7/22/2014 11:29:00 pm

On the Brink: 'Perfect' £11m star flies in to sign for LFC. Unveiling on Thursday. Medical tomorrow

Last week, Sky Sports Italy claimed that France striker Loic Remy is set to sign a 5-year deal with Liverpool, and reports today suggest the deal will be wrapped up in the next couple of days.

According to Sky Sports UK this evening:

* Remy has arrived in the US to undergo a medical, which will take place tomorrow (Wednesday)

* He was due to have a medical today (Tuesday), but it got bumped to Wednesday.

* Liverpool hope to announce the deal on Thursday.

LFC legend Mark Lawrenson is a big fan of Remy, and he's twice urged Brendan Rodgers to sign him. Lawro's latest public plea came in May, when he told the Liverpool Echo:

"Personally, I would take him [Remy] all day long. He would provide a perfect option because he is such a good player"

Remy has an £8m buyout clause in his contract, but it's now claimed that the fee could rise to £11m, which is still a massive bargain for an international, Premier League-proven striker.

Remy's Premier League stats for last season in comparison to Daniel Sturridge:

* LR: 14 goals/3 assists in 25 apps
* DS: 21 goals/7 assists in 29 apps

Passing Accuracy: DS: 79% | LR: 80%
Duels Won: DS: 38% | LR: 39%
Aerial Duels Won: DS: 19% | LR: 40%
Recoveries: DS: 66 | LR: 86
Tackles Won: DS: 60% | LR: 80%

Minutes Per Goal: DS: 108 | LR: 150
Goals/assists: DS: 1 every 1.0 games | LR: 1 every 1.4 games
Chances Created: DS: 29 | LR: 30
Shooting Accuracy: DS: 49% | LR: 49%
Crossing Accuracy: DS: 4% | LR: 24%


The above stats show why £11m is such a bargain for Remy.

* Defensively, Remy is more effective than Sturridge, and that is something that will appeal to Rodgers. With the loss of Suarez's prodigious hassling of players, this will be a timely boost for Liverpool.

* The striker also exceeded Sturridge in several other areas, too (including chance creation/passing accuracy), and achieved this whilst playing fewer games, which is very promising.

I'm not suggesting that Remy is the better player - Sturridge's overall goals/assists record is clearly better, but Remy is in the prime of his career, and if he's given the game time, there's no reason why he can't score 20+ goals for Liverpool next season.


7/22/2014 02:36:00 pm

Play Me or I Quit: £15m star threatens to leave LFC over 'problems' caused by BR's refusal to play him regularly

Last season, Reds defender Daniel Agger threatened to 'leave Liverpool' if he didn't get more game time, and also suggested that Brendan Rodgers doesn't think he's 'good enough' to be a regular starter. LFC are currently negotiating to sign Southampton stat Dejan Lovren, which will conceivably restrict the Dane's chances even more, and this has seemingly prompted yet another threat to quit Anfield.

In October 2013, Agger told Danish TV:

"If the manager doesn't think I am good enough, that could make me leave Liverpool. I'm here to play football, nothing else. So if I don't play, I don't want to be here anymore."

That public threat made little impact on Rodgers, who restricted Agger to just 23 appearances for the whole season. This clearly doesn't sit well with the Dane, and when asked this week about his future, He barked:

"It is no secret that I had problems last season and I am considering things. How things turned out last season is not acceptable for me"

As vice-captain, Agger should not be making public ultimatums like this, and his comments will certainly not endear him to Rodgers. His attitude is all wrong, and he needs to take a leaf out of Martin Skrtel's book.

In the second half of the 2012-13 season, Rodgers dumped Skrtel for Jamie Carragher, but despite this massive setback, the Slovakian didn't mewl about it in public; he put his head down, worked hard, and ultimately reaped the rewards.

There may, however, be something to Agger's contention that Rodgers doesn't think he's 'good enough'. In a recent interview, Mark Lawrenson hinted at something along those lines:

"Agger has not been an automatic first choice this season. Rodgers watches him in training on a regular basis and has clearly seen something he doesn’t like. If a manager doesn’t fancy a player, usually that’s that".

Jamie Carragher also believes that Rodgers doesn't rate Agger. Speaking to Sky Sports, he noted:

"I've mentioned before I don't think he [Rodgers] is the biggest fan of Daniel Agger and that's why he always seems to leave him out".

To be fair, it's hard to blame Rodgers for marginalising Agger. As last season proved yet again, he is consistently error-prone, and his positional sense leaves a lot to be desired. This, combined with his continued injury problems, means that Agger is not reliable, and it's impossible to build a consistent central-defensive partnership with an unreliable defender.

In my view, the writing is on the wall for Agger. Liverpool have seemingly been trying to offload him for a while now, and the imminent arrival of Dejan Lovren will push him further down the pecking order. Indeed, last week, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claimed that:

* Liverpool offered £15m-rated Agger to Barcelona three months ago.

* Barcelona allegedly rejected the offer due to Agger's injury history, and his involvement in LFC's decline prior to last season.

It is further claimed that Liverpool are still 'desperate' to sell Agger, which seems to make sense given the club's pursuit of Lovren, and Agger's reduced role last season.

If Agger is unhappy with his situation, he should stop moaning in the press, work hard, and prove that he deserves to be in the team. It's totally down to him; Rodgers tends to employ the merit system, and if Agger plays consistently well, it will be hard to leave him out.

Having said that, Lucas, Johnson, and Agger are relics of the Benitez era; the squad has moved on, and it's arguably time for a change. The same could be said of Skrtel, but he has adapted well to Rodgers' playing style, and possibly saved himself from the Anfield scrapheap. Agger, it seems, may not be so lucky.

survey solutions


7/22/2014 06:29:00 am

Mega Deal: BR wants to sign 'world class' £40m star with 36 goals/assists last season

Liverpool are reportedly considering a summer move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who Brendan Rodgers allegedly sees as a potential replacement for Luis Suarez.

According to the Daily Mail:

"Liverpool have an interest in Karim Benzema. He would cost £40million and wages of around £200,000 a week...but it is not a simple deal".

Liverpool have pursued 26-year old Benzema a few times in the past.

FEB 2014: Spanish newspaper Marca claimed that Rodgers sees Benzema as a 'realistic target' if the Reds qualify for the Champions League this season.

FEB 2014: One of Benzema's reps allegedly 'informed' Liverpool that the French international is open to leaving Madrid at the end of the season.

2013: Benzema linked with cash-plus-player, swap deal with Suarez.

2011: Real Madrid reportedly rejected an LFC bid for Benzema on transfer deadline day. Liverpool signed Andy Carroll instead, and, well - let's not go there (!)

I'm sure many LFC fans will be excited by the prospect of this deal, but I've never been impressed with Benzema. As Gerard Houllier recently noted, he sometimes appears to be 'unmotivated', but to be fair, he had a great season for Madrid, and notched-up 36 goals/assists in 46 appearances.

The striker - recently hailed as a 'special player' by Hugo Lloris - also had a stellar World Cup for France, weighing in with a creditable 3 goals and 2 assists as the French made it through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Houllier also insists that Benzema is in a golden period of his career, and in a recent interview with Journal du Dimanche, the former Liverpool boss enthused:

"Benzema has always been a goalscorer, but he has improved [working] with his team-mates. He is not just a poacher. He is good at assisting and mentally he is very strong. He is now falling into the category of world-class players"

Liverpool may be Sh*t outta luck, though, as Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claims that Benzema is close to signing a new five-year, £6.3m-a-year deal with Madrid.

A worthy replacement for Suarez? To be honest, I can't see it. Liverpool are seemingly incapable of attracting truly elite players to Anfield, and without the presence of a world-renowned manager (like Louis Van Gaal, for example), there's very little chance of Benzema leaving Madrid for the Reds.

Brendan Rodgers just doesn't have the aura (yet) to attract the world's biggest players, and that's a reality Reds fans will have to face. Plus, Benzema is in the perfect place to mount a serious challenge for trophies every year, so it's unlikely he'll give that up to toil away at Liverpool, a team with significantly less chance of winning the league/Champions League.


7/21/2014 11:50:00 pm

LFC Warning: Ex-Scout reveals 3 reasons why there's a 'slight concern' over £20m Markovic

The praise just keeps on coming for Liverpool new-boy Lazar Markovic. Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant recently compared him to Messi and Ronaldo; Reds legend Mark Lawrenson claimed this week that the Serbian star will 'thrive' at Anfield, and now, ex-scout - and former CEO of Monaco - Tor-Kristian Karlsen has joined the chorus of appreciation, insisting that the 20-year old is one of Europe's top talents. That's a lot of hype for Markovic to live-up to (!), but Karlsen qualified his praise by outlining the areas in which the attacker will need to improve if he's to flourish in the Premier League.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Karlsen described Markovic as a 'tactically smart forward' who likes to 'get involved in the build-up play', and hailed his technical proficiency, 'breathtaking' dribbling skills; and effortless ability to make 'defence splitting passes'.

That all sounds great, but Karlsen conceded that there's a 'slight concern' that Markovic might not settle in the Premier League, and outlined three areas of his game that need particular attention:

* Movement 'off the ball', both in terms of making himself available and to look for space.
* Defensive tracking-back, to a 'much higher degree that he’s used to'.
* Adapting to the 'overwhelming' pace and intensity of the English game.

The tracking-back issue is a bug-bear of mine. I appreciate that defending is a team-responsibility, but it irritates me that attacking players are basically forced to run themselves into the ground, arguably to the detriment of their creative productivity.

I personally don't want to see wide-attackers constantly in LFC's penalty area defending, or running more miles than any other player in the team. Their principle role is to score and create goals, and that should be the main focus.

Coutinho is a prime example here. In his first six months, he played superbly, and scored/assisted on a regular basis. Last season, the Brazilian did a lot more work defensively (probably after being coached to focus more on defensive duties), and his creative output (and overall influence) suffered.

This obsession with defending/tracking back is not so prevalent in La Liga. Ronaldo and Messi don't run themselves into the ground in every single game, and their respective teams don't seem to suffer that much. Their creative role is prioritised, and in my view, that's the way it should be.

Despite the physical challenges ahead, Karlsen insists that Markovic will not be fazed by the 'magnitude of the challenge', adding:

“If Markovic delivers on his potential, he’ll eventually be worth at least twice as much.”

Let's hope he's right.


7/21/2014 08:00:00 pm

Done Deal? BR confirms transfer 'agreement' for 'perfect' €18m star. Superb deal for LFC, if it goes through...

The writing is on the wall for Fabio Borini. Irrespective of Brendan Rodgers' protestations to the contrary, the Italian is clearly surplus to requirements at Liverpool and the imminent signing of Loic Remy is yet another vote of no-confidence in the striker's ability to make it at Anfield. Sunderland are trying hard to sign Borini, and for the sake of his career, it's surely in his best interests to bite the bullet and go to a club where he'll play regular Premier League football.

Multiple sources over the last week report that Liverpool have agreed a deal with Sunderland (€18m, according to the latest info from Borini's agent), and Rodgers confirmed the agreement on Saturday, when he told reporters:

"They [Sunderland] have offered to buy Fabio and that’s where it’s at. There is an agreement between the clubs, but nothing is agreed with the player as of yet"

On Saturday evening, Poyet also confirmed that a deal is on the table for a player he describes as a 'perfect' professional. He told Sky Sports:

"We've agreed terms with Liverpool. Like any other deal you do, first you sort out the clubs and then you start working with the player. He knows how much it would mean for us to have a player like Fabio."

On Sunday night, however, The Guardian claimed that Borini is 'dragging his feet' over the deal, and will need to be 'persuaded' to sign, as he is not enamoured with the idea of a permanent move to Sunderland.

Borini's agent, Marco De Marchi confirmed this today in an interview with TMW. He explained:

"Sunderland has made ​​an important offer of 18 million Euros, but Fabio wants to stay there [at Anfield]. Liverpool haven't told me anything yet, but he wants to gamble"

To be honest, the reluctance is perfectly understandable. With the greatest respect the Sunderland, Borini probably sees the move as a massive step-down, and with Champions League football on offer at Anfield this season, he will not want to miss out.

I'm sure Borini genuinely believed that if he played well at Sunderland, Rodgers would give him another chance to establish himself, but it's clear that the manager has no real confidence in him. It's harsh, but arguably true. After all, if Rodgers sees Borini as a potential solution, why is he trying to sign Loic Remy, who is ostensibly a direct replacement?

It'll be interesting to see what happens if Borini digs his heels in and decides to stay and fight for his place. Whatever happens, it's a lose-lose situation:

* If Borini refuses to leave, it's probable that Rodgers will still sign Remy (£8m is not a prohibitive transfer fee), which will relegate the Italian to fourth in the striker pecking order.

* With little prospect of regular first-team football, Rodgers will probably send Borini back out on loan again, possibly to Sunderland again. As such, he might as well just go for the permanent move whilst it's on the table.

I imagine it's tough for Borini to accept that he's not going to make it at Liverpool. He probably sees himself as someone who should be playing at one of Europe's top clubs, but the harsh truth is he's not consistently effective enough to warrant a place in LFC's first-team squad.

Bravo to LFC for mugging Sunderland on the transfer fee, though. €18m? That's daylight robbery, but for once, Liverpool are the perpetrators, and not the victims (!)

I fully expected the Reds to make a loss on Borini, but I'm glad to be proven wrong on this occasion.


7/21/2014 07:00:00 am

'We'll see': £15m Argentina hothead wanted by LFC reveals 'future' plans. Top transfer, or huge risk?

A couple of months ago, reports in Italy and Portugal claimed that Sporting Lisbon left-back Marcos Rojo is a summer transfer target for Liverpool. Speculation has slowed over the last few weeks, but recent reports in Spain suggest that the Reds still want Rojo, who responded this weekend to rumours about his future.

In June, Portuguese newspaper Jornal Record claimed that:

* Liverpool are interested in signing Rojo this summer.

* Reds scouts watched Rojo in action last season.

In early July, Spanish newspaper Sport claimed that Liverpool still want £15m-rated Rojo, who performed with distinction during Argentina's recent run to the World Cup final.

When asked on Saturday about interest from Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United, Rojo told Argentine radio station RNA Futbol:

"We still do not know what my future will be. For now I intend to return to Sporting on the 30th [of July], and then we'll see. It is a matter for the club and my representatives. I'm cool."

Rojo's agent, Carlos Goncalves, added:

"The best players are usually involved in the World Cup. When someone shines on a stage like that it is natural to attract attention. Fortunately things are going well for him."

Some info about Rojo:

* Current contract expires in 2016,
* €30m release clause in his contract.
* Main position is left-back, but he can also play as a central defender.
* Has played as a centre-back quite a few times for Lisbon this season.
* 25 appearances for the Argentina national team.

Rojo's reputation seems to be growing, but there are some major issues to consider:

* Like Daniel Sturridge, Rojo appears to be injury prone, and since 2011, he's suffered seven separate injuries, including two knee problems.

* With five red cards and seven suspensions in the last two seasons, Rojo also appears to be a bit of a hothead on the field.

* As a result of injuries and suspension, Rojo has made only 46 appearances in the last two years, averaging a paltry 23 games a season.

* Injuries and disciplinary problems also curtailed Rojo's time at Spartak Moscow, where he made just 17 appearances during the 2011-12 season.

Being charitable, it's possible the indiscipline is a result of youthful exuberance, but in my view, Liverpool should not take the risk. Granted, Rojo has had a good World Cup, but that doesn't change the fact he spends more time on the sidelines injured or suspended that actually playing.

Left-back is still a major issue for Liverpool. The proposed deal for Alberto Moreno still seems to be a non-starter at the moment, and back-up options like Ryan Bertrand hardly inspire confidence. That said, at this stage, I'd take Bertrand over Rojo; the Argentine may have greater potential, but Bertrand carries significantly lower risk.


7/20/2014 07:59:00 pm

Exciting Deal? After new enquiry, LFC favourites to sign €30m 'golden boy'. Better than Lallana?

Despite the arrival of Lazar Markovic, Liverpool continue to be linked with attacking midfielders, and the latest name to enter the fray is Real Madrid 'golden boy' Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (aka Isco).

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo today:

"The imminent arrival of James Rodriguez at Real Madrid means Isco could be leaving the club, with Milan and Liverpool favorites to sign the midfielder"

Another Spanish daily, AS, further claims:

"Liverpool, Sevilla and Milan have asked Madrid about the status of Isco"

The Reds have been linked with 'unique' Isco several times in the past, and in 2012, Brendan Rodgers sent senior scout Barry Hunter to watch the attacker during his Champions League debut against Zenit St. Petersburg, a game in which he scored two impressive goals.

Last season, Carlo Ancelotti often played Isco in central midfield, but the signing of Toni Kroos is a clear signal that the Italian wants an upgrade in that area. In a recent interview, Ancelotti also hinted that the 22-year old will have to adapt his position permanently if he wants to play regularly. He told reporters:

"We haven't been able to play him [Isco] in his usual position. I had a similar case [with] Seedorf, who was an attacking central midfielder. With sacrifice, he played in a different position. Isco can do what Seedorf did."

Despite being played out of position, Isco - who cost Madrid €30m last summer - still made 53 appearances for Madrid last season, and grabbed 11 goals/8 assists along the way, which is not too shabby.

There is huge competition for places at the Bernabeau, but is it any different at Liverpool? If Isco comes to Anfield, he'll have to compete against Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho, and Markovic, not to mention Remy and Sturridge, who are also (occasional) options on either side of a front three.

When it comes to direct competition, Isco would be up against Lallana and Coutinho for the number 10 role in the side, and of the three, you'd have to fear for Coutinho's chances of regular game-time, especially if Isco arrives for a massive fee.

There's one thing Isco (possibly) wouldn't have to worry about at Liverpool, though, and that's being played out of position in central midfield. Rodgers doesn't even play dedicated central midfielders in their favoured positions, so it's doubtful he'll go the Ancelotti conversion route.

Do Liverpool need Isco? Is he a better option than Lallana and Coutinho in the number 10 role?


7/20/2014 11:13:00 am

Lawro raves: 'Unstoppable' £20m attacker could 'thrive' and 'flourish' at LFC, and explains why he rejected Chelsea

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has hailed the signing of Serbian attacker Lazar Markovic, and predicts that he will fit perfectly into the Reds' 'fluid system of football'.

LFC confirmed the £20m signing of Markovic earlier this week, and in his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Lawro enthused:

"He [Markovic] could have gone to Chelsea but he can see the brand of attacking football at Liverpool.

"That will have been the biggest attraction for him because he knows he will flourish in this team.

"He fits the bill and his flexibility means he will thrive in the fluid system of football here".

Did 'unstoppable' Markovic actually reject Chelsea for Liverpool, or is it the case that Chelsea just weren't interested in taking up their £12m option to buy?

I suspect it's arguably the latter; Markovic is a massive Blues fan, as his previous gushing comments prove:

"I really hope I can go to Chelsea, it's my dream. I had all the pictures of the team on my wall at home back to when they had Gianfranco Zola. And any time they are on TV I try to watch them. For me Chelsea are the best".

If Chelsea had blinked in Markovic's direction, he probably would've rejected Liverpool and made a beeline for Stamford Bridge. Still, what's done is done, and hopefully, the Serb will live up to hype being generated by the likes of Avram Grant, who this week gushed:

“I can say that apart from Ronaldo and Messi, Markovic is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen at 19 years of age"

One thing I personally like about Markovic is his apparent self-confidence; most great players have a slight arrogance about them, and he projects a certain self-assurance, which is arguably a positive sign. Indeed, in his first interview for Liverpool, he made a confident statement of intent about his expectations at the club:

"I went to Partizan and won the title. I went to Benfica and won the title. Now I have joined Liverpool and want to win the title, 100 per cent"

This is the attitude of a winner. Markovic can certainly talk-the-talk; here's hoping he can walk-the-walk too.


7/19/2014 09:36:00 pm

'Like Van Basten': After Remy, LFC to sign 'exciting' star for 'unbelievably low' €13m

Despite the alleged imminent signing of French star Loic Remy, Liverpool are still pushing to sign Lille striker Divock Origi, and reports today suggest that the deal is close to being completed.

According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad:

* Liverpool have agreed a €13m fee for Origi

* As expected, he will stay at Lille on loan next season.

Former Ajax and Anderlecht striker Jan Mulder - now a well-known football analyst in the Netherlands - also claims the deal is done.

In an interview with Het Niewsblad, he raved:

"€13m is an unbelievably low price. It's ridiculous! Origi is a winner, and at the World Cup I enjoyed watching him more than Hazard. He has style, technique, and makes intelligent runs, a bit like Marco van Basten".

In my view, such gross overpraise is counter-productive, and premature. Others may disagree, but I've seen nothing that warrants comparisons with van Basten (!)

Plus, €13m is not an 'unbelievably low' price; it's a significant chunk of cash for a 19-year old, and it's money that's being gambled on a player who may or may not come good at some undetermined point in the future.

That said, if Origi - - recently described by Simon Mignolet as an exciting player - turns into some kind of superstar, then I guess €13m will turn out to be a retrospective bargain.

On the subject of 'unbelievably low' transfer fees, the obvious example is Loic Remy for £8.5m...


7/19/2014 05:02:00 pm

Video: Superb Suso goal; Ibe's 2 assists; Lambert on 'special' debut; BR's Can update

With two excellent assists, Liverpool starlet Jordon Ibe delivered another impressive pre-season performance today as the Reds secured a 2-1 victory against Preston North End.

The Reds were 1-0 down at half-time, but goals from Suso and Kristoffer Peterson - scoring his second goal in two games - ensured that Liverpool got the victory.

Emre Can went off injured after 20 minutes of the first half, and Rickie Lambert also made his debut for the club.

Suso Goal

Peterson goal

In his post-match interview, Lambert admitted that he had 'nerves' ahead of his debut, but clearly enjoyed his first game for the club. He told reporters:

"I enjoyed it, and got a good run out. I had to keep my emotions in check. Putting on the top for the first time was special. It was brilliant. It's about fitness at the minute. Emre's got a little knock, but we're hoping it's nothing too bad"

Brendan Rodgers also provided the following update on Emre Can:

"It was just precautionary. He [Can] just felt a tightness in his calf - he hasn't pulled it. At this point, there's no point in risking anything"


7/19/2014 03:35:00 pm

Injury Blow: New £10m LFC signing injured on debut after being played out of position

Injury strikes again! For the second pre-season game running, Liverpool have lost a player to injury, and this time, it's new £10m signing Emre Can.

Tiago Ilori went off injured in the first game, and Can left the field only 20 minutes into his debut today with a calf strain.

It's disappointing as Reds fans were looking forward to seeing the German in action. Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come.

In 2012, Can was out for a month with a torn muscle, so it's possible that this could be a reoccurrence of that injury.

He also missed two months of the 2012-13 season with ankle ligament damage, but thankfully, that's about it when it comes to significant injury history.

In his brief time on the field, Can seemed to be operating ahead of Lucas and Allen in a 4231 formation, with Lambert up-front, and Borini/Coutinho alongside him.

Last week, Can made it clear that he prefers playing central midfield. He told LFC.com

"It's definitely is an advantage to play a number of positions. However, I have stated this before and I would like to mention it again, I see myself as a central midfielder, that is where I feel most comfortable".

With that in mind, why didn't Rodgers just play Can in his preferred central midfield role? Why waste time with Lucas/Allen together, which will probably never be employed during the season (unless there's an injury crisis, or it's the Capital One Cup)

Rodgers knows exactly what he'll get with Lucas/Allen, and there's nothing new to learn.

As I've argued in recent articles, I suspect that Can is going to spend most of the season being played out of his preferred position. Gerrard and Henderson are immovable forces in the centre, so this is probably a sign of things to come.

Granted, it's only pre-season, but decisions like this make no sense to me.


7/19/2014 08:58:00 am

Done Deal 5: LFC to sign £8m star who once had his 'heart set' on Anfield transfer

Liverpool are reportedly on the verge of signing QPR striker Loic Remy.

The Reds have been linked with Remy many times over the last couple of years, and the 27-year old striker has a soft-spot for LFC, as revealed by his agent in 2012:

"He [Remy] has his heart is set on playing for Liverpool. Remy is pure gold. He has great pace and that is something Liverpool need in attack".

Well, according to Sly Sports Italy Journalist journalist Gianluca DiMarzio, Remy - who has an £8m buyout clause in his contract - will sign a 5-year deal with the Reds worth an alleged £80k a week.

LFC legend Mark Lawrenson is a big fan of Remy, and he's twice urged Brendan Rodgers to sign him. Lawro's latest public plea came in May, when he told the Liverpool Echo:

"Personally, I would take him [Remy] all day long. He would provide a perfect option because he is such a good player"

Remy definitely wanted a move to a bigger club this summer, and he confirmed this in March, when he told the Newcastle Chronicle:

"I could maybe play in a bigger club, a top European club. I will be part of a very large club. I have a huge room for improvement.”

Remy's premier league record so far:

* 20 goals/3 assists in 41 apps.
* Goal/assist every 1.7 games.

If Liverpool have met Remy's buyout clause of £8m, then this deal is a no-brainer. With four competitions on the agenda next season, and Daniel Sturridge's regular bouts of injury, Liverpool will need another good striker, and the France striker fits the bill.

Additionally, Remy is a clear upgrade on Fabio Borini (who is seemingly heading to Sunderland) which means overall squad strength will be enhanced.


7/18/2014 09:45:00 pm

Transfer Travesty: LFC favourites to sign 'important' £7m star with worse injury history than Agger

Liverpool continue to be linked with a summer move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards, a player Brendan Rodgers reportedly believes is a 'perfect fit' for LFC's squad, and new reports suggest that an official offer is imminent.

According to The Mirror today:

* Liverpool are in 'pole position' to sign Richards.

* Man City are open to offers.

* Rodgers is attracted by Richards' ability to play in several different positions.

Liverpool have seemingly been tracking Richards for a while now:

July 2013: The Mirror reported: "Brendan Rodgers is keen on a summer move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards. Liverpool have made an enquiry."

Jan 2014: Sky Sports claimed: "Manchester City have turned down a bid from Liverpool to take Micah Richards on loan to Anfield".

April 2014: Several reports claimed that Liverpool 'have been cleared' to sign Richards this summer, with Brendan Rodgers 'expected' to put in a £7million offer.

May 2014: reports claim that Richards is 'surplus to requirements at City, and that Rodgers is waiting to 'capitalise' on the situation with a £7m bid.

I am totally against this potential deal, mainly because Richards has a shocking injury history:

* Nine different injuries since 2008.
* Only 20 appearances over the last two years.
* Averages just 26 apps a season over the last nine years.

Why take the risk when there are plenty of players out there without significant injury histories? Have LFC learned nothing from the Daniel Agger/Philipp Degen situations? Additionally, Liverpool already have Andre Wisdom, an equally flexible (and powerful) defender, who can also play in two positions, so why not just develop him?

Richards - recently described by Manuel Pellegrini as an 'important' player for City - can play at right-back, or centre-half, and once again, Rodgers' obsession with versatility seems to be ruling his transfer choices.

Plus, enough with the British players already! A team filled with British footballers is never going to win the league. There's a reason England continually fail on the international stage: homegrown footballers are *not good enough* (either technically or tactically), to consistently compete at the highest level.

Liverpool have haemorrhaged money on a whole raft of duff players over the last two years, and this is another waste (IMO). If the club is so desperate to lose money, just keep Glen Johnson, and use the £7m to keep paying his £120k-a-week salary. At least Johnson is fit most of the time.

To be fair, there's always a chance that Richards' injury woes are finally behind him, and the £8m drop in valuation since last summer is enticing, but is it a risk worth taking?

On a related note: why didn't Liverpool make a move for Dutch right back Daryl Janmaat, who just signed for Newcastle in a £5m deal? He's an experienced international; a quality player (as proven in the recent World Cup), and is a much better deal than Richards.


7/18/2014 05:58:00 pm

Yes Please: LFC to make €30m offer for 'monster' 32-goal striker. Talks ongoing

With Luis Suarez out of the picture, there's a gaping hole to be filled in Liverpool's attack, and in a bid to fill the void, Brendan Rodgers is reportedly considering a massive bid for Chelsea outcast Romelu Lukaku.

Liverpool have been regularly linked with Lukaku over the last couple of years, and according to Italian newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport this week:

* Liverpool have already held talks with Chelsea to explore the possibility of making a deal.

* The Reds are planning an official €30m offer for the Belgian powerhouse.

Lukaku - who cost Chelsea £20m - seems to love scoring against Liverpool:

2012-13: Two goals in two games, helping West Brom to a humbling 5-0 aggregate victory.
2013-14: Two goals in LFC's 3-3 draw with Everton.

After watching Lukaku bully Liverpool's defenders during West Brom's 2-0 victory over the Reds, Robbie Earle argued that the striker would be a good buy for the club. He told ESPN:

"What a monster this boy is. He bullied Liverpool into submission. You look at this Liverpool team, and strangely enough, a player like Lukaku would be the perfect complement to their side".

I agree with Earle - Lukaku would be a great signing for Liverpool:

* The Belgian is everything Andy Carroll should've been: great pace, power, close control, technique, balance, and the ability to bully defenders into submission.

* 32 goals/10 assists in 66 Premier League appearances, which is an average of one goal/assist every 1.5 games. Very few 21-year old strikers in world football can boast that kind of creative return.

* Already has 32 appearances for the Belgian national team.

* Fits Rodgers' infernal 'buy-em young' transfer policy.

When asked about his future last week, the Belgian admitted that he has 'choices to make' about his future, and confirmed that he'll consider his options when he returns from his post-World Cup holiday. He added:

“I think I’m experienced enough now. I’ve scored a lot of goals and now I want to win titles and be one of the best. I have a few ideas but we’ll see. I have to have discussions and think about it. I will decide...soon.”

If Liverpool insist on spending big bucks on young players, then Lukaku is (IMO) a player who is worth the money. Some will argue that Chelsea will not sell a quality player to a rival team, but according to Jose Mourinho, that's nonsense. In a recent interview, he told The Guardian:

"That old-fashioned mentality of 'I don't sell players to the same country' doesn't help the market [or] the players. Sometimes you push players abroad when you should keep them in your league, because when you [do that] you are contributing to making your league the best"

With Diego Costa now Chelsea's number-one striker, Lukaku is clearly better-off moving on; the question is, who is the better option for Liverpool: Lukaku, Bony, or Remy?

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7/18/2014 01:42:00 pm

True or False? Barca reveal the surprising truth re €81m Suarez's 'no-bite' clause

Multiple sources claim that ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has a 'no-bite' clause in his new contract with Barcelona, but is that really true? According to Barca Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta, it's a load of media nonsense.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo this week, Zubizaretta dismissed the notion that Suarez's contract claims a 'no-bite clause'. He explained:

"There is no clause in the contract regarding Suarez's behavior.

"Everybody makes mistakes and we learn from mistakes...and we need to rectify these mistakes to ensure they don't happen again"

Would Barcelona admit it if such a clause actually existed? Probably not, but given Suarez's history, it seems unlikely - and possibly negligent - that a club with such a rarefied image would sign such a controversial player protecting itself in some way.

Suarez - who allegedly cost Barcelona €81m - is an absolutely amazing player, but he cannot be trusted to control himself, and Liverpool discovered this several times, to the club's immense detriment.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Barcelona just don't care. Suarez's history doesn't affect the Catalan club, and at this stage, no one will associate Barca with the Uruguayan's negative behaviour.

It's a dangerous strategy though, and if Barca are contractually unprotected, it could come back to bite them on the a$$.


7/18/2014 06:10:00 am

'He's fantastic, but...' - BR reveals why LFC failed to sign £35m Alexis Sanchez

Liverpool's failure to sign Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez is arguably one of biggest transfer disappointments in years. For a few brief, exquisite moments, it seemed like the deal might happen, but the dream last week when the Chilean maestro secured a £35m move to Arsenal. Sanchez would've been a perfect replacement for Luis Suarez, but it wasn't meant to be, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has now explained exactly why the deal fell through.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Rodgers dismissed the accusation that Liverpool 'struggles' to attract top-class players, and outlined the reason why Sanchez rejected LFC. He explained:

“Sanchez was one where geography dictated where he wanted to go, simple as that. It wasn’t a lack of ambition. The player and his family simply wanted to choose to live where they did. He’s a fantastic player...but it was not to be”

Most fans already suspected that Liverpool lost out to the lure of London, but there you have it, straight from horse's mouth. It's massively disappointing, but it's the unfortunate reality of the situation.

Sanchez's decision is totally understandable, though, and it's hard to begrudge his choice. London is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest cities, and for the super-rich - like Sanchez - it really is a bit of a wonderland.

Unfortunately, Liverpool's historical prestige is not strong enough to attract the world's biggest players, and to be honest, it never has been. LFC may be the UK's most successful club, but that is clearly not an attraction for the game's elite.

Indeed, Alonso, Torres, and Suarez aside (all three of whom were not World stars prior to joining Liverpool), there are very few (if any) elite, world-class signings in LFC's transfer history.

This is the reality, and it continues to this day. As such, Liverpool fans simply have to accept it, and prepare themselves for a raft of similar disappointments in the future.


7/17/2014 09:29:00 pm

Don't Do It: Barnes explains why LFC should not sign 'exceptional' £60m genius. Agree?

Earlier this week, former LFC striker Emile Heskey urged Liverpool to make World Cup star James Rodriguez the club's 'number one' transfer target. The Reds are currently linked with a move for Colombia maestro, but even if that transfer were possible (wishful thinking in the extreme!), Anfield legend John Barnes insists that Rodriguez is not cut out for the Premier League.

When asked during a Sony webchat who Liverpool should sign with the Suarez cash, Heskey immediately suggested Rodriguez:

"He [Rodriguez] is only 23, so you would get a lot of mileage out of him. James would be my number one target if Liverpool could get him."

Discussing Liverpool's transfer prospects on TalkSport today, Barnes noted:

"Look at James Rodriguez, for example. I don't think he could play in England. Spanish football will suit him".

After scoring 6 goals in the World Cup (and ridiculously losing out on the 'Best player at the World Cup' title to Lionel Messi), £60m-rated Rodriguez is one of the most coveted players on the planet, in a World Cup Q&A this week, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger raved:

"The intelligence of his passing. The fluency of his game. The speed of his decision making. The penetrative passes he made were just absolutely fantastic. You just wanted to see him have the ball and [that] is always a sign of exceptional quality"

Rodriguez may have exceptional quality, but Barnes is (IMO) right - he is arguably not suited to the Premier League. English football prioritises tough-tackling, running, and stamina over skill, technique, and playing beautiful football, which is probably why the world's most exciting players (Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Zidane, Figo etc) consistently choose to play in Spain.

During the World Cup quarter-final, Rodriguez got kicked out of the game by cynical Brazilian hackers, and the same thing would happen on a weekly basis in England.

I'd personally hate to see an amazing player like Rodriguez wasted on the Premier League. He'd probably end up like Juan Mata, another prodigiously skill player who is unappreciated (80 goals/assists in two season and dumped by Mourinho) because he doesn't embrace the physicality of English football.

It's all moot anyway. Rodriguez has made it clear many times that he favours a move to Real Madrid, and as much as I'd love to see him at Liverpool, it's better for football if he ends up in Spain.


7/17/2014 12:50:00 pm

Boss Confirms: LFC deal for 'exciting' £10m star is dead. Sign £8m striker instead?

Last week, Liverpool reportedly agreed a deal to sign Lille striker Divock Origi, but despite everything seemingly being in place, the deal now appears to have collapsed.

A £10m deal was expected to be completed this week, but according to Lille Coach Rene Girard, Origi - recently described by Simon Mignolet as an exciting player - is not going anywhere.

When asked about the Liverpool deal last night, he told reporters:

"It is true that there are offers from all over Europe, [but] Divock Origi will be here [at Lille] this season”

In a recent column for the Telegraph, Anfield legend Alan Hansen subtly warned LFC against signing Origi. He noted:

"Origi has a long way to go before being the finished article. He has genuine pace, but he is also raw and displayed some wayward finishing against the Americans. He is young and has potential, but you cannot ignore his rawness".

To be honest, I'm glad this deal is not going through. Liverpool don't need Origi, and spending £10m on a 19-year old who'll then go back on loan for a year is, in my view, a waste of money.

Yes, there's the age-old argument that Origi may 'come good' at some undetermined point in the future, but where's the fire? He's only 19, and it makes sense to see how he performs over the next year before splashing the cash.

His goal rate to-date (7 goals in 45 games) is not prolific enough for the current level of ridiculous hype, most of which seems to have arisen as a result of his performances in the World Cup, which, to be honest, were not as impressive as the media suggests.

If Liverpool are going to spend £10m on a striker, why not sign Loic Remy instead?

* Experienced, Premier League proven international.
* No settling-in time required.
* A 'capable starter' (as per Rodgers' criteria for transfers)
* can go straight into the first-team.
* Will immediately improve the squad.

Remy has an £8m buyout clause in his contract, which makes him *cheaper* than Origi. Surely, it's a no-brainer?