Friday’s Papers: Skrtel return imminent

There’s all sorts of transfer rumours flying about at the moment. If you believe the press and internet rumour houses, we’ll have a completely new squad by the end of January. The moral of the story, stick to This Is Anfield this Christmas for the genuine transfer speculation!

This morning’s back pages have festive cheer for Liverpool fans with the Liverpool Daily Post reporting that defender Martin Skrtel is targeting a Boxing Day return from injury. The Slovakian international has been sidelined since the beginning of October, as Nick Smith writes:

Skrtel, who is back in full training after making good progress with his recovery, reckons a return to the squad for the Boxing Day clash with Bolton or trip to Newcastle United two days later is still in his sights.

‘œThere is no date set for my comeback but I would be very glad to make it in this year,’ said Skrtel.

‘œSo far I have been through only two training sessions. We will see how I am doing after one or two weeks of training, then we can speak about my return.”

Welcome back, Martin. Perhaps Skrtel’s return couldn’t be better timing, with the half-way stage of the season approaching and Liverpool still sitting one point clear at the top of the Premier League table. But recent form suggests that reign may not be so stable.

There’s worry also in today’s back pages about the future of winger Ryan Babel at the club, with David Maddock of The Mirror suggesting that he ‘œis fed up being a fringe player at Anfield’. Maddock says:

The Dutch striker has started just six matches this season, only two of them in the Premier League, and his frustration has led to mounting speculation about a switch in the New Year.

If clubs are prepared to meet an asking price of around £10million, Liverpool will be tempted to sell. There has been interest from AC Milan, Ajax and PSV.

But that’s possibly the least substantial article I’ve ever read.

There’s not much other news to report from this morning’s dailies, with Liverpool not in action until Sunday afternoon against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

  • The Daily Mail reports that former Liverpool defender Steve Finnan, sold to Espanyol in the summer, is set to move back to the Premier League on a loan move to Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur.
  • Hull City have offered a new contract to defender Michael Turner after recent speculation linking him with a January or summer move to Anfield, according to The Mirror.