West Ham play down Downing talk


West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald has played down talk of West Ham moving for Stewart Downing – but has said that he rates the winger highly.

lsReports surfaced earlier this week claiming that West Ham were readying an £8m bid for the England international.

Downing signed for Liverpool in the Summer of 2011 and has endured a difficult couple of seasons at Anfield. He failed to register a single goal or assist in the league in his first season and was told by Brendan Rodgers that he was free to leave early last season before claiming a regular role on the right flank for the team.

Sam Allardyce is said to be in the market for wingers to provide ammunition for new signing Andy Carroll, a previous signing from Liverpool this Summer. Downing was said to have been signed by Kenny Dalglish to provide crosses for Carroll, but they never got going together.

Although McDonald says they would like to have Downing at Upton Park, he said that talk of a move is premature.

“He’s a very good player,” he told talkSPORT. “A player of that calibre and West Ham being involved would be great, but it’s all paper talk at the moment.”

Ngoo joins Yeovil on loan


lsLiverpool rookie Michael Ngoo has joined Yeovil on loan for the upcoming 2013/14 season.

The twenty year old striker spent last season on loan at Scottish Premier League side Hearts and Brendan Rodgers has decided to send him out for a full season to gain more first team experience.

He will now have the opportunity to test himself in the Championship, as Yeovil were promoted via the League One play-offs in May.

Suarez pleased by Arsenal interest


Luis Suarez has said that he is happy to be linked with the likes of Arsenal and that Liverpool “know exactly what I want”.

lsBrendan Rodgers and Ian Ayre both met with Suarez’s agent, Pere Guardiola, on Monday to discuss his situation and it was made clear to them that the Uruguayan is still looking for a move away from Anfield to a Champions League club.

And now the forward has said he is pleased to be linked with a switch to Premiership rivals Arsenal:

“It’s good to know that I am still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea,” Suarez told Uruguayan radio station Sport 890.

“Don’t believe everything you read or hear! I am sometimes off the grid. I don’t even know where my phone is sometimes.”

“There have been no offers yet but Liverpool know exactly what is going on and what I want.”

Despite Suarez saying “it was time for a change” and how it would be “difficult to say no” to Real Madrid in May, the club have yet to speak to Suarez himself and hear from him that he wants to move on from Anfield.

Arsenal’s £30m bid was flatly rejected last week and the club are expecting further offers from interested parties with Chelsea, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Napoli and Atletico Madrid all linked in the media.

Cissokho talks up Liverpool interest


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.