Sunday’s Newspaper Round-up
The weekend just seems so dull when Liverpool aren’t playing. But there’s still a lot to talk about with the potential takeover of the club by the DIC and the Reds’ league game at home to Aston Villa on Monday night.
The Independent on Sunday reports on the DIC’s latest interest in buying out George Gillett and Tom Hicks for Â£500million.
Initially it was thought that DIC, bankrolled by Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, were interested in buying Hicks’ 50 per cent share. However, it is claimed DIC are now set to make an offer for the complete buy-out of the American pair.
Similarly, The Observer reports that the bid by the DIC has been made formally to the under-pressure club owners.
The offer – which would allow the Americans to pay off the borrowing with which they purchased Liverpool last February and to net personal profits of Â£75m each – has been lodged by Dubai International Capital, an Arab investment group that has long targeted Liverpool.
Whilst The Sunday Telegraph’s Patrick Barclay points out that a takeover by the DIC does not necessarily mean Rafael Benitez’s job will be safe and all will be rosy at Anfield once again.
When the Americans came in, they had the choice: to back or sack him. They have done neither and, while the presence of Fernando Torres emphasises that Benitez has hardly been starved of funds for recruitment, Liverpool appear as far from their supporters’ principal objective of Premier League supremacy as ever, waiting and, I sense, hoping that reports of a renewal of the Dubai family Maktoum’s interest in inducing a further sale of the club prove well founded. The sheikhs have given no promise that Benitez would be encouraged to stay.
Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s game at Anfield, The Independent suggests new Â£6.5million signing Martin Skrtel could feature for Liverpool in Daniel Agger’s absence (toe injury).
The Midlands side are in the heart of the pack trying to take fourth place from Liverpool, and the visit of Martin O ‘Neill ‘s emerging side could be pivotal to the troubled Anfield club ‘s season. And Liverpool ‘s only acquisition in the current transfer window ‘“ the Slovakia defender Skrtel ‘“ has proved his fitness sufficiently to be considered. Benitez, who has been impressed with Skrtel ‘s first week at the club, said: “I am really pleased with him and am thinking about using him now. He can be available against Villa, in the FA Cup next weekend or maybe in the reserve game against Wigan on Tuesday. But he is certainly one of the options for the Villa game on Monday.”