Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez made a bold declaration of intent to pursue Tottenham's Robbie Keane yesterday, in a move which Spurs may feel was designed to send a message to the childhood Liverpool fan. "We were in contact and we will see now," Benitez said. "Keane is clearly a player that has game intelligence. We are looking for players who can fit into our systems."
Liverpool's openness about their intentions in the transfer market have already caused them trouble this summer, with Martin O'Neill accusing the club of attempting to unsettle Gareth Barry at Aston Villa. Raising the funds to buy Keane hinges on the sale of Xabi Alonso to Juventus, a deal currently in limbo as the Italians have failed to come close to Liverpool's £16m valuation.
With Benitez's pursuit of Barry now likely to reach a conclusion next week, the Spaniard admitted he is over-stocked with midfielders. He also sees new full-backs Philipp Degen, who has arrived on from Borussia Dortmund, and Andrea Dossena, signed from Udinese for £6m, as providing attacking width.
Southgate backs youngsters
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has promised his home-grown youngsters they will still get their chance. Boro have blooded a series of academy graduates in the first-team in recent years and although Southgate this week unveiled Dutch striker Marvin Emnes and French midfielder Didier Digard, signed for a combined £7.2m, he said: "We have had fantastic success on getting players into the first-team and moving players on, which has brought in revenue. I believe we have got the best academy in the country and it is important that we keep that going."
Gilbert reunited with Pearson
The Arsenal defender Kerrea Gilbert has joined Leicester City on a season-long loan. Gilbert, 21, has not established himself as a first-team regular and the Gunners manager Arsène Wenger is keen for him to gain experience. His Foxes counterpart Nigel Pearson worked with the player, who made nine Arsenal appearances in 2005-06, at England youth level.
Uganda coach to replace Frail
Hearts have confirmed that they are in talks with the Uganda coach, Laszlo Csaba, with a view to him becoming their new manager. The Tynecastle club has received permission from the Ugandan FA to speak to the Romanian, the development coming a day after caretaker manager Stephen Frail left Hearts by mutual consent after six months at the club.
Yesterday's completed moves:
Steve Sidwell (Chelsea) to Aston Villa; £5m
Stefan Morrison (West Brom) to Swansea; Free
Mark Kennedy (Crystal Palace) to Cardiff; Free
David Williams (unatt) to Oldham Athletic; Signed
Kerrea Gilbert (Arsenal) to Leicester City; Loan
Jamie Guy (Colchester United) to Oxford United; LoanReuse content