Mignolet is competition for Reina – not a replacement


article-0-18617ECF000005DC-282_306x423[1]Brendan Rodgers has stated that Simon Mignolet is not being signed to replace José Reina – but to provide competition for him.

Sunderland have reportedly accepted a bid from the club for the Belgian international.

Reina has been persistently linked with a return to Barcelona in recent months, but Rodgers has said that the Spaniard will not be leaving the club.

Rodgers told talkSPORT:“One of the things we’re trying to build is a competitive squad.

“Our squad was very thin last year and it was great being we were able to introduce a few young players from our academy that but it’s very important that we have competition in every position and that wasn’t always the case.

“Pepe Reina and I went out for a meal a couple of months before the end of the season and I told him exactly what we were going to do, which was to provide real competition in that area.

“He was fully aware of my intention of the course of the last few months. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to Pepe.

“Pepe is a fantastic goalkeeper but Simon Mignolet is a player that has done really well.

“He’s also part of an emerging Belgium squad that has come into a golden era. He’s very much a part of that.

“When you work with Pepe he’s a great man. A very committed man to the club and he’s an outstanding goalkeeper.”

Luis Alberto from Sevilla signs for 6.8 million


article-0-1A7334FC000005DC-112_634x604[1]Liverpool have signed Sevilla forward Luis Alberto on a long-term deal for a fee believed to be £6.8m.

The 20-year-old had been on loan at Barcelona B but the Spanish champions decided against taking up their option on the Spain Under-21 international, allowing Liverpool to step in.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said: “He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player.

“I look forward to working with him to develop his talent.”

Enrique backs Coutinho to Fire Liverpool into Top-four


Jose Enrique has insisted Philippe Coutinho has the ability to lead Liverpool back into the top-four in next season’s Premier League.

The Brazilian star made a significant impact at Anfield following his arrival from Inter Milan in January, and Liverpool fans will be rightly excited about the prospect of seeing what the playmaker can do during a full Premier League season for the club.

Another disappointing league campaign saw Liverpool finish well short of the Champions League places last season, much to the chagrin of fans hoping to cash-out on football bets, but Brendan Rogers’ team are expected to be a much improved side by the time the new season comes kicks off on August 17.


Enrique, who enjoyed an impressive run-in to the season after a slow start, has admitted he sees Coutinho playing a key role in Liverpool’s plans next season.

The Spanish defender says that the main target for the club will be making a return to the Champions League, backing the Brazilian schemer to be an integral part of the team’s hopes.

“Coutinho is a very special player. His vision and his passing is incredible and he’s an amazing lad as well. It was really good to have him in the team and he proved to be a great signing. For me, Coutinho was the best player in the Premier League in the second half of the season.”

“He’s still young and improving but I think he will be very important for us next season when we will fight to get into the top four. Hopefully he will help us achieve our target of the Champions League.”

Carra not surprised that Real Madrid interest Suarez


Jamie Carragher has warned the club not to get into a more difficult situation than the present one with wantaway striker Luis Suarez.

Carragher, who retired last month, believes there are some similarities between Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez in terms of desire to depart Anfield – but he also sees differences between the two frontmen.

The former Anfield defender, now Sky Sports pundit, believes that Suarez would not sulk like Torres were he denied a move this Summer and he believes he would continue to work for the team should he remain next season – and gain forgiveness from the terraces in the process.


Fernando Torres is not a popular man among most Reds after he was perceived to sulk and pout after not getting a move in the Summer of 2010, before he forced a move to Chelsea in January 2011.

“The thing about keeping unhappy players is an issue because we had that experience with Torres… and keeping him definitely wasn’t the right thing to do,” argued Carragher.

“Torres wasn’t the same player for about 18 months. He gave the impression of having downed tools – and that’s certainly what you don’t want.

“I do believe that Suarez is a slightly different character to Fernando Torres.

“There were times, I believe, Torres wasn’t giving his best on the pitch for Liverpool and that is why it was a mistake to keep him.

“I don’t think that will happen with Suarez, simply because of the player he is. But it is something you must be aware of.

“Obviously, it is a difficult situation if a player has had his head turned, but someone at the club would have to deal with it.”

Carragher accepts that Suarez has had his head turned by interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid, but he also feels that the striker cannot be blamed for this – and he thinks the club have been well aware for some time that interest would surface this Summer.

“Luis is one of the best players in the world and, when Real Madrid come calling, it will obviously turn a player’s head – he’s obviously had his head turned, but which player wouldn’t?” added Carragher.

“Liverpool would have known they were always going to be in this situation, with other clubs calling for Luis Suarez this summer.

“If you were honest, Luis Suarez is playing in a team that finished seventh in the Premier League, but he is one of the best players in the world.

“It would be pretty naive to think that no club would be interested in him. Madrid are probably the most famous club in world football – and, let’s not forget, they took Cristiano Ronaldo from a Manchester United side that had just been in the Champions League final.”

Carragher believes that the club are in a strong bargaining position should they ultimately decide to sell their star man.

“Liverpool just can’t roll over and accept Luis Suarez will leave, but if he goes, they must get top dollar for him.

“If he was to be sold, it would be up to the club to make sure that the money was spent in the right way, after maybe not doing that after Torres went.

“They have to be decisive. They either wait for a bid they think is acceptable or they decide to keep him because he is Liverpool’s best player and they want to build a team around him.

“Whichever way, they need to act. If you lose a player late, it’s very hard to replace him at that stage of the window.

“I think the club has learned from the fiasco of the transfer deadline day last season and they won’t be caught in that situation again.”

Carroll Completes West Ham Move


After a successful medical, Andy Carroll has completed his permanent transfer to West Ham United after spending almost an entire year there on loan.

Andy Carroll

Kenny Dalglish signed Carroll in 2011 from Newcastle United for a record £35 million, but the transfer proved to be less than astonishing as Carroll made 58 appearances for The Reds, and scored 11 times.

The transfer fee was said to be in the range of £15 million and the former Newcastle striker’s contract is set to last six years.

Carroll currently has a heel injury that could delay the start of his 2013-14 season.

Carroll undergoing West Ham medical


Andy Carroll is undergoing a medical with West Ham ahead of his proposed £15m permanent switch to Upton Park.

The 24 year old striker spent last season on loan with the Hammers and scored seven times in 24 league appearances for Sam Allardyce’s side.

West Ham’s £15m bid was accepted a month or so ago, but Carroll stalled on making a decision on whether to accept the deal or not. It is believed he wanted to see if he had a chance to resurrect his Anfield career or return to former club Newcastle United._68245079_carroll_getty2[1]

Carroll’s medical results may not be conclusive today, which might see the deal announced tomorrow morning or possibly later.

The tall frontman commanded a £35m fee when he left St James’ Park for Anfield in January 2011, but he never managed to come close to living up to the inflated price tag.

He only managed two goals, which both came in the same game against Manchester City, in the remainder of that season for the club and then scored just four league goals in the 2011/12 season.

The manager who signed him, Kenny Dalglish, was then sacked in May 2012 and his replacement, Brendan Rodgers, instantly seemed unlikely to want the England striker to stick around. He was loaned to West Ham at the end of the transfer window and seemed to enjoy their style of play.

Iago Aspas deal agreed


Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle to sign striker Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo, subject to paperwork being completed.

The 25-year-old – who can play on the wing as well as through the middle – started out with the youth setup at the Spanish club before breaking into the first team in 2009. He had been a shining star in a poor season for Celta Vigo – scoring 12 goals in 34 games in 2012-13.

The Reds are considered outsiders for the league title next season but are listed at 3-1 with Unibet to get back into the Champions League, and Aspas last week spoke of his desire to help them achieve that goal.Iago-Aspas-1921458[1]

It is reported he rejected late offers from other clubs in favour of a switch to Anfield. Speaking to Spanish media outlet Marca he said:

“Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world and although I had offers from Italy and Portugal and other countries I decided my future was in English football.”

As a non-English speaker the language barrier could be an issue initially, but with the deal being struck early in the transfer window the forward has a couple of months to prepare, and will be looking to his new team mates for help.

“I hope I will get help from Pepe Reina, Suso, Dani Pacheco, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Leiva and Jose Enrique,” he added.

Aspas underwent a medical on Merseyside this week but returned to Spain without completing the deal, citing “bureaucratic reasons” as the reason for the delay. These issues now appear to have been overcome with the player set to put pen to paper.

He will become the Reds second signing of the summer, following the recent deal to secure the services of Kolo Toure from Manchester City.

Rodgers confident of top four challenge


Brendan Rodgers has told the media that he is confident his Liverpool squad can compete for a top four spot next season.

After losing the experience of Jamie Carragher already this Summer, Rodgers has added 32 year old Kolo Toure on a free transfer to try and replace some of that wisdom in the backline.

And with the impact of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in January a massive boost to the young manager, he will be hoping that Toure and Iago Aspas, who looks set to sign this week, can replicate that in the new season.


“I’m not here to be comfortable, to sit and earn the money and just enjoy being Liverpool manager,” Rodgers told reporters.

“There’s a pressure that comes with it and I believe we’re in a much better place to challenge [for the top four] now. I think we can do it – I believe we have built a real good base this year.

“Of course, it will be a tough ask because, as we improve, other clubs will have masses more money to do so as well. But it’s not my job to look for excuses, I have to find the solutions to try to push us in there – and I believe we won’t be too far away.

“I believe we will improve again – and we have to because we want to sustain a challenge and aim higher every season.”

Skrtel: Reds more than a match for big 5


Liverpool centre-half Martin Skrtel feels the Reds came out on top in their encounters with the Premier League’s high-flyers last season despite indifferent results.

Brendan Rodgers’ first term in charge at Anfield was plagued by inconsistency, although they lost only one of their final 12 league games to finish strongly and are now 15/8 in the Premier League top four finish odds with Paddy Power ahead of next season.

Liverpool’s points haul against the sides that finished in the top five was modest. They picked up eight points from a possible 30 – three against Tottenham Hotspur, two against Manchester City and Chelsea, and one against Arsenal. Eventual champions Manchester United did the double over the Reds.martin-skrtel-620-jpg-245086304-3008225[1]

Skrtel does not believe the results were a reflection of the way Liverpool performed. He insisted Rodgers’ side could take confidence from the way they stood up to the challenges presented by the big boys.

“There were games where we played really well but just couldn’t get the points because we couldn’t score enough goals,” Skrtel told the club’s official website.

“But if you watch the games – we played against the teams from the top four, top five – those are games we dominated or it was 50-50 so I think we improved this season. I hope the results will be better in the future.”

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The Slovakia international found himself behind Jamie Carragher in the pecking order in the second half of the last campaign. However, now the stalwart has retired, Skrtel has an opportunity to re-establish himself in the side.

“I try to improve my positional play and my game with the ball, so every single day I can improve something and that’s what I try to do,” Skrtel added.

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Hillsborough inquest set for March


The new inquest into the Hillsborough disaster will begin next March, it has been announced today.

Coroner Lord Justice Goldring put forward a start date of 31st March 2014 – but no location has been announced as yet for the inquest after the verdict of accidental deaths was quashed last year.


“I am confident that we shall locate a satisfactory venue, and that will not be a reason not to begin on that date,” he said.

A third hearing will also be going ahead in October 2014 and earlier in the day it had been agreed that the new inquest will be heard before a jury.

“There plainly ought to be a jury,” added the coroner, who cited the European Human Rights act in his decision.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died at an FA Cup semi-final between the Reds and Nottingham Forest in Sheffield on 15th April 1989 and the victim’s families and friends along with supporters around the world have campaigned tirelessly since to get another inquest – and justice.