Why Rafa Beintez pulled out of David Silva race: Liverpool FC latest

Mar 28 2009 Liverpool Echo : LIVERPOOL have pulled out of the race to sign David Silva after Rafa Benitez balked at Valencia’s £30m asking price.

The Reds boss confirmed to the ECHO that Liverpool made an inquiry for the Valencia midfielder but is not planning to follow it up with a firm offer.

Benitez said: “It is true that we were asking about the situation with him but we are not happy with the situation now and he will not be a target for us. “We have to work hard and we are trying to have conversations and trying to progress but it’s not easy to sign any player now. “The most important thing now is to make progress with the contracts of our own players. “We are working hard on that because this is our priority.” The Spanish international had been near the top of Benitez’s wanted list for this summer but with Valencia holding out for a fee which the Reds boss believes is exorbitant Liverpool have ended their interest. Only a dramatic u-turn from Benitez will reignite Liverpool’s interest unless Valencia lower their asking price significantly.

While the Anfield club did make tentative moves for Silva, his Valencia team-mate Raul Albiol was not featured on Benitez’s shopping list despite speculation suggesting otherwise. “He is another good player but he is not our target,” said the Reds boss.


Liverpool players salute to Bryce Morrison

Source : Liverpool Echo 28 March 2009  : Bryce Morrison committed so much of his life to Liverpool Football Club that it was only fitting that the day after he passed away the Reds paid him the most fitting tribute possible.

While the entire Liverpool squad – and it should be noted, Villa keeper Brad Friedel – wore black armbands in his memory and the Anfield crowd observed an immaculate minute’s silence, the best way of commemorating Bryce’s life came with the performance and victory which followed it.

Bryce was Liverpool through and through which is why he gave every working moment and so many more besides giving everything he possibly could to the club he loved and felt so privileged to work for.

There can be no greater testament to his service than the one offered by Kenny Dalglish who, like everyone else who knew the Reds’ long serving club secretary, was shocked by his sudden death.

“Bryce was a tremendous servant to Liverpool, doing a lot of hard and important work behind the scenes at Anfield and my thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

“People respected him and admired him for the way he did his job. He was a fantastic servant to the football club in a role where you’re always in the background.”


Liverpool Says Farewell To Radio Legend Phil Easton

Up to 500 people arrived at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday for a public memorial service to celebrate his life. The 59-year-old died at his home in Crosby nearly two months ago after a sudden brain haemorrhage. Since then, his work colleagues at Radio City have been organising a tribute to encompass all aspects of the DJ’s career.

Liverpool FC representatives including Rafa Benitez, Phil Thompson and stadium announcer George Sephton were among the audience as Phil had been much loved as a pitchside broadcaster on Anfield matchdays. And close friend and singer Chris De Burgh and band China Crisis were among the performers. Sky Sports presenter Richard Keyes, who spent seven years at City FM, hosted different sections of the service. The football frontman said: “To me, he was a tip-top broadcaster and he was just my buddy, someone who would help you rather than harm you. “And, in the radio business, he made more comebacks than Sinatra.”

Gillian Reynolds, Phil’s first radio controller, spoke of taking a chance on Phil to land him his first job in Liverpool before Parr Street Studio’s Tom Lang gave a haunting rendition of a song called Bless The Child. The music section of the service focused on Phil’s iconic Great Easton Express rock show, which was idolised by listeners across the northwest. The programme was interspersed with tributes from many from the music industry including Mighty Wah frontman Pete Wylie.

He said: “Phil interviewed me on the centre spot at Anfield before a Reds game as Heart As Big As Liverpool was released, and was laughing onstage when we played to 20,000 Liverpool fans at the historic fifth European Cup win in Istanbul.” Other recollections came from Mark Knopfler: “I was sad to hear that Phil had passed away. He was one of the very first supporters of Dire Straits and I will always remember him fondly.” And Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan said: “I will carry his aura with me forever and in time the tears will turn to smiles because that’s the kind of guy he was.” Phil Collins, Phil Lynott, from Thin Lizzy, David Coverdale from Whitesnake and Bono were all among his friends after the DJ helped bring their records into the spotlight. In the football section of the service, ex-Reds forward Ian St John had the audience laughing with tales of Phil’s pranks. Mr St John said: “He loved matchdays at Anfield, he really looked forward to going out in front of 50,000 people and calling the teams.”

A story was told of how Phil pinched the dressing room signs from the tunnel at the Ataturk stadium in Istanbul in 2005 and managed to smuggle them on the place and home to Merseyside. The 80-minute tribute was drawn to a close with a track called The Journey performed by artist Chris De Burgh, followed by a unison rendition of the Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Chris told the audience: “I met Phil 30 years ago when he wore these big medallions on his hairy chest and we got on like a house on fire.” The broadcasters’ son Daniel, who was joined by his sister and mum Fran, finally told the congregation: “My dad was a man who could put you at ease. “I never remember him wanting for anything apart from a cool beer and some sunshine.” After the service, many walked to The Cavern Club where a special brick bearing Phil’s name was placed in the famous Mathew Street Wall of Fame.


Hungarian trio on trial at LFC

Liverpool Football Club is giving trials to three youngsters from MTK Hungaria. Defenders David Kelemen and Norbert Ode, as well as midfielder Zsolt Poloskei, are currently training with Gary Ablett’s reserve squad.

The arrival of the trio, aged 16 and 17, is a product of the continuing link between Liverpool and MTK Hungaria. Last year Peter Gulacsi, Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon arrived from Hungary. Though all three impressed staff at Melwood, Nemeth in particular took the reserve league by storm, scoring nine goals to help clinch the national title.


Latest Transfers Rumour Mill in Papers speculations and stories of the day

Thursday 3rd July
Chelsea up Lampard offer – Daily Express
Chelsea have offered Internazionale target Frank Lampard a new £140,000-a-week take-it-or-leave contract. Will the offer convince the midfielder to stay at Stamford Bridge?

City eye Samba – Daily Star
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is eager to bring former Blackburn colleague Christopher Samba to Eastlands. Is the defender the right man to strengthen City’s rearguard?

Chelsea launch Arshavin bid – Various
Chelsea are to offer Zenit St Petersburg £12million for Andrei Arshavin. Will the Blues be able to beat Barcelona to the Russia international’s signature?

Scolari to sell Drogba – The Sun
Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has told the club to sell unsettled striker Didier Drogba. Is the new Blues boss correct to want to cash in on the forward?

Barca to up Adebayor bid – Various
Barcelona are set to up their bid for Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor after an initial £25million offer was rejected. Would the Togo forward prove value for money?

Spurs still in Podolski hunt – Daily Telegraph
Bayern Munich have rubbished speculation Tottenham target Lukas Podolski is set to sign for Cologne. Would the striker be interested in a move to White Hart Lane instead?

Bolton bid for Vukcevic – Daily Mirror
Bolton boss Gary Megson has made a £5million offer for Sporting Lisbon star Simon Vukcevic. Would the attacking midfielder prove a perfect replacement for El Hadji Diouf?


RAFA: Agger’s loss cost us title shot

The loss of Daniel Agger cost Liverpool a shot at the Premier League title last season, according to Rafa Benitez. The manager’s words came as his Danish defender returned to pre-season training at Melwood having missed most of 2007-08 with a metatarsal break.

Benitez told Liverpoolfc.tv: “I think it cost us early in the season. We conceded goals at the end of games which finished as draws because Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher were playing too many games in a row. “We were using Jack Hobbs in some games and Alvaro Arbeloa as a centre-back; clearly we missed Daniel Agger. “He is a centre-back but good on the ball and a threat for the other team too. We missed Agger.” Benitez tried to sign Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United last summer as cover but the move proved impossible. Instead Liverpool had to wait until January for top-class reinforcements by the name of Martin Skrtel. The Slovak made an impressive start to his Anfield career and will ensure that competition is fierce for central defensive places this season.

Benitez added: “We knew this player when he was 18. It was funny because some people were going to see Everton against Zenit and were saying this player really has ability. But we already had four or five videos of him which we liked. We had already sent our people over there and we knew he was the player for us. “It can be difficult to settle down in this country but Martin has been really good. “We know the players we want whenever the window opens and we try to sign the players at the right price.”


Philipp Degen signs four year anfield deal – Liverpoolfc.tv

Swiss defender Philipp Degen has today put pen to paper on a four year Anfield deal. The 25-year-old – who was an unused substitute during the recent European Championships – has opted for a new career with the Reds after his contact at Borussia Dortmund expired last season.

Degen becomes the first new arrival at Anfield this summer, with left back Andrea Dossena likely to follow in his footsteps over the coming days.

After agreeing to sign Degen last month, manager Rafael Benitez said: “Philipp is still young but has gained great experience from playing in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and on the international stage with Switzerland. He also played in the Champions League during his time with Basel and so is used to top level football. “He is an offensive player with great energy and a winning mentality. His strength is going forward and I am confident he will be prove to be a quality addition to our squad.” He added: “Sometimes you can find these players on the market. When you find a player like him who costs no money it means you can use money for improving other parts of the squad. “He is a good signing, a player of potential, who can help us improve in the wide areas.”

Degen began his career with FC Basel in 1996, making his debut five years later. Four seasons in the first team followed, during which he claimed three league titles and one domestic cup. His time at St Jakob Park also gave him a taste of Champions League football. In fact, Degen was an unused sub when Basel claimed a 1-1 draw at Anfield in 2002-03. In 2005 the defender joined the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. Degen, who featured four times for his country in the 2006 World Cup, spent three years with the German giants, the last of which was blighted by injury. The full-back recovered in time for Euro 2008, a tournament co-hosted by Switzerland. Unfortunately he did not feature as the Swiss failed to negotiate the group stages.

Degen, who is fluent in French and German, has a twin, David, who also plays professional football.