Doubts cast over Jovanovic Liverpool transfer

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The Independent Football

Liverpool's bid to sign Standard Liege forward Milan Jovanovic could be under threat after his agent claimed there were a number of other clubs interested.

The Merseysiders were believed to be on the brink of securing a pre-contract agreement with the Serbia international, whose deal with the Belgian club expires in the summer.

However, the 28-year-old's agent Zoran Stojadinovic claims the player's future has yet to be decided, with reports suggesting Valencia were in advanced talks.

"There are many possibilities," Stojadinovic told Spanish newspaper Superdeporte.

"The situation will be resolved soon, but he has not signed for any club as yet.

"There is plenty of interest from Spain, but there are also a number of clubs from across Europe that remain keen."

Despite concerns a deal for a player Rafael Benitez has tracked for some time may be in doubt, the Liverpool manager has more pressing matters to deal with, mainly the 213th Merseyside derby at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their previous six league encounters against Everton and their last defeat at home against their nearest rivals came in 1999.

Without injured striker Fernando Torres, who has scored three goals in the last three league derbies he has played in, the Reds will look to Dirk Kuyt to provide the threat up front.

The Holland international, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Goodison Park back in 2007, has come into some form with three goals in as many games and needs just one more to make it 50 for Liverpool.

"It would be nice for him to score in the derby and get his 50, but it would be nice for anyone to score," said assistant manager Sammy Lee.

"It's good for us that we have got goals going in from different areas.

"We are without Fernando, which has been well documented, but the lads are working hard and we have got players like Dirk who can score."

Kuyt admits he has felt a greater need to shoulder the burden in Torres' absence but stressed it was the team mentality which had kept the club on their six-match unbeaten run in the league.

"Of course you feel a responsibility. Everyone in the team feels a responsibility and it is very hard when you are missing your best players," said the Dutchman.

"We have missed Torres for a while, Stevie (Gerrard) couldn't play every game and Glen Johnson has a bad injury - it makes it very difficult.

"Any other team - Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Man City - would struggle as well but you can't think about this.

"You have to try to do it with the players who are fit at the moment.

"What we have done really well is keep working hard. We have been a bit unlucky with a couple of injuries but the players are coming back and we are getting stronger and stronger.

"Once they are back we will all learn that it makes us stronger.

"Things are definitely changing but we can't relax. We have to look forward and get the goals in.

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