Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 19
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With less than a fortnight to go until the summer transfer window closes for business for the year, we take a look at the latest rumours doing the rounds surrounding the Reds.
Will wantaway front man Luis Suarez still be at Anfield come the start of next month? What progress are the Merseysiders making in their efforts to land coveted Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian? And are there any other possible new faces set to arrive at the club before the cut-off date of Sept 2?
Well, these are all the questions we will answer for you over the course of the next seven days.
Last updated on Sunday Aug 25 at 13.00BST.
Sunday, August 25
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The Sunday Mirror’s Bill Mills reports that Spanish champions Barcelona are preparing to launch a £10 million bid for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger as the Catalan giants look to find a long-term replacement for captain Carles Puyol at Camp Nou.
However, it is understood that the Merseysiders will resist any attempts by Barca to lure their newly appointed vice-captain to Spain, while the Reds have also dismissed suggestions that they would be prepared to sell the Denmark international for as little as £7m this summer.
Meanwhile, the red top also claims that Liverpool could be about to sign highly rated Ajax centre-back Toby Alderweireld before the close-season transfer window slams shut for business for the year on Sept 2.
The highly rated Belgium international has so far been linked with a whole host of other Premier League clubs this summer, including the likes of city-rivals Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
And with a contract at the Amsterdam ArenA that now only runs until next summer, the skipper of the Eredivisie champions could be available to the Reds for a cut-price fee of £6m after the 24-year-old rejected the chance to move to those aforementioned top-flight clubs.
Saturday, August 24
The Guardian’s Andy Hunter reports that Arsenal’s hopes of signing Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema hinge on whether or not the Spanish giants make their own move for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez before the window shuts on Sept 2.
As, if los Blancos are able to persuade the Uruguay attacker to move to the Santiago Bernabeu this season, then that will place a huge question mark over Benzema’s future in the Spanish capital, and may perhaps open up the possibility of the front man joining the Gunners.
However, the broadsheet also says that the Merseysiders have no intention whatsoever of allowing their star player to leave Anfield at this late stage in the transfer window with so little time to bring in a replacement, especially if it also has the knock-on effect of inadvertently strengthening their rivals from the capital.
Meanwhile, A Bola’s Eduardo Marques claims that the Reds have been told they will need to pay £6.1 million in order to land highly rated young Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori (see above).
Manager Brendan Rodgers is currently on the look-out for a back-up centre back to provide cover for first-choice duo Kolo Toure and Daniel Agger at the back at Anfield, and has already seen an initial offer of £3m for the Portugal Under-20 international rejected by the Lisbon giants in June.
Friday, August 23
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The Guardian’s Andy Hunter reports that Liverpool will reject any late transfer-window bids for their unsettled striker Luis Suarez, with Spanish giants Real Madrid expected to make a move for the Uruguay international before the window closes on Sept 2.
However, los Blancos’ interest in the 26-year-old could very well hinge on whether or not the Spaniards decide to sell their own front man, Karim Benzema, to Arsenal this summer as if the France international does move to the Emirates, then Madrid will need to find a replacement striker.
But Rodgers has been quick to re-emphasise the earlier message from Reds owner John W Henry, who insisted two weeks ago that Suarez would not be allowed to leave Anfield this season to any rival club, whatever the offer on the table for the player.
"I'm sure there will be plenty of activity in these last number of days. It is what it is, and we will deal with it like we have during the summer,” said Rodgers.
"It's very difficult at this time [for a Suarez bid to succeed]. We are trying to get one or two more quality players in through the door. If we lose Luis at this stage it would be difficult to replace him. There might have been a point a few months ago where there was time to do it but with 11 days to go it would be difficult to replace him."
The paper says that according to reports in the soon-to-be Serbia Under-19 international’s homeland, the Reds have been keeping close tabs on the 16-year-old by regularly sending scouts out to Holland to watch the player in action first hand.
And finally, the Daily Mail’s Dominic King reports that Rodgers will now be re-entering the transfer market in order to sign a new defender following the long-term injury sustained by centre-back Sebastian Coates while on international duty with Uruguay last week.
Coates has now been ruled out of the entire season after damaging the anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee, forcing the Northern Irishman to bring in a replacement central defender before the window closes on Sept 2.
“I feel for big Seba. He has picked up an injury similar to the one Martin Kelly had last season,” said Rodgers.
“It is probably going to put him out for the year. He was going to go out and play but that has put an end to that.
“We want to strengthen the squad. To maximise Andre Wisdom's talent, I need to get someone in on loan. I just think the position Andre plays, it is preferable to have that experience. “
“There has been no bid for Martin Skrtel,” Rodgers revealed. “I've not been told of that. First I have heard of it this morning. Ian Ayre, our managing director, does a terrific job and he would inform me straight away if something like that happened.”
Thursday, August 22
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The Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis reports that Liverpool have rejected an offer of £10 million from Serie A side Napoli for defender Martin Skrtel, with manager Brendan Rodgers now wanting to keep the Slovakia international at Anfield this season after all.
Initially, it had been thought that the Reds were happy to allow the 28-year-old to move to Naples this summer after the centre back fell out of favour with his boss in the second half of last season.
However, following the long-term injury picked up by central defender Sebastian Coates while away on international duty with Uruguay last Wednesday, with the back-up Uruguay international now expected to be sidelined for as long as six months with a serious knee injury, Rodgers wants Skrtel to remain on Merseyside.
Meanwhile, the Mirror’s David Maddock is also claiming that Rodgers has now lodged a new improved offer with Sporting Lisbon for their Portugal Under-20 international Tiago Ilori, after seeing a bid of £3m for the centre back rejected by the Portuguese giants in June.
But with the 20-year-old having steadfastly refused to put pen to paper on a new deal to remain in the Portuguese capital, Sporting are now ready to offload the London-born defender for a fee of £6m.
And finally, the Daily Star’s Brendan McLoughlin claims that the Merseysiders will go head to head with big-spending Premier League rivals Manchester City in the race to land exciting young Derby County midfield player Will Hughes this summer.
The two clubs are both understood to have been tracking the highly rated England Under-21 international for some time now, although Rams boss Nigel Clough has warned the duo that the 18-year-old will not come cheap, with Derby believed to want £10m for Hughes.
“Nobody knows what we want or what the fee is going to be come the time, because we have not got a specific valuation in mind,” said Clough.
“Would it be more than £6m? Yes, I think it is fair to say that.
“We just think it is going to be a very, very substantial figure to tempt him away. We’ve had no bids or contact from anybody.
“If someone comes in through the front door and makes an official enquiry or bid, we will have to react to it.
“Unless there is somebody sitting there with an awful lot of money burning a hole in their pocket I cannot see it changing.”
Wednesday, August 21
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The Daily Mirror’s Ed Malyon reports that back-up Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates is facing at least six months on the sidelines after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for Uruguay in a friendly in Japan last Wednesday night.
And that unwelcome setback may now force manager Brendan Rodgers back into the summer transfer market in order to sign a replacement for the Uruguay international this season, says the red top, with up-and-coming Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori believed to be the Northern Irishman’s first-choice target.
The Reds tried to buy the Portugal Under-20 international in June, only to have their £3 million offer rejected by Sporting, who value the 20-year-old at around the £6m mark.
However, with Rodgers now desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements to Anfield, the club could now take advantage of the fact that Ilori has still to agree a new contract in the Portuguese capital by meeting Sporting’s asking price for the London-born central defender.
Meanwhile, Malyon also claims that Coates’ untimely injury may now scupper Slovakia international Martin Skrtel’s hopes of re-joining former boss Rafa Benitez on loan at Serie A outfit Napoli this season.
Elsewhere, new Liverpool loanee Aly Cissokho has now finally completed his expected switch to Anfield from Liga giants Valencia, according to the Mirror, with the some-time France international, who can make his move to Merseyside permanent next summer for an agreed fee of just £4m, excited about playing for the Reds.
“It’s going to be a great experience to be able to rub shoulders with the club’s top-quality players,” said the 25-year-old attacking left back.
“I have experience in the game but coming here there will still be lots of things to learn and discover as I work with everyone every day.
“I can learn from my new manager, get to know the new style of play here, familiarise myself with different opposition teams and learn the language. It’s going to be a great experience for me, and of course playing for the club for the first time is something I’m excited about.”
And Denmark international Daniel Agger has now totally ruled out any chance that he will be moving to Spanish champions Barcelona this season, after the Catalans had seen a £15m offer for the Reds’ new vice-captain turned down by Liverpool last week.
“Barcelona are obviously a big club, but I have never thought about leaving Liverpool, unless they want to sell,” said the centre back.
“Everyone at the club is an integral part of my life. I have a YNWA tattoo.
“Frankly I don’t mind if we don’t finish in the top four. I love the club.”
The Reds are understood to have sent chief scout Dave Fallows to watch the 18-year-old in action first hand during the England Under-21 international with Scotland last week.
And now the club look set to beat the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal to Hughes’ coveted signature, with Rams boss Nigel Clough even confirming on the weekend that: “There is interest but at the moment nothing is happening with Will.
“But at the end of the transfer window anything can happen.”
Tuesday, August 20
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UPDATE 1800BST: Cissokho signs for Liverpool
Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Aly Cissokho from Valencia on a season-long loan deal, subject to the completion of a medical.
On the club's official website, the 25-year-old expressed his delight at joining a "legendary" club.
"I feel extremely proud to be here and I'm proud of all the hard work I've put in so far throughout my career," Cissokho said.
"I've always dreamt of one day signing for a really legendary club. I've been lucky enough to play for a few top sides and so to now get the chance to play for a club like Liverpool, it's just fantastic.
"I've always said, along with a lot of other French players, that I really love the English league, and although I've been fortunate enough to have played at some big clubs, in the back of my mind, I've always wanted to play in England.
"It's really pleasing when a club like Liverpool shows interest in you, and when that interest becomes more serious, you really can't wait for the move to go through. Now that the transfer has been completed, I'm really happy."
The Daily Mirror’s David Anderson reports that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will secure his fifth new recruit of the summer on Tuesday with the loan capture of Valencia defender Aly Cissokho, after the occasional France international passed his medical at Melwood on Monday.
The 25-year-old will move to Anfield initially on a season-long loan to provide some much-needed competition for current left-back Jose Enrique going forward and if the attack-minded full back proves a hit on Merseyside, then the Reds have the opportunity to sign Cissokho permanently for a fee of just £4 million at the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the red top also claims that the Northern Irishman could be on the verge of sealing a £28m move for in-demand Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian, with the Merseysiders prepared to offer the some-time Brazil international personal terms of £100,000 per week in order to persuade the 25-year-old to make the move to Anfield.
And the club are expected to find out within the next 24 hours whether Willian has chosen them, or rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as his next destination.
Finally, Anderson says that Rodgers has reignited his long-running interest in highly rated young Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, after seeing a bid of £3m for the centre back rejected by the Portuguese giants back in June.
However, with the London-born 20-year-old yet to agree a new deal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Rodgers is set to shortly return with an improved offer for the £6m-rated Portugal Under-20 international.
Monday, August 19
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Some positive news to kick off the week from the Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis who reveals that captain Steven Gerrard has played a pivotal role in helping to heal the rift between controversial striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.
According to the red top, Gerrard accompanied the Uruguay international when he went to meet Rodgers last week to apologise for his sullen behaviour and attitude these past few months as he attempted to force through his move to rivals Arsenal.
And now that the pair have finally kissed and made up, thanks to the intervention of Gerrard, Suarez has finally decided to remain on Merseyside this season after all.
Despite the fact that the Reds have already agreed personal terms with the occasional Brazil international, who is being allowed to leave Anzhi following a fire sale of all their top earners by the big-spending Russian club, it seems the two clubs have not yet been able to reach an agreement over a price for the coveted 25-year-old.
And as a result, Spurs could now steal a march on Liverpool by meeting Anzhi’s £30 million asking price for Willian, with Liverpool having so far only been prepared to offer as much as £26m for the twinkle-toed attacking midfield player.
Finally, the Daily Star’s Nick Lustig says that Serie A giants AC Milan are ready to go head to head with the Reds in the race to land highly rated Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho this summer after the Frenchman fellow out with new coach Laurent Blanc.
The Reds have been keeping close tabs on the France international for some time now, and even had an offer of £8 million for the 23-year-old turned down by the Ligue 1 champions earlier this month.
And now the Star says that Milan want to initially take the centre-back on a season-long loan with a view to signing Sakho on a permanent deal next summer, although Rodgers and co remain in the driving seat to land the player with the mega-rich Parisians believed to be not interested in any loan deal for their powerful central defender.