Monthly Archives: June 2013

Gerrard on course for pre-season return following shoulder surgery

Six weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Liverpool midfielder is on course to return to fitness in time for the club’s pre-season training next month

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists he is recovering well from shoulder surgery and should be back in action in time for pre-season training.

The 33-year-old featured in every minute of the Reds’ Premier League season up until the 36th game, when he ended the campaign early in order to undergo surgery on a long-standing injury.

Six weeks later, the England international is now almost ready to return to training, and admits he cannot wait to get back in action.

“It’s going well and feeling strong,” the midfielder told the club’s official website.

“I’m six weeks down the line with the rehabilitation from surgery.

“I’m not too far away, maybe a couple of weeks away from contact and being back in full training if everything goes well. I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s probably the longest break I’ve had at this time of year – being out of the game for six weeks is enough, I’m itching to get back.”

Gerrard enjoyed his best season in four years last term, scoring 10 goals in 36 Premier League games.

Borussia Dortmund launch €23 million bid for Mkhitaryan

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin insists they will not part with their attacking star for less than €30m, with Liverpool also interested in the player

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin has confirmed that Borussia Dortmund have made a €23 million bid for attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian star has long been liked with a move to Premier League outfit Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers including the player in his plans for a £42m summer spending spree.

Dortmund have no leaped to the front of the queue for his signature by tabling a bid for his services, but Palkin has stressed that Shakhtar will accept nothing less than €30m for the 24-year-old, even though he failed to turn out for pre-season training for the Ukraine giants.

“I don’t know where Mkhitaryan is, now; solely his agent knows this,” Palkin told Terrikon.

“Borussia offered €23m for the midfielder. I contacted Mkhitaryan’s agent yesterday. I wrote to him about the official position of the club.

“We are prepared to sell Mkhitaryan for €30m; this offer stands for the next 10 days. If Mkhitaryan wishes to leave, they have to pay this amount for him.”

Mignolet signing a fantastic deal for Liverpool, says Fowler

The Anfield legend has nothing but praise for the new signing from Sunderland and is hopeful that the Reds will be able to hold onto “phenomenal” striker Luis Suarez

By Bima Said

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has applauded the club’s decision to sign goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, believing that it is a “fantastic deal” for the club.

The Belgian completed his switch to Anfield on Tuesday, signing a long-term contract with Brendan Rodgers’ side, and Fowler believes the move will help the 25-year-old in his quest to dislodge Thibaut Courtois in the battle to be his country’s No.1.



“I think he was a great keeper last year,” Fowler told Goal. “You’d have to look at his nationality as well. The flux of Belgian players in the top leagues and top teams is frightening. I think it’s a fantastic deal.

“He performed well last year in the Premier League, made some great saves and obviously he wants to be the Belgian No.1 and playing in the Premier League is certainly going to stabilise that.”

On the subject of Luis Suarez’s future, who has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid, Fowler hailed the Uruguay striker and is hoping that Rodgers can keep hold of his star man.

“I don’t think there’s ever a good time to sell players to be honest,” the former Leeds striker continued. “Suarez is a phenomenal player and I’ve said many times that any team with him in is a strong one.

“What I’ll say is that he’s a great player and will score goals but he’s not the only player at Liverpool. There’s many players who fight for a spot and they all want to win. Regardless of what happens to Suarez, at the time he’s a Liverpool player and I think he will continue to be a Liverpool player. Let’s see … let’s hope.”

“You want him to be the best player in the world and he’s on his way there but some of his misdemeanours are not great and Suarez is the first to admit that,” Fowler admitted. “He’s said that many times himself.

“But, I’ll be honest with you, I’m going to focus on his football. I love watching him as a player. He excites me and people should try to focus more on his playing style. I know he doesn’t really help himself at times but I’m a big fan of what he tries to achieve on the pitch.”

The Reds finished seventh in the Premier League last term, again missing out on a place in the Champions League, but Fowler believes that the club are heading in the right direction with Rodgers at the helm.

“I think that we’re at that transitional period, trying to bring in new players and they’ll need to gel,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential and the progression I’ve seen for the last few years that has definitely been there and I fully expect it to be happening this year.

“Brendan is making the right noises, he is doing the right things, bringing the right players in. There’s so much you can do and it’s really down to the players to prove their worth and get the club into the top four. When you get into that position, and maintain consistency, you’ll be confident and might challenge to move further up the table.”

Robbie Fowler was in Jakarta to promote the club’s pre-season Asia Tour 2013. For information on tickets, visit

New Liverpool signing Mignolet does not fear Reina competition

The 25-year-old was unveiled on Tuesday evening and says he is relishing the prospect of battling the Spain international and Australian keeper Brad Jones for the No.1 jersey

New Liverpool signing Simon Mignolet believes competition for places is “a good thing” as he looks to usurp current Anfield first-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

The Belgium international made the move to Merseyside from Sunderland on Tuesday, signing a long-term contract with the Reds after successfully completing a medical at Melwood.

Speculation has been rife that the ex-Black Cats shot-stopper will replace Reina between the sticks, but with manager Brendan Rodgers adamant the Spaniard is going nowhere, Mignolet is now set to battle it out for a starting berth – a challenge he is relishing.

“Competition can only be a good thing,” Mignolet told the club’s official website.

“I’ve been in big competitions wherever I’ve been – in Belgium with the national team and in Sunderland with Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood, who are international goalies. Now it’s the same again with Pepe and with Brad.

“It’s only a good thing – to be competitive and to train as hard as you can, it can only bring the best out of you.

“Pepe is an experienced goalkeeper who has proven a lot over the years. I’m looking forward to working with him, the same as I am with Brad and the goalie coach.

“It’s a challenge but that’s what you want. You want to play in the big games, you want to play for a big club and to play with pressure.

“I’m very confident in myself and I can’t wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt. I’ve never been a nervous person. I’m quite confident in my own abilities.”

Liverpool complete signing of Sunderland goalkeeper Mignolet

The Belgium international has joined the club for a fee believed to be in the region of €9.4 million, and is the Reds’ fourth signing of a busy summer transfer window

Liverpool have completed the signing of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet on a long-term deal, the club have confirmed.

The 25-year-old shot-stopper made 101 appearances in three years for the Black Cats, but has swapped Wearside for Merseyside after penning a “long-term contract” following a successful medical at Melwood.

As reported by Goal, the Belgium international is part of a €50 million transfer splurge by Liverpool, with the club also chasing Henrikh Mkhitaryan following the successful signings of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto.

Mignolet was one of Sunderland’s star performers in a largely unspectacular season for the club, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers believes the club have acquired a “huge talent”.

“I am delighted that we have been able to sign one of the top goalkeepers in the Barclays Premier League,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“Simon will join a club that will give him an opportunity to demonstrate and improve his huge talent.”

The signing of Mignolet will add further fuel to the speculation linking current Liverpool No.1 Pepe Reina with a move away from Anfield, but Rodgers has previously insisted the Belgian has been bought to provide competition for the Spaniard.

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio was sad to loose the young goalkeeper, and thanked Mignolet for his contribution to the Black Cats’ survival bid last season.

“Simon is a fantastic footballer, a fantastic professional and a fantastic lad and I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season,” the Italian head coach told the club’s official website.

“He was crucial to what we achieved and he goes with the very best wishes of everyone at the club.”