12 Mar 2014

'LFC is most interested': Reds push to sign 'incredible' €15m star. Coutinho challenger...?

Last year, multiple sources - including Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato, and Portuguese daily A Bola - claimed that Liverpool are tracking Porto attacker Juan Iturbe (currently on loan at Hellas Verona), the latest in a long-ling of forward players to tediously labelled the 'new Lionel Messi'. Speculation over the Iturbe's future has intensified this week, and the Reds are reportedly at the head of the queue to sign Argentine star.

In November 2013, Tutto Mercato claimed:

* Liverpool have agreed a €16m fee with Porto for Iturbe.

* The signing will actually take place in June 2014.

Last night, Sky Sports Italy journalist Gianluca Dimarzio claimed that lots of 'big European clubs' are watching Iturbe, but insisted that Liverpool are showing the most interest. He observed:

"Juventus are watching him, as are Inter Milan and Roma, but Liverpool is the most interested team. Porto have set Iturbe's transfer fee at €15m"

Manchester United reportedly put in a £10m bid for 20-year old Iturbe prior to his move to Porto, with former United boss Alex Ferguson reportedly seeing the youngster as a natural 'successor to Ryan Giggs'. Some further info:

* Iturbe rejected a move to Barcelona in 2010, opting to join Portuguese giants Porto instead.

* Part of the Argentina "sparring" squad, formed by the most promising youth players in Argentina, taken to the 2010 FIFA World Cup to train with the senior squad.

* Chose to play for Argentina at the U-20 level.

* Part of the 20 player squad for the 2011 South American U-20 South American championship, during which he scored the winning goal against Brazil.

Stats for the last three years:

2013-14: 6 goals/2 assist in 23 apps (so far)
2012-13: 3 goals/2 assists in 18 apps.
2011-12: 6 goals/2 assists in 32 apps.

As is seemingly common amongst young players still learning the game, Iturbe appears to be quite selfish with the ball, and after Verona's 0-0 draw with Catania in December, Verona boss Andrea Mandorlini publicly urged the youngster to be more of a team player. He told reporters:

“Iturbe has incredible quality, but he must learn to play with the team more. We missed a few chances due to the wrong decision-making"

A month later in January, Mandorlini hailed Iturbe's qualities, and predicted that he'd soon join Jorginho at a 'big club'. He told Tutto Mercato:

"Iturbe [is] good enough for the big clubs. [He has] amazing quality and is a good guy. Iturbe's strengths are technical quality, impressive speed, and game intelligence. He's a great player"

A viable target this summer?



  1. It would appear that the comment ( for the present anyway ) that he benefits from "game awareness" is rather tempered by his criticism that he should play more as a team player. That said though he is still young.

  2. Any talk is now agent building players profile before signing new deals or up players value.
    We are linked to everyone cause of size of our Squad and if we make Champions league . Everyone know we will need 5-6 new players and will sell players .

  3. can't they just say, 'the new next lionel messi'?

  4. Iturbe is a winger wouldnt he be competing with Sterling for a place!
    It would be nice to be linked with a player to replace Moses.

  5. My point is that he could either be effective defensively, offensively, or both. He's not very effective at either. You could forgive low attacking stats if he was defensive, but he's not, so where is the advantage then?
    Kolo has had some "doh!" moments, but Jonson is just frustrating. He doesn't make glaring errors like Kolo has, more his hesitation to release the ball, etc.
    It probably has something to do with age - he's not getting any younger and probably has some mental garbage about his future ect. SG seemed to have something similar going on at the beginning of the season, but looks to have shook it off - so there's hope. I have no doubt that 100% concentration and effort GJ can be effective, but lately, last season included, that's hardly the case.

  6. Yes keep him, but reduce his wages. As you say, his experience could prove essential in the coming seasons, especially if we're back in the Champions League.
    I don't think he's been playing well recently but on occasion he has made an important challenge that makes you wonder why he can't do it all the time.
    I don't think he'll be England's first-choice right-back for the Euros, the other top 5 or 6 teams in the Premier League won't want him because they already have better players, therefore he has nothing to trade.
    Flanno and Wisdom can learn a lot from him, so keep him; but keep him on the club's terms not his.

  7. Suso the new Alonso? :-o

  8. Oh, he's aware of the game, he just doesn't give a flip about it ;)

  9. I would hope that after we win the title, our priority lies with adding experience rather than young talent. Both if possible but with priority on the former. Experience doesn't have to mean nearly 30 either. Guys like Lalana, Konoplyanka, who know what it is like to play at either CL level or in the Premiership. This kid seems very talented no doubt about that but I just hope we have our priorities in order this time around.

  10. Who's he 'the new' again?
    Look this guy has to be a step up from Aspas. We're lniked to so many players, i won't believe it until i see it.

  11. He's had several injury setbacks. Including a couple where he got injured about two days after he was fit again. I think it's a crying shame because the kid showed tons of promise and is actually a decent football player. But I'm afraid he needs to step down a level in order to stay fit and to get a game in the first place. Too many players have jumped ahead of him now and he's not that young if you consider two of the guys ahead of him are three years younger. I hope I'm wrong but I sincerely doubt that I am.

  12. We need to stay clear from players in the Serie A. One of the most boring and least physical leagues in the world. Thanks but no thanks.

  13. Jones is a great servant to this club. Shame on you for calling him dead wood. Same goes for Touré

  14. Shame on you is a bit strong.

    He isn't really competition for Mignolet is he? I mean, everyone likes Brad Jones and he is clearly a good egg, but you wouldn't feel especially confident if he had to take over the reins from Mig for an extended period due to injury, would you?

  15. Suso was The New Pacheco until Pacheco flopped. Now he is just Suso. If he fails he go back to being The New Pacheco.

  16. This guy clearly has enormous talent but the mooted fee is too high. He is worth less than £10mil at the moment.

    Also, I've never heard of this 'sparring squad' idea before- it seems a good one, doesn't it?

  17. Coutinho?! He is a wide forward.. If anything he would be competing with Sterling

  18. Sell, Hes a Good professional and a talented player, But hes hardly Jamie carragher, heart and soul blood and guts for Liverpool. Hes probably got as much natural talent as Suarez Hes just got no desire. Players like that dont win league titles. Sell Sell Sell.

  19. one of the most skilfull right backs we had in the last 20 yrs! I wouldn't sell him but he needs to lower his requests. his one -two's with midfielders are perfect and he has the skill of a winger and can even dribble into the box when close to the byeline.

  20. whenever he has the ball I always believe something can happen...

  21. B Jones is abyzmal and diabolical, he offers Mignolet no real class quality cover for his position. Otherwise after the games against Chelsea and Man City away in league , Mignolet should have been dropped. And against A Villa at home, Mignolet needed to be dropped but due to his mistakes.

    K Toure(33) has made so many stupid mistakes this season which has led to goals being scoired against us. He needs to be shipped out in the summer. As he is 6 years past his best,K Toure best football days came when he was playing for Arsenal those many years ago.

  22. just seen lfc under 18s - awful defending -why cant we defend at any level - centre backs are all a joke - we should recruit an ITALIAN COACH AND SACK PRESENT LOT.

  23. Our kids are vastly overated - lost to Reading tonight - time to get real - they were hopeless apart from some lad called odjob - rest did nothing

  24. This summer B Rodgers needs to ship out the 8 dead wood average or injury prone players from club and the 1 world class player B Rodgers no longer has time for or trusts and the two poor loan signings we brought to club this summer :

    1: GK: B Jones 2: GK:P Reina 3: CB: K Toure 4: CB: S Coates

    5: RB: M Kelly 6: AM: L Alberto 7: RW /RWF: O Assaidi

    8: FD: F Borini 9: FD: I Aspas

    The two poor pathetic loan signings B Rodgers brought to club this summer: LB: A Cissokho(26) and RW /LW: V Moses(22)

    And the 9 players should bring in £35-£45M to club

    And FSG need to back B Rodgers heavily with £70-£110M over next two transfer windows to bring in ten class, quality players.

    Five Defensive players and Five class creative pacey quick attacking players:

    These are the 7 players B Rodgers needs to be brought to club this summer:

    GK: Class, Quality Competition for Mignolet(25): A Mccarthy(24) Of Reading for £4-£7M

    CB:Class, Quality Competition for Skrtel(29): S Caulker(22) Of Cardiff for £7-£12M

    RB: Class, Quality Competition for Johnson(29)Class: N Clyne(23) Of Southampton for £5-£8M

    LB:Class, Quality Competition for Enrique(27): B Davies(20) Of Swansea for £4-£8M

    DM: Class, Quality Competition for Lucas(26): M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for £8-£11M

    And these two attacking players:

    AM: Class, Quality Competition for Coutinho(21) and Suso(20): A Lallana(25) Of Southampton for £14-£18M

    LW /LWF:Class, Quality Competition for Ibe(18): Y Konoplyanka(25) Of Dnipro for £12-£16M

    Those 7 players need to be brought to the club in the summer, then these 3 other players need to be brought to the club in January 2015.

    CM: Koke(21) Of A Madrid for £17-£21M to compete with Allen(23) and Henderson(23)

    FD: L Muriel(23) Of Udinese for £9-£14M to compete with Suarez(27)

    FD: A Hernandez(23) Of Palermo for £4-£6M to compete with Sturridge(24)

  25. L Alberto F Borini and MKelly to stay their still very young, the rest I agree with on. F borini reminds me of a young dirk kyut works his socks for his team. L alberto has done very well anytime he's came on for us, he has a great touch and an eye for a pass. M kelly I hope will be back to full fitness by next season all being well, think this young lad has what it takes. He' just been unlucky with a few bad injurys, maybe loan him out next year even for season wouldn give up on him yet. (IMO)

  26. Agreed, overpaying for mediocre or over the hill players who fail to fit into the system could be the downfall of what Rodgers and his coaching staff has been trying to build thus far. If we win the title, and it is a huge if, I too hope the focus does not turn away from acquiring the best young talent and developing them together so that the squad remains cohesive for years to come. But even if it's qualifying for the champions league or Europa, the fundamentals should remain in place, quick fixes aren't the answer, long term.

  27. Yes I would to be honest. You don't find top class keepers willing to sit on the bench you know.

  28. You don't rotate goalkeepers just for making a mistake. Goalkeepers are the only position on the pitch where confidence is even more important than for a striker. The thing is, if Sturridge misses six sitters and scores two, no harm is done. If Mignolet gets six out but makes two mistakes it's the end of the world. Goalkeepers need to be perfect all the time because after them, there is no one. You look at their overal performance over the season, not at incidents. Well unless you're the British media looking for a story of course. Or you.

  29. For me good enough if LFC can get sign Koke and Ross Barkley for midfielder.Striker?...Diego Costa.Victor Moses,Iago Aspas,Ally Cissoko, Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly must release out first.

  30. You are somewhat deluded I'm afraid. I've got an idea. Why not sell everyone and buy Barcelona. Problem solved. Why has no one thought of that before

  31. Michael Blankson10:38 am, March 13, 2014

    Looking at this guy, and only via youtube and reading a few things online about his ability, I can see why he may be of interest. He packs similar qualities to Sterling, in that he has great speed and very good close ball control. Something that I feel all wingers have to have in the prem. He also possess a low centre of gravity allowing him to turn at speed.

    Apart from Sterling, there are no wingers in the LFC squad who have these attributes. Defenders would find both of these players a nightmare, drawing fouls, penalties and sending offs.

    If we watch most of the goals we have scored this season, its been through sheer pace and counter attacking ability, nullifying the defence and not giving them the time to get set up.

    Bringing in Iturbe could, in turn, force out one of our other players pushing for regular 1st team football, but in the set up that Rogers deploys, it would be worth it. But not for 15mill, 10mill at most.

  32. I think more the point steer clear of Italian players who have never played in England.

  33. F Borini is simply not good enough. He scored a few goals for sunderland, he there type of football player. He is not a liverpool or champions league player.

    When you think the top 6 teams in league: Man City, Chelsea, Us, Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham.

    You think class quality teams with class quality players who can Consistently play to a high level, so an 8/10 week in week out. That level then they should play for our club if not they should not. F Borini isn't a 8/10 every week for Sunderland, let alone doing that week in week out for Liverpool.

    F Borini, L Alberto are not those players and M Kelly is the new improved F Aurelio( Mr Injury Prone) and we don't need him and he has offered us very little in last three years , so why is he being paying £35,000-£45,000 every week without fail to be in treatment room 95% of season and to warm our bench.

  34. Patrick, your the deluded one if you think any of the players i mentioned we should sell:

    1: GK: B Jones
    2: GK: P Reina
    3: CB: K Toure
    4: CB: S Coates
    5: RB: M Kelly
    6: AM: L Alberto
    7: RW / RWF: O Assaidi
    8: FD: I Aspas
    9:FD: F Borini

    If B Rodgers was to sell all those players this summer,the squad would not be affected as this season they have not or contributed very little to this seasons success.

    If these players were sold , it would not show. That being said they are not needed. They are all on descent wages, yet offer the club very little.

    So B Rodgers needs to get them off the wage bill and bring in some real class quality players to club in order for club to have serious class quality squad and good class quality competition for places in every position at club.

  35. Eric, Any player in the Liverpool Squad should not be comfortable . No one should be indispensable, if you make serious mistakes which costs your team goals and points you should be dropped.

    Look at what Pellegrini did with J Hart at start of season, J Hart has been in top 3 Gk's in league for last three years but his consistency, form and mistakes earlier this season were a problem.

    And he was benched and pantillimon deputised well and then J Hart's indispensable title went, J Hart now is back to his best as he knows if he makes any dumb or stupid mistakes he has a good understudy who is of similar class and quality to him that the manager would galdly replace him with.

    No matter how bad or the mistake is Mignolet does he is in starting line up next game as B Jones is abyzmal, pathetic and not up to the class or level of Mignolet.

    This is why P Reina(31) became inconsistant and started making huge mistakes. The first two seasons P Reina was at club, he was awesome and didn't put a foot wrong. But due to lack of class, quality competition for his place he gots complacent and mistake after mistake started to happen. Yet Reina would still be in starting line up as he is 4 times the GK B Jones is.

    When we get another Good Gk competing with Mignolet week in week out, then his consistency level will stay high always. As he will no that he is not INDISPENSABLE

  36. Managing an ACTUAL football club is not like playing Football Manager on the 'puter mate!

  37. I think Suso is the new Suso.

  38. Joe, how many players did B Rodgers bring to club in the summer? And how many of them have been a success?

    Alberto, Aspas, Cissokho, Llori, Mignolet, Moses, Sakho and Toure. 8 players that is

    Only two of them have been a success and worth bringing to club: Mignolet and Sakho

    Llori will come good in the next two seasons, but the rest of them were not needed and we need a huge clear out in the summer.

    And two transfer windows to sort out our weak feable squad

  39. I know what you're saying mate, it's just kinda unrealistic that Brendan will ship out a third of the squad and have enough time to replace them in the Summer.

    Remember we have that nolly Ayre working for us. He's more interested in securing breakfast cereal deals than player targets.

  40. And who was behind Reina those first two seasons? Was it someone on his level threatening him? Not quite. Reina became inconsistent because the entire team became inconsistent. Because the owners and manager acted like buffoons. That's why Reina became inconsistent. And the only reason Joe Hart is back is because Pantilmon or however you spell that was even worse. By your logic, if Hart's backup did such a good job he should have kept him out all together. Look at Chelsea, why do you think they loan Courtois to Atletico? Because he won't sit on the bench waiting for League Cup action or for Cech to pull a muscle. That was part of the deal when and a big reason why he signed for them from Genk. I'm fine with bringing in a new keeper in the summer as I never rated Mignolet in the first place but during the season we should stick with him unless of course he really mucks it up a couple of games in a row. Which hasn't happened so far.

  41. You don't have to find 'top class' keepers. Just passable ones. Either get a promising youngsters or a solid old pro. Stoke did it for years with Begovic and Sorensen. Spurs have Friedel (who we tried to get, and would have been exactly the kind of player I'm talking about). I think Fabianski is a step up on Jones. Even Palace have Hennessey and Speroni.

    We don't need Buffon, but someone who looks comfortable at this level wouldn't go amiss.

    I don't think Jones is terrible, but whenever you see him play he is clearly a step below most Premier League keepers.

  42. To be completely fair, Iturbe was the first player to be labelled 'the new Messi' a few years ago when he was linked with a transfer to the scum. Not that that makes the label any less daft. He looked promising back then, but I'm not sure he has more than, say, Konoplyanka. Good player, anyway; I'm just not sure that, if LFC were to get one new winger next summer, I'd want it to be Iturbe.

  43. Joe, B Rodgers brought in 8 players in the summer. Out of the 8 only 2 of the players have been justified and a success. The other 6 were not needed.

    So the 9 players i mentioned B Rodgers should replace with the 7 class quality players i mentioned. The 5 defensive enforcements , plus A Lallana(25) AM and Y Konoplyanka(25) LWF.

    If we make champions league this season as the 9 players that needs to be shipped out, only one of them is world class and of champions league class and quality. ( P Reina GK)

  44. Eric, Mignolet(25) is a good class quality GK. P Reina(31) is a world class GK.

    I thought B Rodgers would replace our world class GK, with two class quality GKS in the summer .

    And i still think Mignolet(25) needs someone of the same calibre keeping him on his toes week in week out. And Eric, Pantillmon did very well for 3-5 games, then made a mistake. Which allowed J Hart back in contention.

    Every good class quality side needs either 1 world class GK and a good back up GK or 2 class quality Gks, Mignolet(25) is not world class.

    And needs a class quality GK competing with him week in week out. So M Vorm(30) Of Swansea or A Mccarthy(24) Of Reading, one of these GK's should be brought to the club this summer for £4-£7M

  45. And you'd think they'd come to us to sit on the bench?

  46. I guess that's where we disagree. I would say Jones is passable.

  47. Eric, they would not come to be on bench. They would come to dislodge Mignolet(25) from the number 1 position.