Du the Dudek for Michael Shields

Michael ShieldsThe Trophy Boyz yesterday announced that all proceeds from their new single will be donated towards helping Michael Shields get justice.

Michael was arrested whilst on holiday in Bulgaria shortly after Liverpool had won the Champions League final. He was in the country because that was how he’d gone about arranging travel for the game. Like the rest of us he celebrated the night that saw Liverpool make history. Four days later he was arrested – wrongfully – after a Bulgarian barman had been attacked.

The real perpetrator of the attack has admitted that he did it, but Bulgarian authorities chose to ignore this fact. Now the 18-year-old from Wavertree in Liverpool has started a jail sentence of 15 years for attempted murder.

The Trophy Boyz are four Liverpool fans that were celebrating like the rest of us after the game. Whilst many of us were talking to friends about the game or posting on internet message boards, the Boys decided to turn their memories into memorable lyrics. Add the lyrics to an unbelievably catchy tune and you’ve got a song to remember.

The song was called Du The Dudek, and that’s because one of the most outstanding memories of that night was Jerzy Dudek dancing on the goal-line to put the AC Milan penalty-takers off. We all found out after the game that Jamie Carragher had told him to remember what Brucie had done back in Rome, and Dudek did this plus a little bit more.

Trophy BoyzThe Boyz were in Liverpool yesterday promoting the launch of the single – it’s out now – and the plight of Michael touched their hearts like the rest of us. As soon as they heard that the Bulgarian authorities had taken this action the four members of the band decided on the spot to donate any profits they make to Michael’s family. This is an unbelievably generous act from the four, who’ve been working relentlessly to promote their first single as a band.

Neil Reed is a director of their record company, Diablo Records. He said yesterday: "We’d like to pledge our full support to Michael’s family and friends at this distressing time. The band are upset at the injustice of the case and feel it is really important that we try to help out in any way we can. We came to a unanimous agreement straight away that any profits from the single go towards the families legal costs or whatever other costs they might be incurring."
 
The band and their management travelled up from London to promote the single yesterday and saw just how welcoming the people of Liverpool can be. Neil said: "Since arriving in Liverpool today the people of this city have been brilliant towards us and we see this as a way of paying them back. If we can now get the people of Liverpool supporting this single then they will be supporting the campaign to free Michael Shields. We don’t know how much the single will make but if we can get it as high up the charts as possible then it will help raise awareness of Michael’s plight on a national scale."

The single was released on Monday, and is available in all of the big record stores, including HMV.  It can also be ordered online through HMV or through the official site for the single – www.duthedudek.net. You can also see a clip of the video on that site.

The way record sales work in the UK is that sales are logged starting on Monday morning. This is the sales week for the chart that is announced for the following Sunday. So to help the record get as high in the charts as possible, you need to buy a copy of it this week. The higher it gets in the charts this week, the more publicity and air-play it will receive next week, which in turn helps it to sustain its place in the charts.

The single is out in two versions, if you can afford to buy both then you’ll be helping Michael even more. You’ll also be helping the record climb higher up the charts.

Jerzy Duing the DudekAs we said yesterday, Michael’s plight will not receive as much publicity as it would if he’d been from a different part of the country and from a different social background. Getting the record into the public eye more will help to raise awareness of what has happened to Michael, and in turn will bring pressure on those with the power to sort this mess out.

The single itself is a good laugh and well worth buying on its own merits. Playing it loud at a barbecue this weekend will annoy your bluenose neighbours. It’s so catchy that they’ll actually find themselves singing it – well worth seeing!

The write of the song, Adrian Zag of the Trophy Boyz, explained what the song was about, and how it came to be written. He said: "It’s a song about that amazing night, one of the maddest games of football I’ve ever seen in my life. We got together and did a song to commemorate that amazing night and to remind us how we all felt."

He remember the night well, as we all do. He continues: "I was so deliriously happy after the match and I was looking on forums on the internet and a fan said, ‘When is somebody going to do a song about this night?’ I thought well I’m a songwriter and I’m going to do something about it."

With the proceeds now going towards helping Michael Shields, we’re sure many fans will echo what Adrian said next: "We want to get this song to number one in England and number one in Europe. It’s in honour of Jerzy Dudek for that double save and the penalties but everyone was a hero that night. Luis Garcia and Djimi Traore cleared off the line, Jamie Carragher made two tackles when he had cramp and Steven Gerrard stopped Serginho from getting any crosses in. Everyone was a champion that night."

Continue reading Du the Dudek for Michael Shields

Innocent Michael Shields jailed for 15 years

May 25th 2005. Liverpool fans around the world celebrated Liverpool’s success in Istanbul as they became European Champions for the fifth time.

One of those fans was Michael Shields. 18-years-old, a quiet lad by all accounts, delighted to see the Reds make history.

Michael ShieldsToday though Michael was sent to prison in Bulgaria for 15 years for a crime he so clearly did not commit. Michael Shields is an 18-year-old with his whole life in front of him – but will be 33 by the time his sentence is completed.

The teenager from Wavertree in Liverpool was actually tried for attempted murder. Martin Georgiev, a 25-year-old Bulgarian barman,was injured in an attack that left him with a fractured skull and possible brain damage. The injuries were alleged to have been made by a brick that had been thrown at his head.

There’s no doubt that Mr Georgiev has suffered badly from this mindless attack – but there is nothing but doubt about the conviction that was today made.

Michael has always protested his innocence. He said he was sleeping in his hotel room at the time the attack was said to have taken place. Unfortunately there was no way that he could prove this. At the same time there seems to be no way that the Bulgarian authorities could prove he carried out the attack – but it didn’t stop them locking him up immediately two months ago, until his trial this week.

A vital piece of evidence came up on Saturday that would surely help him be released – the real perpetrator of the attack came forward. Graham Sankey, a 20-year-old electrician from Anfield in Liverpool said he had carried out the attack. Sankey said he was willing to face the consequences, but only in this country. Bulgarian authorities completely dismissed the evidence.

Sankey’s solicitor David Kirwan today said that Sankey was "in despair" that despite his confession Michael was still convicted. Kirwan said: "Graham believed the case against Michael would either be thrown or adjourned after he came forward to make his confession, but, to his total despair, the judge decided to continue trying Michael."

Kirwan also said he would be speaking to Michael’s legal representatives: "I have this morning contacted Michael’s solicitors asking them to provide me with the prosecution’s evidence and witness statements which I need to review as a matter of urgency."

Kirwan hinted that Sankey would continue to stay away from the Bulgarian legal system, in the expectation of not receiving a free trial: "Given this background, what hope is there that Graham Sankey would receive a fair trial if he were ever to go before a court in Bulgaria?"

Michael’s uncle, Joey Graney, saw his nephew sentenced today. He said: "Michael was sobbing. He’s an 18-year-old lad, quiet as a mouse, on his own, going back to a Bulgarian jail. What’s he going to do?"

Joey continued: "As far as the Bulgarians were concerned, a local lad had been attacked and they wanted their scapegoat. They did not care that Graham Sankey has confessed to carrying out the attack. They just tossed that aside."

Michael’s father, also called Michael, said, "Shocking news. It’s just disbelief. We thought with this statement going to Bulgaria admitting this crime, Michael would be on the first plane home today. We are going to do everything in our power to clear Michael’s name."

Another British holidaymaker, 19-year-old Anthony Wilson, was cleared of a charge of hooliganism. He was convicted of possession of cannabis and sentenced to two-and-a-half-years in prison. This sentence was suspended though and he has been allowed to return home.

Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman said: "Graham Sankey has admitted he was guilty of the crime that Michael Shields is now convicted of, but he did so in a way that was inadmissible to the Bulgarian court." She said she intends to talk to the British Government and also the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office would not comment on the verdict.

Michael’s uncle has probably hit the nail on the head in terms of what has happened to Michael. The Bulgarians were rightly angry that a "foreigner" had so seriously injured one of their own countrymen. They failed to find the real guilty person, but decided that it would be acceptable to take away Michael’s liberty in order to get justice.

Unfortunately they picked the wrong person. They, according to reports, have no forensic evidence that links Michael to the attack. They have ignored an admission of guilt from the real perpetrator, who they had already had in for questioning at the outset. He was let go and said he felt like he’d "won the lottery" when he got back home without being charged.

If a case like this came to a court in this country, involving someone from overseas, there would be an outcry. Accusations of racism would be levelled too, there’s no doubt about that.

If this case involved an 18-year-old stockbroker’s daughter from the Home Counties who had been overseas to watch a ballet, would the situation have been the same? No – the sympathy from the press and government in this country would have been greater, the story would have received greater coverage, the innocent person would be either home or on their way back home. An 18-year-old football fan, who is also a scouser, stands less chance of getting that sympathy.

Now Michael’s family are completely devastated by what has happened. They would be devastated if they had thought he had done it, even if they had a doubt that he might have been guilty. They know he was not guilty though.

They know who did it. The real criminal has owned up, sort of, about what he’s done. Bulgaria is not interested. They’ve got their piece of meat, their scapegoat, their trophy. Michael’s life has now been destroyed.

If you have any further information that you think could help in any way, Michael’s family can be contacted by either telephone or by email. Please do not abuse these contact details. By telephone you can call 07939 951 583, to speak to Laura or Sylvia. The email address is : freemichaelshields@hotmail.co.uk.

If you have any problems getting through by these methods then contact us and we will arrange for the information to be passed on. Anything you supply to us will be in strict confidence.

The family have also released some useful email and postal addresses that you can write to in order to press Michael’s case further:

Bulgarian ambassador to the UK – ambass.office@bulgarianembassy.org.uk

Bulgarian Minister for Justice Mr Anton Stankov – pr@justice.government.bg

Prisoners Abroad – info@prisonersabroad.org.uk

Louise Elman, Michael’s MP – (c/o Julie Lloyd) lloydju@parliament.uk

Donations
Michael’s family are having to spend a lot of money to try and look after their son. As well as legal costs they are trying to get over to be with him as much as possible, and we are told that even a few weeks ago the costs had gone past the £10,000 mark.

To make a donation an Appeal Fund has been set up with HSBC bank. The "payee" information for your donation is "Michael Shields Support Fund". The sort-code is 40-29-08, the account no is 22296330.  You should be able to make payments to this account free of charge either from your own bank or at a HSBC branch.

There is also an option to pay using PayPal, which has been set up by Liverpool website "Red and White Kop" (RAWK). The site has arranged with Michael’s father and uncle to transfer all donations from RAWK’s paypal account directly to their bank account, and over £2000 has been raised so far. If you wish to donate this way please visit the following link – ensure that you use this link as this will ensure the donation is correctly identified and will be transferred directly to the appeal fund:

http://www.redandwhitekop.com/article.php?id=1164184

Our thoughts are with Michael and his family at this time. If you don’t feel moved by what has happened to him then try to think ahead to how old you will be in 15 years time. Or how old your children will be. How old you or your children were 15 years ago. It’s a long time for someone to miss out on. Do what you can to help. 
Continue reading Innocent Michael Shields jailed for 15 years

Baros says he wants to stay

Milan BarosReds striker Milan Baros is insistent that he doesn’t want a move away from Anfield. Baros is one of many strikers at Anfield now, following on from the arrival of Peter Crouch yesterday. Rafa Benitez hinted that Baros could be sold and West Ham hinted at being interested in signing the player, but Baros is planning to stay. He claims not be enjoying the speculation saying: "Of course it is not pleasant, but I am still a Liverpool player. I am working hard and trying to persuade the coach I deserve my place in the team. We will sit together and talk about his intentions with me."

Baros intends to speak to the manager about his situation, saying, "If he says he does not need me, then we will start solving the problem, but nothing is happening now and I am not letting it play on my mind."

Baros is reportedly due to meet Liverpool’s chief executive Rick Parry along with his agent next week.

This isn’t the first time Baros has spoken out publicly about his situation with Liverpool. Two weeks before the Champions League Final Baros was reportedly complaining that he was "annoyed" with the Liverpool boss’s decisions. The Czech Republic star was quoted in Czech newspaper Pravo at the time as saying: "It is not true that I had or have had disputes with boss Rafael Benitez, but I am annoyed that when I’m fit I only warm the bench or when Benitez takes me off during a game even if I haven’t used up all my energy. I need to play. Only then will I be better than I am now."

Baros also said at the time that he’d be considering his future during the summer, saying: "Speculation is good for nothing. This question will be answered at the end of the season. Then we will deal with it with my agent. Of course it would be much better to speak about offers with a Champions League medal."

He’s got that medal now, but admitted in May that he’d already been offered deals by other clubs: "I have not said I am going to leave Liverpool. I have some offers, but this is my agent Pavel Paska’s job. If I leave the Reds I would like to play in a team which would be at least at the same level as Liverpool in regard to playing in European competitions. And I would like to play there constantly."

Baros also had an outburst in March after being a substitute in the Carling Cup Final. Although he did come on after 74 minutes, he wasn’t happy. He told the Czech newspaper Daily Sport: "I don’t know why I didn’t play on Sunday. I didn’t argue with anybody. I was disappointed but I am not thinking of leaving right now."

Baros could be holding the key to future Anfield signing, the £5 or £6million he’d bring in would help Liverpool to up their bid for Real Zaragoza defender Gabriel Milito. Liverpool have reportedly offered £8million for the Argentinian, but this falls short of the Spanish club’s £10million valuation. Zaragoza are determined to keep him and have reportedly offered to match any wages that Liverpool would have offered. The player has already expressed a desire to play for the European Champions.

Spanish newspapers report that Benitez has made a bid for Sevilla’s defender Daniel Alves instead, whilst other reports claim that Real Madrid’s Walter Samuel and Deportivo La Coruna’s Jorge Andrade are targets of the Reds.

Continue reading Baros says he wants to stay

Hobbs likely to sign for Reds

Lincoln City youngster Jack Hobbs looks to have had a successful trial with Liverpool and is now likely to sign for the European Champions this week.

Hobbs had been set to move to Arsenal at one stage, but the London club pulled out because they would not agree to a sell-on clause in the deal. Liverpool are happy to have this clause included, after all it is designed to allow Lincoln to share in any success that comes from the player’s signing. If the player is sold for a profit then Liverpool will give some of that profit to Lincoln.

Hobbs played in a match against Wrexham last week in so that Reds staff could assess his ability in a real match situation. As in his trials with the club in training, the player impressed Liverpool.

The players’ agent, Charles Collymore, told Lincoln’s local paper the Lincolnshire Free Press that a deal is likely this week: "Liverpool have indicated they want Jack and we hope to complete the deal this week. He’s done very well at Liverpool."

He also said that the player’s attitude impressed the Reds staff: "They think he’s got a fantastic temperament and believe that will go a long way towards him taking on board everything they will teach him."

The match against Wrexham was watched by the Reds chief scout Frank MacParland and he is said to have immediately recommended the player be signed after watching him in action. Rick Parry is likely to rubber-stamp the deal which will be worth over £100,000 to Lincoln in the first instance.

Hobbs is normally a centre-back, but Liverpool played him in a central midfield role. His dad, Paul Hobbs, spoke about the game: "The match was only 70 minutes but he played it all and did OK."

Paul continued: "I’d be delighted to see him go to Liverpool. My only disappointment would be that he never started a match for Lincoln City. That’s a shame after spending seven years there."

Jack’s now back with his club awaiting developments. In addition to the sell-on clause Liverpool are likely to agree to clauses that give Lincoln rewards should Hobbs become a first team regular and also should be become an England international.

Continue reading Hobbs likely to sign for Reds

Figo deal nears conclusion

Liverpool’s attempts to bring Portugese star Luis Figo to Anfield look likely to reach a successful conclusion in the next few days.

Liverpool had already agreed terms with the player last month, when Real Madrid changed their minds on what they required by way of a transfer fee. Liverpool had negotiated with Figo based on a free-transfer, Real Madrid demanded £2million.  Liverpool refused to budge, so Real brought Inter Milan into the equation.

Figo’s lack of enthusiasm to move to Inter meant that Real had to give in and drop their demands for a transfer fee, but there is still one obstacle. Figo would be due to get around £4.5million in wages if he were to stay with Madrid, and he wants a pay-off that bridges the gap between that payment and the wages he’ll get from the Reds. The difference is believed to be around £2million, which is why Real were asking for that amount as a transfer fee.

Real are expected to accept the situation by the end of the week, and an agreement should be made in time for the former World Football of the Year to join the European Champions well before the start of the Premiership season.

Continue reading Figo deal nears conclusion

Crouch signs for Reds

Peter Crouch’s move to Anfield has gone through today after the player passed his medical. He has signed a four-year deal with the Reds. Liverpool also announced that Crouch will be wearing number 15 for the Reds next season, the vacant number 11 shirt seemingly being saved for someone else.

Crouch said he was extremely happy to be joining the European Champions, saying today: "I am thrilled to be joining a club as prestigious and successful as Liverpool. Once I heard of their interest in me it was hard not to think about what it would be like to pull on the famous red shirt and play in front of the Kop, but I was also very aware of my responsibilities towards Southampton."

Crouch’s attitude toward Southampton during the summer of speculation about his future, following on from the club’s relegation into the Championship, has already drawn praise from Harry Redknapp. He said that leaving Southampton was difficult, but the chance of a move to Anfield was just too good to reject: "After a lot of thought I requested the permission of the Chairman and Board of Directors of the club to talk to Liverpool. Southampton bought me from Aston Villa and allowed me to play regularly in the Premiership, resulting in an appearance for England in the summer. This helped my career tremendously and has now given me the opportunity to move to Liverpool and play on an even bigger stage, something that no-one could realistically expect me to turn down. Under almost any other circumstances I would have committed myself to helping Southampton regain their Premiership status. There is a great group of players at the club and I am sure they will be successful in the coming seasons."

Former Reds captain Jamie Redknapp’s father Harry received praise from the tall striker: "I am also very grateful to Harry Redknapp for everything he has done in my career to date, he made it clear he would not stand in my way over this transfer move. The Chairman hasalso handled the negotiations with both me and the other clubs professionally and fairly and I would like to thank both of them for the way they have conducted themselves during these discussions."
 
Southampton will receive £7million for the player, quite a profit on the £2million they paid for him last summer. They won’t be given the full amount straight away though – £1million is related to certain performance targets, and only £3million is being paid up-front. How much of this will be handed to Redknapp remains to be seen, but Crouch hopes that it helps his former club to do well: "I would also like to thank all the Southampton fans for their support and wish everyone at the club a successful season."

Crouch was at Melwood today going through the paces for his medical and now flies over to Switzerand to join up with his new team-mates at their training camp. The Reds play another friendly on Saturday, against Olympiakos in Liechtenstein, and Crouch looks likely to make his debut in that game. Rafa Benitez confirmed he should be ready for the game, as well as explaining how pleased he was with the new signing: "
"I’m delighted we have signed Crouch. He is a good player with a lot of good qualities and his arrival will give me more options up front. I think he will be ready for the game against Olympiacos on Saturday night. It depends on his physical condition but he has been training with Southampton so he should be okay."

Crouch is the sixth new signing so far in what has been a busy summer for Benitez and Chief executive Rick Parry.

Continue reading Crouch signs for Reds

Hammers want to sign Baros

Liverpool striker Milan Baros, missed out of the squad for last night’s Champions League game, is attracting interest from West Ham United. Their manager, Alan Pardew, says that he would be definitely interested in a move for the player – if Liverpool are wishing to sell him.

Pardew said: "I’m not going to talk directly about Milan because he’s still under contract – but we are after a striker and if someone of his quality is available I am going to go for him."
 
Baros complained publicly about his treatment last season, unhappy about being played out of position in a wide role or being on the pitch for too little time. With Liverpool struggling for strikers last season due to injuries Baros got more time on the pitch than perhaps he might have done, and with Liverpool adding Peter Crouch to their squad the Czech international could find himself warming the bench regularly.

Subject to passing  a medical this morning Crouch will sign for £7million and will join Morientes, Cisse, Le Tallec, Mellor and Sinama-Pongolle as part of the Reds’ striking options.

Rafa Benitez hinted that Liverpool have had offers for the player, but in the world of contracts that trigger differing payouts depending on who instigates a move, wouldn’t publicly state he wants to sell him. Rafa said: “Milan is a good player, he was top scorer last season, but we have more options now and maybe some offers.” "He is a player that is important for us – but we know the market sometimes changes."

With so many strikers at the club now every one of those frontmen needs to fight to play a part in the season. Mellor and Sinama-Pongolle are both injured but expected back in action soon to fight along with the others. Benitez said: “They will have to work hard if they want to play and that is good for me. If you have more competition it is good for us”.

Rafa was asked if Baros still had a future at Anfield, and he said he does – for now: “At the moment we are working with all our strikers and Baros does have a future here. I am not preparing for anyone to go. I am working with my players, but if we receive any offers maybe some of them can go. It depends on the offers and it depends on the player also."
 
Continue reading Hammers want to sign Baros

Reds confirm 4-year-deal for Crouch

Liverpool tonight confirmed the news on their own official web-site that they have agreed a four-year contract with Peter Crouch. The Southampton striker will cost Liverpool £7million, assuming he passes his medical tomorrow.

The Reds web-site does not confirm the fee that has been widely reported elsewhere. The official statement is: "Liverpool have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sign Peter Crouch from Southampton on a four year contract.
A transfer fee has been agreed between the two clubs and the Reds have also finalised personal terms with the striker.

Crouch will undergo a medical tomorrow before officially signing his new Liverpool contract.

He will then join up with his new Liverpool team-mates at their training camp in Switzerland ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Olympiacos in Liechtenstein.

He becomes Rafa Benitez’s sixth signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Bolo Zenden, Pepe Reina, Momo Sissoko, Antonio Barragan and Mark Gonzales."
Continue reading Reds confirm 4-year-deal for Crouch

Crouch is now a Red – subject to medical

Liverpool have finally managed to agree a fee with Southampton for striker Peter Crouch. Crouch has now agreed terms on his contract with the Reds, and subject to a medical tomorrow will become Liverpool’s latest signing in a busy summer of activity.

According to the official Southampton website the player is going to cost the Reds £7million. Crouch was determined to join the Reds once his manager had told him of the interest, and even interest from Middlesbrough, Charlton, West Ham and Manchester City was not going to sway him.

The first indication to Saints boss Harry Redknapp that his club had accepted the bid was when Crouch was missing this morning. Redknapp said: "Peter did not turn up for training today and I believe he is talking to Liverpool. A fee of £7m is good money and obviously it was too good to turn down. I knew Liverpool wanted him and were getting closer and were not letting go. Several other clubs were interested but it has happened suddenly today. Deals are not done manager to manager any more but chairman to chief executive in this case. It was a lot of money and it is a board decision."

Reds Chief Executive Rick Parry has been very busy this summer, and after having an earlier bid of £6million turned down he finally persuaded Saints Chairman Rupert Lowe to sell the new England international. Redknapp was unhappy to lose the player, but was full of praise for the attitude of Crouch during all of the speculation. He said: "I would love to have kept him. He was a key player and he is a good lad too. Throughout all of this he has been good as gold and I am sure he will be a big success there."

Southampton’s website also claims that Crouch handed in a formal transfer request earlier in the week, a move that finally forced Lowe’s hand. Crouch felt that playing for the European Champions, even if only as a squad player, would be much more beneficial to him than playing in the Championship for Southampton. Crouch took a huge pay cut when Southampton were relegated, a clause built into his contract ensured his wages would drop if the team went down a division. Liverpool’s offer will eclipse what he was on with Southampton even during their Premiership days.

Crouch will not be available for the first two league games of the season – he picked up a three-game ban at the end of last season and still has two games left to serve. His last act for Southampton was to score twice in their friendly against Kilmarnock.

Redknapp – father of former Reds captain Jamie – was asked by Sky Sports News what he thought was special about the striker: "What’s special about him is he’s 6ft 8ins, that’s probably the most special thing. He’s got terrific touch, he’s good in the air, has a good understanding of the game and is a fantastic player."

Redknapp repeated how professional the player has been during the speculation: "He’s a good lad and has not been a minute’s problem even when this has been going on. Many players would have thrown their dummies out of the pram but he’s come in every day, worked hard and been a fantastic example to everybody. I wish him well and I’m sure he’ll be a big success at Liverpool."

Next for Rafa Benitez is a centre-back, and the move for Luis Figo may still go ahead this week.
Continue reading Crouch is now a Red – subject to medical

Reds keep quiet about more signings

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti claims that financial restrictions mean that little progress is being made in their moves to sign Walter Samuel and Luis Figo from Real Madrid. Figo is a target for Liverpool, but the Reds are refusing to pay a transfer fee for a player that is nearing the end of his career.

Speaking about both players, Moratti claimed that Inter will continue negotiations: "We will try to do something in the next few days. We will see in what direction this takes us, but nothing is free. Thus, we are not optimistic when it comes to the financial side of the deal but from the sporting side, we are. We are willing to try to do it."

Figo’s team-mate Michael Owen, reported last week as being desperate to return to Anfield, scored for Madrid last night in their latest world tour game. The Spanish side were playing in front of a sell-out crowd against the Los Angeles Galaxy and Owen opened the scoring after six minutes. The second goal came after 75 minutes, Soldada scoring from Figo’s through-ball.

Liverpool haven’t commented on the Michael Owen situation, and have also gone quiet on the move for Peter Crouch. Liverpool and West Ham are both believed to have had £6 million bids for Crouch turned down, and stories now suggest that Manchester City have joined the chase. City have just had their coffers boosted by the departure of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Saints boss Harry Redknapp seems resigned to losing his striker. He told the Southampton official website: "Obviously I really want him to stay, but it is a board decision and out of my hands."

Continue reading Reds keep quiet about more signings