Liverpool have agreed to pay Inter Milan £8.5m for the Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho. The 20-year-old who attracted interest from premier league club Southampton, is expected to travel to Melwood early this week for a medical and to complete other formalities such as obtaining a work permit.
Coutinho would become Liverpool’s second January transfer after Daniel Sturridge joined from Chelsea.
With the transfer window closing on Thursday Liverpool will still be hopefully of signing a couple more players.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed the club is looking forward to bring in “one or two” more signings by the end of January transfer window, having allowed striker Michael Ngoo to join Hearts on loan until the end of the season.
Rodgers told reporters:
“We hope to do some business between now and the end of the month. The owners have been brilliant and supporting. We’ve got a young player who’ll go out on loan to get some experience but apart from that I don’t expect people [to go]. One or two, maybe, to come in. We know we still need one or two additions more. The club is doing everything it possible can to assist me in that.”
According to reports the reds are set to complete the signing of Coutinho in the next 24 hours after the player is believed to have told Inter he wants the Liverpool move. Who else should Liverpool try to sign before the close of the window?
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits his fallout with Boss Brendan Rodgers and being told he could leave Liverpool FC is the inspiration to his recent revival in Reds career.
Downing was told he could leave Liverpool FC a couple of months ago if the right offer came in as he was not a regular under the Northern Irishman. However his performances in the last six weeks have shown a marked improvement and believes he is enjoying his best spell for Liverpool Football Club:
It was very open I wasn’t in the team or playing and he said to me maybe I could look elsewhere because I need to play at my age. I didn’t totally agree but I understood where he was coming from. Obviously he needs players who are going to play and not be sat about, but I thought in the back of my mind if I get a chance I can prove myself to him. Luckily enough I did in the next week.
Our conversations have been very open. If I’m doing well he will say so and if not, I’ll be pulled and told what I need to do. It’s the same for all the players. It’s good for me and that’s how I like it, to be told if it’s right or wrong. At the moment it’s all going well and he’s pleased with me, so I have to keep it going. I said to him I’d love to stay and if I keep playing well, then hopefully it can continue into the seasons after.
What do you think of Downing’s recent performances? Does he now have a real future at the club?
The Reds got back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League after a thumping 5-0 win over Norwich City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Henderson’s 26th minute strike gave Liverpool the early lead before a well-worked move saw Luis Suarez double the advantage nine minutes before the break. £12million signing Daniel Sturridge found the net after the break and became the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three matches. Steven Gerrard and a Ryan Bennett own goal made it a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see the exiting partnership between forwards Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and now believes the Reds have the front two capable of striking fear into any Barclays Premier League defence:
“They linked very, very well. Luis has done what he’s done for us all season. He’s 100 per cent every game. They are both players who are not just static. Daniel’s got pace and power but he’s also clever. That was important for us today. It gives the opponent someone else to really worry about. Suarez has been incredible for us this season and has had some young players up there with him, but we’ve now got a recognized goalscorer up beside him. If you look at the movements between the two of them. The second goal was a wonderful demonstration of how good players can link together.”
Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers admits the Club are looking for further additions to the squad before the close of the January transfer window.
Liverpool have already signed Striker Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and the boss is hopeful he won’t be the only new face when the window shuts. He told reporters at Melwood:
“We’ll see what happens over the course of the next few weeks. Daniel was our main priority and we’ll have to see what else is available. There’s no doubt we need to support the group. We had 20 players training this morning, of which some of those are our younger players, so we know we need to reinforce and top up the group. That’s something we’ll look to do. If we can do it then great and if not, then we’ll wait until the summer.”
Asked about the speculation linking Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder with the Reds, Rodgers replied:
“You could probably rattle off about 20 names and the answer would be the same. The club have been linked with a whole host of players, but I couldn’t see that happening.”
Liverpool lost 2-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday after Robin van Persie gave United a first-half lead and then doubling their advantage shortly after the break Vidic deflected a Evra header home.
Substitute Sturridge made an immediate impact as he fired home after David De Gea had spilled a Steven Gerrard drive. However Reds couldn’t find the equalizer and United were able to hold out for the win.
“I was very proud of the team. I thought that the first half we were a wee bit tentative at times in our passing and we actually presented them with opportunities in the game. But in the second half – you could have easily at 2-0 given up the fight – the fightback was brilliant by the players and I thought second half we maybe deserved something from the game.
We are disappointed to lose but take heart from the fact we kept going and Daniel Sturridge coming on and getting another goal was terrific. The second-half performance was much better. It’s never easy when you have got young players that are making their debuts at Old Trafford and when you look at Manchester United’s experience in their team – they have been there and been around a lot of them.
For us it was just about reinforcing a couple of details that we needed to be better at. We are disappointed with the free-kick because we never defended that well enough. But after that the reaction was terrific. We will take great hope from the second-half performance. We know the improvements we need to make if we are going to sustain a challenge at the top of the table.
There was 21 points difference before this game but it wasn’t 21 points in terms of quality, it was 21 points in terms of the depth of the squad. So if we are going to be able to compete we need depth in our club that is going to enable us to compete on a consistent basis.”
Suarez and Sturridge both showed good signs of an early partnership forming as both players seemed to be on the same wavelength. Lets hope we can bounce back next week with a good win over Norwich.
The Reds are reportedly considering bringing an end to Nuri Sahin’s loan spell with the club. The Turkish international joined Liverpool on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid but has failed to impress, making just seven appearances in the league and scoring one goal. Sahin was also not in the squad for the FA Cup third round victory over Mansfield last weekend which really says it all.
It is understood Liverpool will be able to cancel his loan this month but it is believed will only do so with the player’s and Real Madrid’s agreement.
It is rumoured that the 24-year-old might go on loan to Inter Milan or Borussia Dortmund who are both interested in securing the service of the player. Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc said recently the Bundesliga club,
“Of course we are following Nuri’s career – he’s one of our lads. We said to him back then (when he left), if Nuri says that he wants nothing other than to play in Dortmund, then we will deal with the issue. But it has got to be manageable, and nothing has changed in that regard.”
Sahin clearly has all the talent but seems to lack the hunger to fight for his place. Liverpool simply cannot afford to pay £70,000 a week for a player to have him sit on the bench. The Reds already have good depth in the midfield department with Steven Gerrard, Jonjo Shelvey, Lucas, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen and frankly I don’t see a place for Sahin in the starting XI.
What does everyone think of Sahin and how he has performed in a Liverpool shirt this season?