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Showing posts with label napoli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label napoli. Show all posts

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.

rafaRafa Benitez is expected to finalise a two-year deal with Napoli this weekend as the Chelsea interim manager fulfils his final duties at the Premier League club.

Benitez still has to meet Paris St-Germain officials this week before deciding which club he will manage next season.

But Champions League qualifiers Napoli, who prematurely announced a deal with the Chelsea interim manager last week, are favourites to get him because of the determination of president Aurelio de Laurentiis.

Funds raised by the £60million sale of striker Edinson Cavani, who is likely to join Real Madrid, will be reinvested in a Napoli side that finished second in Serie A last season.

They will look to win their first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era in 1987 and 1990. Last season’s manager, Walter Mazzarri, resigned this month to move to Inter.

Paris St-Germain are trying to stop Carlo Ancelotti leaving for Real Madrid, so a quick decision from them on Benitez is unlikely.

Source: Mail Online

Substitute Steven Gerrard struck a sensational second-half hat-trick as Liverpool came from behind to snatch a 3-1 victory in a keenly contested Europa League clash with Napoli on Thursday night.

The skipper deflected home visiting stopper, Morgan De Sanctis's attempted clearance on 75 minutes before slamming home a late penalty and a delightful dinked finish to earn the points after the visitors had taken the lead through Ezequiel Lavezzi's smart first half strike.

It means Roy Hodgson's side remain top of Group K, three points ahead of Steaua Bucharest after four matches played.

Ahead of the clash, the Barclays Premier League showdown with Chelsea occupied much of the pre-match chatter and Hodgson's team selection indicated he had one eye on the game with the leaders, as he made six changes from Bolton.

In came Glen Johnson for his first appearance since October 3 while the likes of Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey, who impressed in Naples, were once again given the opportunity to shine.

As if buoyed by recent results Liverpool were fast out of the traps too but, despite some good possession, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous.

On three minutes, a well worked counter attack saw Lavezzi break down the right flank and when he fizzed a low ball into the six yard box, Paul Konchesky was fortunate to see his attempted clearance crash into the side netting of Pepe Reina's goal.

The Serie A outfit appeared to have more of a threat in the attacking third and midway through the half they had another sight of goal as Edinson Cavani latched onto a clever through pass and smashed a right foot volley into the stand.

For all Liverpool's endeavour there had been little to shout about for the home support and Napoli continued to probe, with Lavezzi seizing upon Shelvey's misplaced pass and drilling a venomous shot just beyond Reina's left-hand post.

With the away side in full flow, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Hodgson's men and on 28 minutes they found themselves behind. Christian Poulsen misjudged a header in his own half allowing Cavani to nod the ball into the path of Lavezzi. The Argentine raced into the penalty area before showing fine poise to slip the ball beyond the advancing Reina.

Liverpool needed a response and they should have had it just three minutes later as David Ngog exchanged a neat one-two with Poulsen before stabbing his effort from 12 yards just wide.

Johnson then went close to marking his return from injury in style but saw his rasping left foot drive well saved by De Sanctis.

In truth, Liverpool's first-half display would not have impressed John Henry and new director of football strategy Damien Comolli watching in the stand, and it was no surprise that Hodgson made the decision to introduce Gerrard as a half-time replacement for Milan Jovanovic.

The change immediately sparked the hosts' attack into life and on 51 minutes the inspirational No.8 should have levelled but he flashed his shot high into the stand after De Sanctis had brilliantly denied Ngog from close range.

There was a clear improvement in Liverpool's approach play and they again went close just shy of the hour mark when Shelvey miscued his far post header following a great run and cross from Ngog.

Next it was Raul Meireles's turn to hold his head in hands, steering wide from 10 yards out after Shelvey had caused havoc in the Napoli defence.

There was no doubt which side was now in the ascendancy and after sending a low free-kick inches past the far post, the skipper finally levelled matters in the most fortunate of circumstances.

A probing run from Shelvey should have been cut out by the Italians' rearguard, but a poor back pass allowed Gerrard to race in on De Sanctis and ricochet the 'keeper's attempted clearance into the far corner of the net.

It was a huge slice of luck for Hodgson and co but one they would have felt their second half showing deserved.

With the clock ticking down the Reds continued to push forward and two minutes from time they snatched the lead when Gerrard converted from the spot after Johnson was felled in the area.

And the midfielder rubbed salt in Napoli's wounds a minute later, latching onto substitute Lucas Leiva's well-timed challenge and clipping the ball over De Sanctis to seal victory.

 

Source: LiverpoolFC.tv

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They have rejected Liverpool’s offer for the sensational Argentine striker once. Now the player’s agent, Alejandro Mazzoni said Napoli are willing to sell if Liverpool increase the fees.

“Today there is an offer for the player and I have the impression that the club wants to sell him.

“I would like to stress that Napoli are important to Lavezzi, but we are talking about an English club in the Champions League and, moreover, they are offering him three times what he earns now.” - Alejandro Mazzoni, Vital Football.

Could Ezequiel Lavezzi be the final pieces of the puzzle we’re looking for? Or will he be another Mark Gonzales in the making?

Lavezzi has formed a formidable partnership with Hamsik since joining from San Lorenzo two season ago. The Argentine international has scored 16 goals for Napoli.

Liverpool were not the only English club scouting Lavezzi, Chelsea and Manchester City are interested in the Argentine ace too. So, if Rafa really want to swooped this player, he better make that offer sooner rather than later.

Stay tune for more transfer news and rumours. Follow me on Twitter.

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