With a fortnight of the transfer window remaining and work still to be done to improve the Liverpool squad, you can expect the rumour mill to continue a-pace. Here’s the headlines this morning.
Liverpool have rejected a £10m bid from Napoli for defender Martin Skrtel, according to numerous mainstream reports, including BBC Sport. They write:
The Anfield club were contacted on Tuesday about the possibility of allowing the Slovakia defender to move to Italy in a deal worth around £10m.
Skrtel is, by all accounts, surplus to requirements – but only once Liverpool have secured a replacement for him. Which was previously reported to be Schalkes’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who continues to be linked with a move to Anfield but nothing concrete has materialised of late.
The injury to Sebastian Coates, who faces up to six months out with cruciate knee damage, has thrown the proverbial spanner in the works meaning that Liverpool can’t allow Skrtel to leave yet.
Reports on Thursday morning suggest Napoli will return with an improved bid:
SPORT It's believed #LFC have rejected a £10m offer for Martin Skrtel from Napoli & Rafa Benitez is expected to up their bid
— City Talk 105.9 (@CityTalk1059) August 22, 2013
The Mirror claim Coates’ injury means Liverpool have resurrected their interest in highly-rated Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori. “Liverpool have made a fresh approach for rising star” they write.
Liverpool were reported to have had a bid for the 20 year old turned down earlier this summer.
We provided an extensive scout report on the Sporting Lisbon centre-back, where he was described as:
an immensely talented footballer with a great bit of versatility. His height and pace is an unusual combination for a central defender, which tempts potential suitors even further; a rare type of player that is bound to attract top clubs.
Warning: Spurs are also said to be interested in the player.
One bit of business that could be done is the signing of highly-rated young English midfielder Will Hughes, currently of Derby County.
The Independent claim Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal which would see him remain at Pride Park to continue his development this season:
Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal for the £10m-rated Derby County midfielder Will Hughes, whom they would leave at the Championship club for the rest of the current season.
Elsewhere, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finally admitted after his side’s Champions League qualifier on Wednesday that their pursuit of Luis Suarez was over:
“Absolutely no chance of that [Suarez]”
Finally, Liverpool’s opponents on Saturday, Aston Villa, suffered a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last night.