Friday, 14 June 2013
Brendan Rodgers gets Luis Alberto green light
LIVERPOOL have been given the green light to press ahead with their move for Sevilla striker Luis Alberto.
Brendan Rodgers has been tracking the highly-rated 20-year-old for some time as he looks to bolster his attacking options.
Alberto spent last season on loan at Barcelona B in the Spanish second division, scoring 11 goals and delivering 17 assists in 37 league appearances.
As part of the deal, Barcelona were given an option to sign the player on a permanent basis for five million euros.
However, the Spanish giants have shown no inclination of taking up the offer for the Spain under-21 international.
And with the deadline now having expired, Liverpool are in pole position to sign the player, although they will baulk at the 9m euro (£7.7m) asking price Sevilla are reportedly seeking.
While Sunderland are also tracking the player, the Anfield outfit are nevertheless confident they can press ahead with the signing.
“I would have liked to stay at Barcelona, who wouldn’t?” said Alberto. “But it was very difficult, almost impossible. I’ll take the year and hope fans have enjoyed me.
“The truth is I was quite comfortable, but I knew my situation was complicated. I had to seize the opportunity and become more mature.”
Quizzed on interest from Liverpool, Alberto added: “All I know now is that I’m a Sevilla player and I have to do my best because it is my home.
“I cannot say anything more as I don’t know and that is the truth. At the moment I am calm and thinking about my holidays.”
Meanwhile, Ian Rush believes there will be plenty more to come from Daniel Sturridge after the England international’s impressive start to his Anfield career.
Sturridge netted 11 goals in 16 games last season having arrived in a £12m transfer from Chelsea in January.
He is currently recuperating from an ankle problem sustained while on international duty with England last month, an injury that could yet rule him out for the start of the season.
And Rush, Liverpool’s record scorer with 346 goals, believes Sturridge can continue improving once he regains full fitness.
“Sturridge can get even better without a doubt,” said the Welshman. “He’s got some great skill and with a good pre-season I think you will see an even better Sturridge next season.
“He needs to get fully fit. He was absolutely incredible in some of the games.
“He has got a good football brain, Coutinho has as well – some of the passes he put through were absolutely superb.
“When you’ve got the likes of Coutinho, Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and people like that you have got four or five people who can win your games when previously we only had one or two.
“Sturridge has had a couple of little injuries but if he can get fully fit and get through the pre-season then I think there are exciting times ahead.”
By Ian Doyle
Jun 14 2013