Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players they must keep their cool at Anfield on Sunday when his side take on Liverpool. Clashes between the two sides are usually heated affairs with six red cards in the last 11 meetings.Liverpool and United clashes have been famed for their atmospheres, which can lead to players getting carried away on the pitch.Nemanja Vidic has been United’s biggest culprit with three red cards against Liverpool in the last four years – including two at Anfield. “We’ve had a lot of players sent off at Anfield.
But I don’t think the games have ever got out of hand,” Ferguson said.”It’s going to be meaty, competitive, and we expect that. But I just hope our disciplinary record is good.” “There’s a great atmosphere, fantastic, and the kind of atmosphere you want to be involved in. “It does get emotive, but you just have to handle that,” he said. There is also the added spice this time as Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra are likely to go up against each other again following last season’s fall-out between the pair.
Ferguson praised the atmosphere at Anfield but has warned his players they must be able to keep their focus on the pitch despite what may be happening in the stands. The United manager will want his side to keep eleven men on the pitch as they go in search for their first win at Anfield since 2007, when they beat Liverpool 1-0.
Joe Allen has told Swansea City he is ready to complete a record-breaking move to Liverpool FC. The 22-year-old has held meetings this week with chairman Huw Jenkins and new manager Michael Laudrup after returning from Olympic duty and spelled out his desire to leave for Anfield. The Wales midfielder is set for a £15m move to Anfield after former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers told his former employers he is prepared to meet the buy-out clause the 22-year-old’s contract.
Swansea are now resigned to losing the 22-year-old before the start of the new Premier League season next weekend. Swansea are yet to receive a second written offer from Liverpool for the midfielder, who last month was the subject of a £12.5million bid from Anfield that also would have seen Jonjo Shelvey go to south Wales on a season-long loan. Allen has a clause in his four-year contract, signed last summer, which states if Liverpool bid £15million for his services, then Swansea must accept. The Reds are likely to meet that valuation for a player Rodgers rates highly, and sees as integral to the style of football he wishes to implement at Anfield.
Allen would be manager Brendan Rodgers’s second signing, after striker Fabio Borini. Rodgers had agreed not to poach any Swansea players for 12 months upon leaving the club in June, but it is understood that clause would be made redundant should the Liverpool manager make an offer that meets the release fee in a player’s contract. The move, which is expected to be sealed in the coming days, will smash Swansea’s previous record fee for the sale of a player – Jason Scotland’s £2million move to Wigan in June 2009 – and Swansea have earmarked a large slice of the cash for Bolton midfielder Mark Davies. Bolton midfielder Mark Davies is understood to be one of the players interesting the former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder, who is also close to bringing in striker Itay Shechter on a season-long loan from Kaiserslautern. Allen was the star of the show as Swansea shocked the Premier League under Rodgers last season, with their style of play dependent on the Welshman’s ability to keep the ball ticking over in midfield. Swansea will be in no rush to find a replacement for Allen with Jonathan de Guzman used in his central role in the 4-2 friendly win over Blackpool in midweek, although they have registered an interest in Bolton midfielder Mark Davies.
According to the BBC, Alberto Aquilani is tonight in Italy as he seeks to seal a switch to Fiorentina. His three year nightmare at Liverpool is at an end after the Italian midfielder completed his protracted move to Fiorentina. The 28-year-old leaves Anfield having made just 18 Premier League appearances for the club, despite costing £17million when he was drafted in as Xabi Alonso’s replacement in 2009. Rafael Benitez brought Aquilani to Anfield as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, but he struggled with injury and only made 26 appearances in his first season.
Aquilani scored two goals in his 28 appearances for Liverpool. Despite spending the last two seasons on loan at Juventus and AC Milan, his wages – in excess of £5m per year – were a drain on the Anfield club’s funds. A statement on club website liverpoolfc.com read: “Liverpool Football Club can today confirm that Alberto Aquilani has completed a permanent transfer to Serie A side Fiorentina. The Italian midfielder joined Liverpool in 2009 but made just 28 first-team appearances having spent the last two seasons on loan in his homeland. Everyone at the club would like to wish Alberto all the best for the future.” A permanent return to his homeland has now finalised with Fiorentina a deal reportedly worth £3million, with Liverpool said to be subsidising his wages for the first two seasons of his three-year deal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. On Friday morning Fiorentina’s honorary president Andrea Della Vale hinted a deal was close. “He is the big name signing that we were waiting for,” he said. Aquilani’s new team-mate Francesco Della Rocca, added: “Alberto is a great player and he will do really well at Fiorentina. He wants to bounce back from what has not been a very positive time for him at Liverpool and I am convinced that it will be a big chance for him in Florence.”
Fiorentina are believed to be offering the Reds around £7m, which represents a huge loss on their initial £20m outlay. However, his departure will lighten the wage bill significantly, which is a priority for Brendan Rodgers under FSG. Aquilani’s exit is likely to accelerate Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ bid to sign Swansea’s Joe Allen, a player he knows well from their time together at the Liberty Stadium. Rodgers has already confirmed his interest in 22-year-old Allen while some reports claim the Welsh midfielder, currently on Olympic duty playing for Team GB, has already personal terms with the club.
Liverpool turned down an initial bid by Newcastle to take the 23-year-old, who they sold to the Reds for £35m in January 2011, back to Tyneside on loan. The Reds, who have rejected a bid by the Magpies to re-sign Carroll on loan and want £20million for the England striker, will be infuriated by Pardew’s claim. And Pardew says Rodgers must accept that Liverpool are going to suffer a substantial loss on the hitman. Pardew employed a piece of advice given to him when he was Reading manager by then-Royals chairman John Madejski to try to make his point to Rodgers. But Pardew told BBC Radio Newcastle: “[Reading chairman] John Madejski used to say to me about certain players, just wipe your nose and move on. And I think [Liverpool] are going to have to do that with Andy.” Pardew’s advice is unlikely to impress Rodgers, and he risked further riling the Ulsterman by claiming Carroll’s days at Anfield have been numbered ever since the ex-Swansea boss took over. The Newcastle manager claims that Rodgers knows a big target-man such as the 6ft 3in tall Carroll does not fit in with his philosophy of passing the ball on the deck. Andy Carroll career stats
Newcastle (2006-11): 91 games, 33 goals Preston (loan Aug 2007-08): 12 appearances, 1 goal Liverpool (2011-present): 56 appearances, 11 goals England (2010-present): 7 appearances, 2 goals
“I think it was obvious as soon as Brendan went into Liverpool that Andy’s time was going to have to be somewhere else. I think it’s quite right we’re involved in that.”Whether he comes here, is something that I will take or I will leave.”It’s a lot of money for Mike [Ashley, Newcastle’s owner], although we’ll obviously be getting a big upside in terms of what we sold him for, and we’ve got three great strikers here already.”But of course as the manager, I want the best players I can get,”said Pardew. Liverpool have already signed Italian forward Fabio Borini this summer, and Pardew believes that any money generated from a potential deal for Carroll can still be used wisely by the new Reds manager.”Whether it’s £15m, £16m or £20m, if [Rodgers] uses that money and gets an uplift in the player that he brings in that’s OK,” he added. And that’s how you’ve got to look at it.” Carroll, who has scored just 11 goals in his 56 appearances for Liverpool, would be interested in returning to his native Tyneside if Rodgers does not want him. Pardew knows this and is trying to increase the pressure on his Anfield counterpart to let the 23-year-old go. However, Rodgers, who is on tour with Liverpool in America, insists Carroll can fit into his style of playing.
He claims he has had a brief word with the striker, who began his pre-season training campaign this week after a post-Euros holiday, and plans a longer chat in the next few days. “Andy is a terrific young player. I had a brief chat with all the lads and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to speak to them with more confidence and on a one to one basis,” Rodgers told the club website. There is no doubt he is a terrific talent. There has been a lot of unfair criticism aimed towards Andy. Rodgers continued:”He is a player who can play in a number of styles and it was a wee bit unfair on him (for people) to say he couldn’t fit into the way I would want to play. For me, your game is based on your players, the players you have. I am here to win games.”