Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Friday July 27 2012
With on-field preparations for the new season stepping up a gear developments also appear to be happening off it.
The big ongoing transfer saga of the summer, Andy Carroll, took a new twist yesterday when West Ham United made a £2m loan bid for the player with a reported £16-£17m agreement to buy at the end of the season.
In addition to the major media sources who all carried the story, Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, tweeted: "Dad is working on the biggest signing in the history of the club - twice as big as anything the club have done before!"
However, after previously rejecting an offer from Newcastle United it is likely the Hammers' approach will also be rebuffed as the club holds out for a straight £20m transfer.
The initially temporary deal, as outlined by the BBC and ECHO, also sounds less than ideal to a side that paid £35m for the striker only 18 months ago. Should West Ham get relegated for instance then there is no chance of the deal becoming permanent.
If an agreement was struck with the Londoners it is not a foregone conclusion that Carroll would agree to the transfer anyway after previous speculation suggested his desire was to fight for his place or move back to former club Newcastle.
Now back in training with the Liverpool squad after a post Euro 2012 break, the 23-year-old striker's hopes of remaining on Merseyside may have increased after new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers praised the player and suggested he could fit into the club's new system after all.
"There is no doubt he is a terrific talent. There has been a lot of unfair criticism aimed towards Andy. He is a player who can play in a number of styles and it was a wee bit unfair on him to say he couldn't fit into the way I would want to play," said Rodgers to Liverpoolfc.com.
"We've got a number of very, very talented players in the group, of which Andy is one."
On the incoming players front, the long muted move for Swansea City's Joe Allen appears to be gathering pace.
A Swans spokesman confirmed: "Swansea City can confirm that Liverpool have expressed an interest in Joe Allen, despite a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any players within the 12-month period of former manager Brendan Rodgers leaving for Anfield.
"There has also been interest from other clubs regarding his possible availability and the club is due to speak to Joe, as originally planned, about the situation when he returns from GB duty."
The South Wales Evening Post reports an offer of £12m and believes Liverpool will return with an offer of £15m to trigger a release clause in the midfielder's contract if unsuccessful.
The main issue however is over the alleged agreement between Liverpool and Swansea that prevents Kop boss Rodgers from returning to his former side for players during the first 12 months of his Anfield reign.
Rodgers however believes that this does not apply if players are either transfer listed or, as in the case of Allen, other clubs also bid for the player.
With Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United also understood to have shown interest in the 22-year-old the chase could be a protracted one that ends up in the hands of lawyers.
Some earlier reports claimed Jonjo Shelvey could be part of the deal and head to the Liberty Stadium on a season-long loan. It is understood however that Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has no interest in the talented 20-year-old who recently signed a new long-term contract at Liverpool.
Finally, skilful Bologna star Gaston Ramirez has arrived in England to be part of the highly fancied Uruguay side aiming for Olympic gold.
The 21-year-old winger's agent has indicated that whilst in the country he will be discussing a transfer with an unnamed Premier League club.
"Gaston is ready to leave Italy - so much so I am in England for talks with a Premier League club," agent Pablo Betancourt told Italian publication Mercato.
"He is one of the most important players in Uruguray, so there are no shortage of offers."
Although contrary to stories by the likes of the Metro, with Manchester City and Arsenal also heavily linked to the player it is by no means guaranteed that the side in question is the Reds.
It is known though that Ramirez was heavily scouted by Liverpool in the past and the presence of international team mates Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates at Anfield could help sway the former Penerol player should numerous clubs make formal offers.
Now everyone bar Pepe Reina and the lads who are at the Olympics are back in training expect things to start happening on the transfer front. Rodgers will be constantly accessing the players and deciding who he does not want and which players could come in and improve the squad. Ramirez could be ideal with a lack of pace, width and creativity often costing us last season. Allen is a good player but we're not sure he is any better than the existing central midfield options. Little point bringing him in unless the likes of Jay Spearing, Charlie Adam and/or Alberto Aquilani are moved on first. With regards to Carroll we would merely like a definitive decision one way or another now as it has been dragging on for some time. We have a lack of strikers at the club and will need to replace him a.s.a.p should the decision to sell be taken. Arguably another forward should be purchased even if he does stay.
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Date:Friday July 27 2012
Liverpool: Reds Welcome Stoke On Opening Day (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Liverpool: International Heartbreak For Borini (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Liverpool: Morata The Real Key To Suarez Deal? (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Liverpool: Reds Looking To Land Cissokho (Monday June 17 2013)
Liverpool: Ayew Admits Reds Allegiance (Monday June 17 2013)
Liverpool: Clear As Day Issue 3 (Saturday June 15 2013)
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Liverpool: Suarez Bites Back Again (VIDEO) (Thursday June 13 2013)
Liverpool: Rodgers Calls For Squad Improvements (Thursday June 13 2013)
Liverpool: Clear As Day Issue 2 (Wednesday June 12 2013)
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