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PD*65478538Liverpool have placed a €14million price tag on its central defender, Slovakian international, Martin Skrtel as manager Brendan Roders looks to trim their squad of underperformers this summer.

Reports have widely been speculating that Napoli are interested in signing Skrtel, with incoming manager Rafael Benitez seeing the 28-year-old as a solid defender who can offer continuity to the Serie A side's backline.

This is despite a below par season for Liverpool in which Skrtel ended up losing his place to Jamie Carragher in the second half of the season.

With Brendan Rodgers already acquiring Kolo Toure, Skrtel, could team up again with Rafa Benitez, who brought the defender to England five years ago.

"It is too easy to say, but if there is contact from the Blues then we will begin to evaluate it," Skrtel's agent Karol Csonto told Italian paper Tutto Mercato.

"Napoli are a great club and Benitez is a great coach, but Skrtel is a Liverpool player and for this reason he is already looking to the next season with the Reds."

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

martin_skrtelMirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? According to Mirror, Liverpool defender, Martin Skrtel admits he may consider quitting Liverpool after what he calls the worst season of his Anfield career.

Centre-back Skrtel says it “bugged him” when he was dropped to the bench by boss Brendan Rodgers in favour of Jamie Carragher for the second half of the season.

The Slovakia international feels unsettled, despite signing a new contract last August, and, with Rodgers shopping for new defenders, says he would listen to any offers from other clubs this summer.

In an interview given in his homeland, the 28-year-old said: “I have not had any specific offers. But if some should come and they interest me, I would probably consider it seriously.

“The club has the biggest say in this in any case, with me being contracted.

“I’m not saying that I want to leave at any cost.

“I feel sorry for what happened in this season. But I have been here for five-and-a-half years and I have built a position here.”

Skrtel says it hurt when Rodgers dropped him after the shock FA Cup defeat at Oldham because the Irishman said he needed more leadership at the back.

“After the game, the coach decided he wanted to change the team and justified to me that we lacked the organisation and defensive leadership personality,” he said.

“That was Carragher. Obviously I was not happy, it bugged me.

“On the other hand, I realise that only 11 can play and the 11 the coach chooses now is without me.

“I decided to add even more in training, so I was ready for a chance to show that I belong on the field, and not on the bench.”

Source: Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

liv_fulhamLiverpool signed off from 2012 at Anfield with a 4-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Fulham on Saturday night.

Martin Skrtel's emphatic finish gave the Reds an early lead as he volleyed powerfully beyond Mark Schwarzer after controlling a corner in the box before Steven Gerrard doubled the lead before half-time with a neat finish.

Stewart Downing extended Liverpool's advantage by cutting into the box and firing into the Kop end net in the early stages of the second half.

Luis Suarez wrapped it up in stoppage time to send Brendan Rodgers' side into eighth in the table, just five points off third-place Arsenal.

The Reds went into the day's late kick-off aiming to bounce back to winning ways following last weekend's 3-1 Anfield reversal at the hands of Aston Villa.

Rodgers made a handful of changes in order to hand some of his stars a breather ahead of the hectic Festive period, meaning starts for the likes of Suso and Downing while Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen began on the bench.

Liverpool began the brighter of the teams and after Daniel Agger had headed over and Jonjo Shelvey's flick had caused panic in the box, Skrtel thumped them into an eighth-minute lead as he controlled Gerrard's corner inside a crowded box and lashed a volley into the back of the net.

Full report: Official Liverpool FC

Alternative video source: FootyTube

 

liverpool-vs-man-cityA stunning free-kick from Luis Suarez helped earn Liverpool a point against champions Manchester City as the Reds drew 2-2 in their first home game of the 2012-13 Barclays Premier League campaign.

The Uruguayan curled low and hard past Joe Hart in the 66th minute to restore the Reds' lead after Yaya Toure had cancelled out a towering Martin Skrtel header.

However, Carlos Tevez cut out a Skrtel pass with 10 minutes remaining and rounded Pepe Reina to clinch a point for the visitors.

Steven Gerrard set the tone for a boisterous Anfield occasion when he surged into the penalty area and smashed a Suarez lay-off wide of Hart's post after just 30 seconds of play.

The ground was rocking but it was soon to be dealt a sobering blow when Lucas Leiva pulled up in pain and dragged his shirt over his head in frustration. Jonjo Shelvey was on his feet in a matter of seconds and the switch was made.

There was scarcely a moment to dwell on such a loss as an almighty roar went up from the Kop when Raheem Sterling, making his full league debut, killed the ball with one touch and sped towards goal.

Borini looked to slip it back to him but Pablo Zabaleta appeared to block it with his hand. No penalty given.

The Reds looked lively and hungry for a goal. At the heart of their midfield, Joe Allen was neat and industrious. The 22-year-old broke down City moves all over the park; muscling players off the ball, cutting out passes and putting his foot in.

Full report: Official Liverpool FC

Video source: FootyTube

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Liverpool ended their six-year wait for silverware with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final at Wembley.

After the game had finished 2-2 following extra-time, the Reds prevailed 3-2 on penalties with Anthony Gerrard missing the decisive kick for the Welsh side.

It meant Kenny Dalglish has led Liverpool to a trophy in his first full season back at the helm, and he'll be hoping it proves the catalyst for further success in the remainder of 2011-12.

Joe Mason had given the Bluebirds a 19th minute lead against the run of play when he crept into space inside the box and struck through the legs of Pepe Reina.

Liverpool controlled the contest, but had to wait until the hour mark to equalise when Martin Skrtel pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire home after Luis Suarez's header had hit the post.

With no further goals in the 90 minutes, the teams contested half an hour of extra-time - and Dirk Kuyt fired the Reds into the lead when he found the net at the second attempt from the edge of the box on 108 minutes.

However, Ben Turner netted from a goal-mouth scramble following a Cardiff corner at the death to force penalties.

Read more: Liverpool FC Official

 

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After getting back to winning ways last weekend in a 1-0 win over QPR, Liverpool were hoping to build on the win away to Aston Villa. Aston Villa had been struggling recently but they earned a good away win at Bolton last week and would go into the match with confidence. Adding spice to the fixture would be the return of former Villa favourite Downing to his old stomping ground.

THE TEAM

Kenny made a couple of changes to his side with Craig Bellamy coming back into the side and a big surprise with the selection of newly returned Shelvey to the team. The rest of the team had played against QPR the previous week. But Dalglish had a very strong bench to call upon if he needed to make changes with Carragher, Coates, Kuyt, Maxi, Carroll, Doni and Kelly in reserve.

THE MATCH

The home side were the first to threaten when Petrov’s free-kick had Reina scrambling. But Liverpool responded with Downing cutting in from the right before firing a shot which was saved by Guzan.

But then in the 11th minute Liverpool took the lead when Downing’s corner kick was flicked on by Shelvey and then by Suarez before being blocked by Guzan but the rebound fell kindly to Bellamy who made no mistake from inside the 6 yard box.

With Liverpool’s great start to the match it got better 4 minutes later when Bellamy’s corner from the right was brilliantly headed past Guzan by Skrtel for number two and left Villa with an uphill task.

Villa responded with a couple of long range efforts and a good effort from N’Zogbia who hit Reina’s side netting. But Liverpool were always threatening on the break and almost scored a third after Shelvey saw a stabbed effort saved after a sublime nutmeg by Suarez.

With the score 2-0 to the visitors at the half it was Liverpool who created the first chance of the second half when Agger headed a Bellamy cross off target. Liverpool was going for the jugular now and next it was Bellamy the creator for Suarez who smashed a shot off the Villa crossbar.

Liverpool were in full flow now and Villa were hanging on as the chances kept coming for the visitors. Next Johnson saw a 25 yard effort saved by Guzan. Then Suarez produced a piece of magic only to see his chipped effort hit the inside of Guzan’s post with the stopper stranded.

Villa never looked like getting back into the match as they rarely threatened in the second half with Reina left mostly as a spectator and Liverpool looking the more likely to add to their tally. Liverpool ended up having to settle for two goals in another superb away performance setting them up nicely for the festive fixtures.

SUMMARY

A big surprise with the inclusion of Shelvey to the side, but what a game he had, with confidence flowing through his veins. Liverpool got off to a great start with the two early goals setting them up to play on the counter attack, and how well they attacked with the amount of chances created. Villa did have a few efforts in the first half but in the second half it was one way traffic as Liverpool dominated. It was a great team effort away from home and the win should have been more convincing with Suarez hitting the woodwork twice.

Man Of The Match – Bellamy – his movement and work rate was superb and deserved a goal. He created so many chances with his clever play and he has proved to be a shrewd buy by Kenny.

Written by Jamie McLaughlin, who writes for Anfield News

Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel were both on target as Liverpool marked Kenny Dalglish's 350th match in charge with a superb 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

The Wales international got the Reds off to a flyer with a close range finish on 11 minutes before Skrtel doubled the advantage with a thumping header on the quarter of an hour mark.

It set the tone for a one-sided encounter in the Midlands and, although the away team could and should have secured a bigger margin of victory, the result moves them to within three points of third-placed Chelsea ahead of what promises to be a busy festive period.

Going into the Sunday afternoon showdown, Dalglish made two changes to the side that had edged past Queens Park Rangers last time out. Jonjo Shelvey came in for his first start of the season following an impressive loan spell at Blackpool, while Bellamy also returned to the line-up.

The Villans had been struck by a whole host of selection problems in the lead up to the contest - including the loss of joint-top scorers Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor - and hopes were high that the travelling Kop would return back up the M6 having seen the Reds claim victory on what was a landmark occasion for the King.

However, it was the home team that had the first sight of goal as Stiliyan Petrov teased a free-kick over the wall that had Pepe Reina scrambling down to his right-hand post inside 60 seconds.

Read more: Liverpool FC Official

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Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel were both on target as Liverpool marked Kenny Dalglish's 350th match in charge with a superb 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

 

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Source: FootyTube.com

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According to the press, Liverpool FC has made enquiries to Birmingham City on the availability of Scott Dann. Beside, the 24-year-old England defender, Liverpool has been linked with numerous centre-backs in the last two months.

Scott Dann Dann was a player who was definitely tipped to be heading to the Premiership after Birmingham City were relegated at the end of last season.

In the media, he was quoted £8million but I’m doubted it that Birmingham would let him got at that figure. He is young and a British player, the Blues will want a piece of the pies. The Blues will be holding out for a fee in the region of £12million.

Kenny Dalglish already have defensive woes four days before the new season kick-off with Martin Skrtel sidelined on calf-injury, Glen Johnson picked up a hamstring strain during the pre-season and Daniel Ayala on the verge of moving to either Swansea or Hull City in the coming week. Things are not looking so good at the back for Liverpool.

Although, I’m impressed with Scott Dann when he performed for Birmingham last season. If Liverpool do make a serious bid for him, he would provide a good quality cover and put Carragher, Agger, Kyrgiakos, Wilson and Skrtel more competition for the centre-back slot.

I would expect Birmingham City to invite a bidding war between Liverpool and Arsenal as the Gunners are looking for a centre-back for the injured Laurent Koscielny.

Is Scott Dann, the right man to marshal Liverpool defence next season? Leave your thoughts on the comment box below.

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This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Kenny Dalglish Kenny Dalglish is working hard to shipped out the deadwoods at Anfield to refill his transfer kitty for at least one more new player before the new season kick-off.

Liverpool FC are weighting their option on moving Joe Cole to QPR and are keen to reduce their wage load. Milan Jovanovic, who are certain to be moving to the Belgian club after Liverpool agreed terms with Anderlecht on Tuesday evening.

A woeful pre-season defensive display from Liverpool FC which saw them leaking three goals each against Guangdong FC, Malaysia XI, Hull City, Galatasaray and Valerenga. With Martin Skrtel out on a calf injury, the 26-year-old played every minute of the Merseyside club's Premier League campaign last season, but has suffered with the injury during pre-season.

Dalglish would like to sign a new centre-back as cover for his team and Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross names has been recently linked with a move to Anfield.

Elsewhere, reports has indicated Hull City manager Nigel Peearson are interested in signing Liverpool centre-back Daniel Ayala. The Tigers have made six signings already this summer but are still keen to add the 20-year-old to their ranks.

Dalglish is believed to rate Ayala in the £1million bracket but it is not known whether Hull agree with that valuation.

Now signing a new centre-back would be the top priority for Dalglish as Jamie Carragher and Sotirios Kyrgiakos are over 30-years-old. While Daniel Agger are injury prone and only left Academy graduate Andre Wisdom who recently signed an extension contract as cover plus Danny Wilson available for selection. If the Hull’s story are to be true, then Liverpool are freeing up the centre-back slot for a new player soon.

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And we usually love Lennon in Liverpool. On Sunday, though, it was a name to be cursed as the Tottenham winger, Aaron, struck the late, injury-time goal which denied Liverpool a point in an encounter they should, perhaps, have won. Instead it was a hard day’s night back up to Merseyside.

Spurs confirmed their status as the Premier League comeback kings with 16 points now earned from losing positions during this roller-coaster campaign and in a roller-coaster of a match which ended an week in which Arsenal have been beaten and qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League secured. The good times roll.

It was a game that had everything. To add to the goals there were injuries, the most serious of which was a dislocated shoulder suffered by Jamie Carragher, a missed penalty, yet another one by Jermain Defoe, who has incredibly failed from four of his past five, controversy over penalty appeals and chances galore. Fernando Torres will be tormented by two clear, one-on-ones which he fluffed, a shadow of his former self, all hesitancy when he used to be pure instinct. [Read more…]

 
 

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Roy Hodgson confirmed that Diego Cavalieri looks set to leave Liverpool - but the boss dismissed speculation that Ryan Babel could move.

Goalkeeper Cavalieri will hold talks with Italian side Cesena after our Europa League play-off first leg with Trabzonspor.

His likely departure follows the arrival at Anfield this week of stopper Brad Jones, who was not signed in time to be eligible for today's Europa League clash.

   "Diego has done a marvellous job for the last three years.

"He's a very good goalkeeper and a very good person, but he made it clear to me at the start of the season that after three years of watching Pepe play every week he might, if he's not careful, lose his goalkeeping ability or his status as a first-team goalkeeper.

"He made it clear he'd like to leave and find a club where he'll be able to play on a regular basis, so we set about the task of finding someone we thought would be as good a complement to Pepe Reina as Cavalieri has been.

"That's why Brad Jones has come in. He's the man we've chosen to back up Reina, put him under pressure and, most importantly, be ready to play.

"Diego will travel to Cesena after the game tomorrow night for a medical." Hodgson told LiverpoolFC.tv

The Brazilian's departure would make Jones the recognised number two to Reina, and he is likely to feature regularly if we reach the Europa League proper.

Meanwhile, quizzed on whether rumours linking Babel with a move to Wolfsburg was accurate yesterday.

   "No, there's none there. I'm afraid we're in the realm of speculation. You know better than I how many stories you're getting every day, and many of them are unfounded and many are attempts from people to get their players in the spotlight.

"We've had no written or formal offers for Ryan Babel and he's a player who I'm expecting to play for us." Hodgson said.

With two weeks of the transfer window remaining, the gaffer is not ruling out more activity - and backed up Christian Purslow's suggestion that there could be 'one or two' new faces on top of Jones.

Elsewhere, Hodgson was delighted with news that Martin Skrtel has signed a new contract at Anfield.

Source: LiverpoolFC.tv

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Defender Martin Skrtel has signed a two-year contract extension at Liverpool and is now targeting Premier League success this season.

Liverpool paid a club record £6million fee for a defender when signing Skrtel from Zenit St Petersburg in January 2008 and he has played 82 games during his time with the Merseyside outfit and was a first-team regular as Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season.

Skrtel had two years remaining on his existing contract but has decided to firm up his commitment to the club by agreeing terms on a new deal that ties him to Liverpool until 2014.

He has since established himself as one of the club's first-choice central defenders alongside Jamie Carragher.

Martin Skrtel Skrtel missed the end of last season with a broken foot but recovered in time to feature in Slovakia's impressive World Cup campaign.

The mood at Liverpool has been transformed since the arrival of Hodgson in July, with the signings of Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic also lifting spirits after last season's disappointing seventh-place Premier League finish.

   "I'm very pleased. I have been at Liverpool for nearly three years and I really like it here. I like the city, I like the club and I like the fans so I'm happy I am able to sign a new contract.

"Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world so I am proud I can play here for four more years."

"Before I came here a lot of people thought I wasn''t good enough to play for Liverpool, but I think I have shown I am,"

"I'm happy to try and carry on giving good performances and doing my best for the club. Signing a new contract gives me confidence and I will work hard in training every day to play as many games as possible. You can always improve. I know the good and bad parts of my game and I will keep working.

"Lots of things have changed at the club this year with new players, a new manager and new medical staff. The spirit is very good and we showed that against Arsenal with a great performance. We can build on that and carry it on.

"We have quality in the dressing room and I know we will do better this year. A club like Liverpool deserves to win trophies and I will help them do that, hopefully this season.

"Everyone plays football to win trophies. Playing for Liverpool is a big motivation for everyone and we will do everything we can to win the Premier League. We have the highest targets - to win everything." he told LiverpoolFC.tv

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Liverpool have been boosted by the news that Martin Skrtel does not need surgery on his right knee and should return to action by Christmas.

The Slovakia centre-back damaged his posteriorMartin Skrtel cruciate ligament in Sunday's 3-2 win at Manchester City and had a scan on Tuesday afternoon.

Reds spokesman Ian Cotton said: "Martin was examined by a specialist today, who confirmed the player does not require surgery and is expected to be back playing by Christmas."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will undoubtedly be buoyed by the news although he is confident the likes of Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger can fill the breach adequately.

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English Premier League
5th October 2008
The City of Manchester Stadium (A)
MANCHESTER CITY 2-3 LIVERPOOL

Dirk Kuyt scored his first Premier League goal since November as Liverpool came from two goals down to win 3-2 away to 10-man Manchester City.

The Holland striker rattled the ball home in stoppage time at Eastlands on Sunday to preserve the Reds' unbeaten start to the season.

The home side had raced into a two-goal lead in the first half through Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido.

Fernando Torres pulled a goal back before City's Pablo Zabaleta was sent off.

The momentum was then with Liverpool with Torres adding a second before Kuyt, who was guilty of a shocking earlier miss, having the final word.

Liverpool almost went ahead as early as the fourth minute when Albert Riera got a good touch and goalkeeper Joe Hart had to look alert to turn his effort around the post.

The visitors kept up the pressure and launched a swift counter-attack in the 15th minute. Javier Mascherano, who was preferred to Robbie Keane tried to send Steven Gerrard clear.




Teams:
Manchester City:
Hart, Garrido, Dunne (c), Richards, Zabaleta, Blumer, Ireland, Kompany, Wright-Phillips
Subs - Ben-Haim, Evans, Fernandes, Hamann, Petrov, Schmeichel, Sturridge

Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Riera, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (c), Torres.
Subs - Agger, Babel, Benayoun, Cavalieri, Dossena, Keane, Leiva

Referee: Phil Walton

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