Monthly Archives: August 2014

Brondby confirm talks with Liverpool over Agger

The central defender could be heading back to his former club after struggling to secure a regular first-team place under Brendan Rodgers last season

Brondby have confirmed they are in negotiations with Liverpool over a deal for Daniel Agger.

Goal understands that Liverpool have been open to selling the 29-year-old since the start of the summer, with Napoli initially interested in a move.

The Denmark international started just 16 games in the Premier League last season and is behind Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho in the pecking order at Anfield.

A statement from Brondby CEO Jesper Jorgensen said: “There have now been speculation in Danish and international media that Brondby is in dialogue with Liverpool FC about a transfer of Daniel Agger .

“Brondby can confirm that there is dialogue with Liverpool FC and Daniel Agger about a move to Brondby. If the club manage to sign Daniel Agger during the next few days, the financial effect of the profit will be limited.

“Brondby IF have no further comments on speculation about Daniel Agger.”

Tottenham – Liverpool Preview: Spurs out for revenge in Balotelli debut

The North Londoners were hammered 5-0 by the Reds at White Hart Lane last season, though will take on a new-look Merseyside attack with the Italy international set to make his bow

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not want Mario Balotelli’s potential debut to divert focus ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham.

The Italy international is in line for his Liverpool bow at White Hart Lane, having arrived from Milan on Monday amid plenty of excitement on Merseyside.

Formerly of Manchester City, Balotelli returns to the Premier League after acknowledging his exit from the English top flight was a “mistake”.

The 24-year-old scored 26 goals in 43 league appearances for Milan and Rodgers will be keen for the striker to boost a Liverpool side yet to hit top gear this season.

The Reds’ narrow 2-1 win over Southampton was followed by a 3-1 defeat to champions Manchester City.

Balotelli scored the winning goal for City the last time he faced Spurs, and Rodgers has been pleased with his latest recruit’s attitude in training this week.

“Mario is fine, he has settled in very well. He has looked fantastic in training and he is a good lad. The focus is very much on his football and he has done very well,” said Rodgers on Friday.

“This is not the Mario Balotelli show. He’s a good player and a talented player but he has a lot of work to do here.

“We’ve got a number of top-class players. The star of this team will always be the team.”

Spurs have demonstrated fine form at the start of Mauricio Pochettino’s maiden campaign in charge – winning each of their Premier League games against West Ham and QPR to reach the summit of the table, while also moving into the Europa League group stages.

Buoyed by a 100 per cent winning start, the Argentine is not reading too much into the fact that Liverpool put nine goals past Spurs last season.

A 5-0 defeat to Rodgers’ men at White Hart Lane signalled the end of Andre Villas-Boas’ reign and Tottenham were also well beaten with Tim Sherwood in charge at Anfield.

“It is a new season, I think a different style, different philosophy,” said Pochettino. “Liverpool invested a lot of money this summer and we went another way.

“We believe in our squad and add some players for the balance. Two different ways [of approaching things].”

Kyle Walker (pelvis) and Roberto Soldado (neck) are the only injury worries for Tottenham, who have the option of including new defensive recruit Federico Fazio.

Rodgers could hand a competitive debut to Adam Lallana – one of the star performers in Pochettino’s Southampton team last season.

Lallana suffered a knee injury in July but will feature in Rodgers’ squad on Sunday, although there remain doubts over Alberto Moreno (ankle), Glen Johnson (thigh) and Jose Enrique (knee).

‘Fantastic’ Lallana set to make Liverpool debut – Rodgers

The former Southampton captain is yet to feature for the Reds after sustaining knee ligament damage in pre-season but could make a comeback this weekend

Adam Lallana is looking “fantastic” and is in line to make his Liverpool debut in Sunday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Brendan Rodgers.

The England midfielder has not yet featured for the Merseyside giants since his €31 million move from Southampton after sustaining knee ligament damage during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Liverpool gave a positive outlook on Lallana’s fitness on Friday, though, revealing that the 26-year-old will be in the squad to face a Tottenham side who have made a bright start under Mauricio Pochettino – Lallana’s head coach at Southampton last season.

“Adam will be in the squad, for sure,” Rodgers told reporters. “He has looked fantastic in training.

“Of course he is well short of match fitness but in training for the last couple of weeks he has been exceptional.”

The Liverpool boss stated that Glen Johnson (thigh) is unlikely to be ready for the trip to White Hart Lane and he will also monitor the fitness of fellow full-back Alberto Moreno (ankle).

Rodgers also expects more activity in the transfer window ahead of Monday’s deadline, with players set to leave the club rather than arrive.

“There’ll probably be more movement out than coming in, I would say,” he added. “We’ve still got offers for players to go.

“Every player here knows their situation, so if they’re here after that deadline on Monday then they’ve decided to stay but their game time will be very limited. At this moment in time, there are not many more to come in, if any.”

Rodgers: Real Madrid clash will be ‘special’

The Northern Irishman believes being paired with the reigning European champions is just reward for the Reds’ surprise second-placed finish in last season’s Premier League

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is thrilled at the prospect of facing Real Madrid in this season’s Champions League group stages.

Thursday’s draw in Monaco pitted Liverpool in Group B alongside the titleholders, as well as Swiss outfit Basel and Ludogorets of Bulgaria.

Liverpool’s second-placed finish in the Premier League last season earned them a place in the Champions League for the first time since 2009-10, and being drawn against Madrid gives the club the chance to repeat the feats of the 2008-09 season, when the Reds dispatched the Spanish giants 5-0 on aggregate in the second round.

As 10-time winners of the competition, Real have twice as many crowns as Liverpool, and Rodgers is eagerly anticipating the contests ahead.

“Initially, we’re excited,” he told the club’s official website. “That was last season’s hard work, what we were working towards – getting Liverpool back into a competition where we are synonymous.

“To be back in it again, no matter who we were going to play, it was always going to be exciting. But to have Real Madrid in your group, the champions last season, is going to be special.

“I’m already thinking of Anfield on that night. But there are two other good teams in it along with us. It’s a tough group but we’ll really look forward to the challenge of getting out of the group.”

Despite the sense of anticipation, Rodgers is refusing to get too carried away by planning for life beyond the first round.

“The notion for us was to get out of the group stage – we can look no further than that,” he said.

“It was great excitement and hopefully it was great for the supporters to sit and watch the draw for the first time in five years.

“Now we know the teams that we’re playing, we’ll focus to get out of the group. That’s as far as you can look. Once you get out of the group stages, you take it from there.

“Preparation will start straight away. Some of the teams we’re well aware of; we watch the likes of Real Madrid nearly every week and we know their players.

“But as soon as the draw is finalised, the work and the focus will be on that. We have our analysis team behind the scenes who will do all the preparation work we need for our opponents. It will be exciting for them as well.”

I’m not in talks over new Liverpool deal, admits Johnson

The England international’s deal expires at the end of this season and he is yet to agree an extension but insists he is relaxed about the situation

Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson insisted he is not worried about his contract status at the club.

Johnson is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season and there are doubts as to whether Liverpool will offer the 30-year-old – one of the club’s highest earners since arriving in 2009 – a new deal.

The England international, who suffered a thigh injury during Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Premier League champions Manchester City on Monday, admits no talks have taken place over a new contract but insists he is not anxious about the situation.

“I’m very relaxed about my contract,” Johnson told The Liverpool Echo. “There are no talks going on with the club at the moment. There were minor talks towards the end of last season but nothing else.

“I’ve loved playing my football here from day one. I’m more than happy here. But obviously I can only talk to the club about it when they want to speak to me.”

Johnson is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any club in January but is refusing to look too far ahead as he attempts to help Liverpool to Premier League glory this term.

“In January I could [talk to other clubs], but I’ll worry about that when January comes,” the former Chelsea full-back added. “At the minute I’m playing for Liverpool and I’m happy here. I’m more than willing to stay.

“I’ll just concentrate on things here week by week. The manager has picked me so far. That shows he wants me here.”