Here today, gone tomorrow: the never-ending Suarez transfer saga has now turned ugly
With now less than a month to go until the summer transfer window finally slams shut for business for the year, we take a look at what rumours are currently doing the rounds at Liverpool.
The Reds have been dominating the gossip pages throughout the close season—most of the stories are focussing on the future of wantaway front man Luis Suarez and the Uruguay international’s desire to quit the club for a team competing in next season’s UEFA Champions League—and this week is not different.
However, Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers has also been busy as he continues to try to reshape the squad he was left by previous manager Kenny Dalglish last June, so do not be surprised to see yet more new faces at Anfield before the window closes at the start of next month.
But before that cut-off date comes into view, these are the transfer rumours involving the Merseyside giants from the week starting August 12.
Last updated on Sunday Aug 18 at 15.00BST.
Samba Boy: but could Leandro Damiao now end up at Liverpool next season?
Liverpool are moving ever closer to sealing a cut-price £15 million move for coveted Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian, although they now face late competition for the Brazilian’s signature from Newcastle United, according to Steve Stammers in the Sunday Mirror.
However, the red top says that the Merseysiders remain in the driving seat to land the 25-year-old before the window closes on Sept 2, although Dean Jones in the Sunday People claims that manager Brendan Rodgers will switch his focus to another coveted Brazil international if the club fail to land Willian.
And that Selecao star is long-term Tottenham Hotspur target Leandro Damiao, with the 24-year-old attacking midfield player still to have secured his much-discussed move from Internacional to the Continent this summer.
But the paper also reports that Liverpool are still said to be bracing themselves for the imminent arrival of a third club-record bid from Arsenal in the region of £50m for their own wantaway South American star, Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay international may have apologised to his Reds teammates on Friday for his poor behaviour and attitude in recent weeks as he tried to push through his controversial move to the Emirates, however, that does not mean that the 26-year-old has now decided to remain at Anfield this summer.
And if the Gunners do submit a British-record £50m offer for Suarez, then that will probably be enough to convince the Merseysiders to part company with their mercurial forward, says the People.
Finally, the Sunday Mirror claims the Reds have been closely tracking the “new Arjen Robben", aka 16-year-old Groningen wide man Richairo Zivkovic, with a view to possibly signing the Serbia Under-18 international.
Missing In Action: the suspended Suarez watches from the stands as Liverpool open up their Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Anfield
It has been a rare quiet 24 hours for Liverpool in the transfer market today, with the only story concerning the Reds being another new update on the ongoing Luis Suarez transfer saga, according to ESPN.
The good news for everyone associated with the club is that the Uruguay international has now apologised to his team-mates for his attitude these past few weeks, and as such Suarez was allowed back to train with the rest of the first-team squad at Melwood on Friday.
And that has also had the knock-on effect of forcing Arsenal to now switch their own striking focus away from Suarez and back towards unsettled Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, says John Cross in the Daily Mirror.
However, as for Liverpool’s own wantaway attacker, the options are now fast running out if the 26-year-old still wants to quit Anfield for a Champions League-competing club before the summer transfer window slams shut on Sept 2.
Meanwhile, the Merseysiders will be counting down the days until that time passes.
Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle for Aly Cissokho
The Daily Mirror’s David Maddock has the latest on Liverpool’s ongoing attempts to sign Anzhi Makhachkala’s £35 million-rated playmaker Willian, with the Reds encouraged by the some-time Brazil international’s latest come-and-get-me plea to the Merseysiders.
“There are conversations, and I am hoping in the next few days for an offer from a club like Liverpool,” said the 25-year-old.
“If it is Liverpool, then they are a great club. The news came as a real shock, but I’m calm about it and hoping for the best, because I’ve been told they will help the players to go, if they get a good offer.
“So I am hoping there will be something from Liverpool, because England has a league that I’ve dreamed of playing in.
“I know there have been some conversations, but I do not know what the valuation is.”
However, there are potential complications on the horizon before Liverpool can celebrate the successful purchase of the hugely talented Brazilian in the form of both the fee that his Russian employers are seeking for the player, and also the competition the Reds are facing for his signature from not only Tottenham Hotspur, but now also arch-rivals Manchester United, according to Jason Burt in the Daily Telegraph.
And finally, according to BBC Sport Online’s Ben Smith, Liverpool have agreed a season-long loan deal with Liga outfit Valencia for their France international Aly Cissokho, after the Reds’ move for Granada full-back Guilherme Siqueira fell through with the two clubs unable to agree a fee for the Brazilian.
However, the left back will not arrive on Merseyside until next week to complete his move, which could be made into a permanent deal at the end of the season, and so will not be available to face Stoke City in their Premier League opener at Anfield on Saturday lunch time.
Keeping his eye on the ball: Granada defender Siqueira in action against Barcelona
Following on from Wednesday’s shock announcement that previously unsettled Liverpool front man Luis Suarez had performed the most dramatic of U-turns by now deciding to stay at Anfield next season, with even the possibility of the Uruguayan signing a contract extension at the club, now comes an even more remarkable turnaround.
The controversial forward has since come out to deny ever making those remarks in Uruguayan newspaper El Observador that were then publicised all around the world, with Suarez quoted on ESPN as now claiming: "I didn't say that, maybe someone else did and the main thing is that I am here now with the national team.”
Confused? Well, you are not the only one!!
Meanwhile, according to Jeremy Wilson in the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal are still keen on signing Suarez this summer and are understood to be preparing a third and final offer of £49 million for the 26-year-old which they hope will be enough to persuade the Merseysiders to part company with their star man.
And finally, the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson says that the Reds are closing in on a £5.5m deal for Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira, with reports in Spain claiming the deal is now “80 per cent” done for the Brazilian.
Great Dane: and now it appears as though Agger will be at Anfield next season
Despite unsettled Liverpool front man Luis Suarez having claimed earlier in the week that he would not be speaking at all about his future at Anfield while away on international duty with Uruguay, the 26-year-old has already gone back on his promise.
And according to the Daily Mail’s Paul Collins, the controversial attacker has now performed a dramatic U-turn by telling a newspaper in his native Uruguay that he now intends to stay with the Reds next season after all.
What is more, Suarez may even now sign a contract extension at the club, which will come as a huge relief to everyone associated with the Merseyside giants, a development later confirmed by Uruguay-based journalist Martin Chaquero.
“Luis Suarez confirms to me he will not leave Liverpool. The support of the fans has influenced his decision,” Chaquero told the Mirror.
“Suarez see it as likely that he'll sign a renewal (extension) to the contract that binds him to Liverpool.”
And the journalist then tweeted: “Sources close to Luis Suarez have confirmed his decision to stay at Liverpool.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson is also reporting that the Reds are still planning to push ahead with ambitious moves to sign £35 million-rated Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker William, irrespective of Suarez’s future on Merseyside this summer.
The red top says that Liverpool’s American owners, the Fenway Sports Group, have promised head coach Brendan Rodgers the financial backing to bring a marquee signing to Anfield before the transfer window closes on Sept 2, with the Northern Irishman having identified the occasional Brazil international as being that man.
However, Rodgers will need to fight off competition for the 25-year-old’s signature from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who are said to also be keen on landing William.
And on a day of good news for Liverpool, the Mirror’s John Cross is claiming that Spanish champions Barcelona have now given up all hope of luring Reds centre-back Daniel Agger to Camp Nou next season.
The Catalans lodged a £15m bid with the Merseysiders for the Denmark international last week that was rejected out of hand by the club, who told Barca that they valued Agger at £25m, a figure that has now forced them to look elsewhere at alternative, cheaper defensive options in the market.
All smiles: but will Willian be at Anfield next season?
Some encouraging news for the beleaguered Reds as we approach the start of the new Premier League season with the Sun’s Anthony Kastrinakis claiming that Brendan Rodgers is about to rival Tottenham Hotspur with a £35m bid for Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian.
According to the paper, Liverpool have now switched their focus towards the highly rated Brazil international after finally conceding defeat in their efforts to land Atletico de Madrid front man Diego Costa.
Spanish sports daily Marca has reported that the Brazilian striker has agreed verbally to put pen to paper on a new contract at the Vincente Calderon, with the 24-year-old’s current deal in the Spanish capital set to come to an end in June 2015.
Elsewhere, the Daily Express’ Ben Jefferson claims that the Merseyside giants are now hoping to bring Bayern Munich’s £1.75m-rated left-back Diego Contento to Anfield before the transfer window closes for business on Sept 2 as cover for Spaniard Jose Enrique next season.
However, the Bundesliga champions will only allow the German to leave the Allianz Arena this summer if Arsenal’s reported move for midfield player Luiz Gustavo falls through, with Bayern not prepared to allow both players to quit the club this summer.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel has the latest on the ongoing Luis Suarez transfer saga, reporting that the unsettled Liverpool forward has decided to impose a blanket ban on any talk about his future at the club while away on international duty this week with Uruguay, which will come as a blessed relief I am sure to everyone.
The England international has left Anfield after just two years on Merseyside, during which time the 29-year-old registered only seven goals and 11 assists in his 91 appearances in total for the Reds.
And Downing said he was delighted to be moving to Upton Park: "I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity for me being here, it's a great club and I'm really excited to get going.
"I've played a decent few games for Liverpool in pre-season, so there will be no problems on that front."
If looks could kill: Rodgers and Suarez's relationship at Liverpool has now broken down beyond repair
Another day, and another new development in the summer’s longest-running transfer saga as John Cross reports in the Daily Mirror that unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is now refusing to say sorry to both his teammates and the club itself.
The Uruguayan had been asked to make an apology last week by manager Brendan Rodgers after claiming that the Northern Irishman had broken a promise he made to him last year. Suarez claimed he had an agreement that would see him move to a club competing in the Champions League if Liverpool failed to qualify.
Rodgers has since denied that any such verbal agreement ever took place, but with both parties seemingly at loggerheads and Suarez’s relationship with his coach reportedly having also broken down irrevocably, it now appears there's no way back for the striker at the club.
And Arsenal have moved in quickly following this latest new development over the weekend by requesting peace talks to settle the matter, which is fast turning ugly, once and for all.
So just another normal day at Liverpool then.
And the news does not get any better either for Rodgers and Co. according to Dominic King, the Daily Mail’s North-West Correspondent, who claims that centre-back Daniel Agger would be keen on a move to Spanish champions FC Barcelona this summer after all, which will come as a bitter blow to the Reds.
So far, Liverpool have already been forced to turn down one offer from the Catalans for the Dane, valued at £15 million.
However, the club are said to be bracing themselves for the imminent arrival of a second bid, with Barca understood to be waiting to see if their No. 1 defensive target, Chelsea’s David Luiz, will first push for a move to Camp Nou before to deciding whether to return to Liverpool to poach Agger.
But if the La Liga giants do decide to increase their offer signifcantly, then according to the central defender’s agent, Agger would like to move to Catalonia.
“We are aware that Barcelona have made an offer for Daniel that Liverpool have rejected,” said Per Steffensen.
“Daniel has a contract with Liverpool for the next three years and it would be up to the clubs to agree a fee for his transfer in order for that to change.”
And Liverpool have already made inquiries with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain about the availability of France international Mamadou Sakho as a replacement for Agger.
Finally, the Liverpool Echo’s Neil Jones reports that the Reds are on the verge of sealing a £6 million deal to sign attack-minded Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira as cover for Spaniard Jose Enrique in that position next season.
And despite no fee having so far been agreed between the two clubs, it is expected that the 27-year-old Brazilian will be at Anfield before the window closes on September 2.