Sunday, 10 May 2009

Transfer Speculation

Liverpool are apparently on the verge of signing Croatian international Danijel Pranjic from Herenveen in an £8million deal according to today’s Mirror. “The 26-year-old left-sided midfielder, who scored 16 goals in the Dutch League this season to help Herenveen qualify for Europe, sent agent Soren Lerby to Anfield this week to discuss terms. Lerby then flew to Holland on Friday to speak with Heerenveen and club director Yme Kuiper admitted: "We understand Liverpool is the club where Pranjic wants to go."

The article goes on to say that Liverpool will also sign Gareth Barry in a reported £10 million deal this summer as Xabi Alonso is leaving for Juventus for £15 million.

The Scum sister paper the ‘News of the World’ contradicts the Mirror’s article by stating Alonso will be ‘forced out’ of Liverpool to join Manchester City in a deal worth £18 million. It also speculates that Gareth Barry will become a Liverpool player for £8 million. The stories from both papers accredit no quotes regarding Alonso instead claiming the report had come from “sources close to the club”

The Sunday Express states that Benitez wants to keep key players at Liverpool. In an interview taken earlier this week, but ignored by the tabloids intent on intensifying speculation, Rafa clearly states his aim to keep both Mascherano and Alonso at Anfield. Both players have endured intense transfer gossip in the past couple of weeks. Speaking about Mascherano he said “I didn’t know about his comments so I talked to him about them and he was clear that he is happy here,” Benitez said. “You cannot stop clubs talking with his agent because he is a good player and there aren’t many holding midfielders of his calibre. When you have four or five top clubs asking about you, you don’t want to say ‘no’ because you know in football everything can change. So from a player’s point of view, and especially from the agent’s, they try to keep the doors open for everyone. But does he want to leave? I don’t think so. He knows the best option for him at this moment is this club. In three years’ time you never know. But now he knows this is the best option.” The article goes on to state that Alonso has been linked with Real Madrid as well as Juventus. Speaking about the Alonso speculation he goes on to say “We want to keep all our key players here, and it is exactly the same story with Xabi.”

The News of the World also alleges that Rafa will have a £64 million transfer budget this summer. In an article written by ex Liverpool Echo journalist Chris Bascombe it claims that Benitez has been promised £20 million from the owners, but hopes to make another £44 million by selling players. Alonso, Ryan Babel, Andrea Dossena, Andriy Voronin, Sebastian Leto, Jermaine Pennant, Charles Itandje, Philipp Degen are all on the way out. It also declares that Jack Hobbs who has been on a season long loan at Leicester will make the move permanent in a £1 million deal. Albert Riera could also leave as Benitez is considering a £12m swoop for Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing.

The story also claims that Sami Hyypia will await the outcome of the title race before deciding whether to accept a Liverpool testimonial. The defender has agreed a summer move to Bayer Leverkusen after 10 years at Anfield. The article declares “If Manchester United have wrapped up the league by the time Spurs visit on May 24, Hyypia will likely to be honorary skipper for the day. If the race goes all the way, he may have a send-off next season.”

Elsewhere in the paper Carlos Tevez has stated that he will leave Manchester United in the summer. Tevez was linked with Liverpool a few weeks back, claims in an interview for the tabloid "I don't think I will be a Manchester United player next season. I feel bad over my situation, I do, but it's very, very difficult to stay any longer. I guess what I'm saying is goodbye. Any club I join, whether it be Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool or Everton, will be a rival of Manchester United.”

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