by Brendan Rodgers as vice-captain for the coming season.

Many had thought that Lucas was set for the position, but the Liverpool manager has opted for the Danish centre-back to instead take up the role vacated by Jamie Carragher this summer.

aggerRodgers had taken his time over picking a successor to the 35-year-old, having narrowed the list down to a few candidates last month.

Speaking to LFC TV he said: “The job of the captain and vice-captain here at Liverpool is very, very important.

“I wanted to give myself time over the course of the pre-season to assess a number of the players and obviously Daniel was one of them.

“His loyalty and his passion for Liverpool is second to none. And if you add that on to his footballing qualities, then I think it’s a good choice for everybody.”

Agger was signed from Brondby by Rafa Benitez in January 2006 and has gone on to make a total of 209 appearances for the Reds, scoring 12 goals.

Following a succession of injuries in his early Liverpool career, the 28-year-old has become a regular feature in recent campaigns and played 35 league matches last season – his highest total since his arrival at the club.

‘Impossible for Suarez to leave’ – Taylor

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PFA chief Gordon Taylor says it will be “practically impossible” for Luis Suarez to leave Liverpool this month, after the striker was told to train alone by manager Brendan Rodgers.

“With the transfer window expiring, the difficulties of not only selling him to a competitor but also replacing him makes it practically impossible,” Taylor said.

Arsenal have had two bids rejected by the club, the last just a pound over £40m – a figure Suarez believed would enable him to be released from his contract to tie up a move to the North London club.

“I think it really muddies the waters to have buy-out clauses that are supposed to be confidential between employer and employee,” Taylor told BBC Sport.

suarez7“Inevitably that gets out. The drafting of such clauses are far from straightforward.

“These are issues we are going to have to raise with the Premier League at our regular discussions.”

With just a few weeks left of the Summer transfer window, club owner John W Henry has spoken out and declared that Suarez will not be sold – to Arsenal or any other club.

“Suarez won’t be sold, even if a foreign club comes in, because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement,” Henry said.

Henry has previously informed Suarez and his representatives that a move would need to be completed early in the window to enable Rodgers to find a suitable replacement. And the manager is not impressed with Suarez’s behaviour and his recent outburst about being denied a move.

“The manager is upset, as he should be. The supporters are upset, Luis is, but that’s going to be between those two and his team-mates. We need Luis. Hopefully this will pass.” Henry concluded.

Spearing set for Bolton switch

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Jay Spearing has reportedly agreed a four-year deal to join Bolton from Liverpool. The fee is believed to be around £1.4m.

Spearing held talks and underwent a medical at Bolton on Thursday after they agreed an undisclosed fee with Liverpool for the midfielder who spent last season on loan with them.

The diminutive midfielder came through the youth system at Liverpool and 55 appearances for his beloved club.

He is set to go straight into Dougie Freedman’s squad for Bolton’s fixture against Reading this weekend.

 

‘Suarez will not be sold’ says Henry

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Club owner John W Henry has criticised Arsenal over their pursuit of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

He also told Suarez, and Arsenal, that the Uruguayan will not be sold to the North London club – and nor will he be going to anyone else in this transfer window as there is no time to sign a suitable replacement.

The saga of whether Suarez will remain at Liverpool has dragged on all summer, and even the best in play betting site must have struggled to keep up as new stories virtually every day changed the odds on the forward’s employers for next season.

henryArsenal made a bid of £40,000,001 late in July in the belief that it would trigger a release clause in Suarez’s contract, but Liverpool and the PFA have confirmed that this clause is not part of the striker’s deal with the club.

Throughout the speculation, Brendan Rodgers has remained defiant when questioned over the frontman and has told the press on several occasions that the forward is not for sale – and that has been backed up big time by his club owner.

A statement from Suarez this week was the first we had heard directly from the player himself – with the Uruguayan insisting he wanted Champions League football – but Henry was quick to counter speculation that Liverpool were now ready to sell.

“I’m unequivocal that we won’t sell to Arsenal, whatever the bid is. I have not said it to Stan [Kroenke, Arsenal’s majority shareholder] but I had a personal conversation with others at Arsenal and told him [Gazidis] we would not sell to Arsenal,” He told the Guardian.

It was thought that the stumbling block was Liverpool’s reluctance to sell to a rival, but with less than four weeks left of the transfer window Henry is insistent that offers from foreign clubs will also be rejected.

“He won’t be sold even if a foreign club comes in because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement. It’s a football reason. It’s not about finances,” Henry added.

“Players usually want to win. They want to go, generally in any sport, where they can win. That’s why I think this particular episode is misguided. We’ve won more trophies than Arsenal, but I really don’t want to get into that,”

Finally, Henry also revealed his disappointment that confidential details of the contract between Suarez and Liverpool were made public.

“How does a club who doesn’t have permission to speak with your player see his contract? It should have been confidential,” Henry said.

“Unfortunately it’s the way it works in football. It’s rotten,” he concluded.

Suarez: I want to join Champions League club

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Luis Suarez has finally spoken out and said that he wants to leave Liverpool and join a side which is in the Champions League.

Suarez told the Guardian and Daily Telegraph that the Reds “promised” him he would be allowed to leave Anfield this Summer if the club did not manage to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition.

“I gave absolutely everything last season. Now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement,” he said.suarez

“Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I’d be allowed to go.”

Arsenal have made two bids for him so far, the latest being an offer of £40m plus £1 in the belief it would trigger a release clause in his contract.

Liverpool, who do not believe Suarez has a release clause, have rejected the bid and told Arsenal that Suarez is not for sale.

But Suarez seems insistent on forcing a move away from Anfield.

“I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it,” he said.

“I don’t feel betrayed but the club promised me something a year ago, just as I promised them that I would stay and try everything possible to get us into the Champions League.”