Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Tuesday January 15 2013
Article Update (10.24am 15/01/2013)
Molde FK defender Vegard Forren's proposed trial at Melwood has been cancelled after Southampton lodged a formal transfer offer...
The agreed trial period has been cancelled after Molde accepted a £3.5m bid from Southampton this morning. The player will now travel from Merseyside to the South Coast to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical. Without the chance to first assess the player and with a defender not high up the list of Liverpool's requirements, the Reds have decided against matching the fee.
Molde boss, and former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, commented: "We have had a good dialogue with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who wanted to speak with Vegard and see him in training.
"We agreed that he could go there to see the conditions. But Liverpool have not made a bid."
Molde FK defender Vegard Forren is set to train with the Reds as both parties consider a permanent deal...
Liverpool FC have confirmed that 24-year-old centre-back Vegard Forren, who has five full caps for Norway, will train at Melwood over the next few days with a view to a permanent move.
Speculation yesterday afternoon suggested the player was on Merseyside for a medical ahead of a £4m transfer but those reports are slightly premature at this stage.
The 6ft 1in defender has so far spent his whole professional career with boyhood side Molde, amassing over 170 appearances and winning back-to-back Norwegian League titles in the past two years.
Such has been the player's rise to prominence in Norway of late that the two biggest newspapers in the country, Verdens Gang and Aftenposten, plus television station TV2 (who hold the broadcast rights to Norwegian football), all rated him as the league's top defender.
Some observers have even compared Forren to current Liverpool star Daniel Agger; both are left-footed with solid technique, an expansive passing range and the ability to get forward with the ball at their feet.
Respected former Liverpool and Norway defender Vegard Heggem aired a note of caution however when commenting on the transfer yesterday.
The 37-year-old wrote on Twitter: "Forren has done very well in the Norwegian league and for Norway. Good enough for LFC? Not sure, but an exciting signing in my opinion if it happens.
"He is a tough player, loves to get stuck in. Reads the game well, good passer of the ball but unproven at top international level."
Forren, who made his debut for Norway in a friendly against Thailand last January, started his first competitive match for the nation against Switzerland in October and has since formed a strong partnership alongside Fulham's Brede Hangeland in central defence.
Liverpool may need to move quickly if they wish to secure Forren's signature with a number of other clubs, including fellow Premier League sides Southampton, Everton, Fulham and Sunderland, known to be monitoring the situation.
The Guardian are even reporting that Southampton's interest extends to the Saints board already being in negotiations with Molde over a transfer fee.
Should Reds manager Brendan Rodgers like what he sees then it is likely he will allow Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates to depart Anfield, at least temporarily, in the pursuit of some much needed game time.
"It has been difficult for him to get games and the best thing for Sebastian would be to go out and get his games," said Rodgers of Coates recently.
"But that might not be the best thing for the club. I have got to protect the club, that is my job as manager. We certainly won't be left short but I feel for the guy."
An interesting if unspectacular signing should it happen. Given all we have seen and heard about the player, £4m sounds like a bit of a bargain. However, with Agger and Martin Skrtel firmly established as the first-choice pairing it will be incredibly hard for Forren to break into the side. Therefore it seems as we are merely replacing one back-up, in Coates, with another. With Jamie Carragher still able to do a job and the likes of Andre Wisdom and Martin Kelly, although currently injured, able to play centre-back it hardly seems an area in drastic need of strengthening. We feel, now that the striking position has been strengthened, adding creativity in midfield should be next on the agenda.
Likelihood (out of 5):
Click here to see a roundup of some previous transfer rumours
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Date:Tuesday January 15 2013
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