Hearts set on raiding Reds reserves

It’s already well-documented that Liverpool reserves Darren Potter and Francis Smith are all set to leave the Reds to start the next phase of their careers in the Scottish capital with Heart of Midlothian, but they may not be the only Reds making that move.

Reported in a few places now is their interest in the likes of David Raven, Neil Mellor and Anthony Le Tallec. Raven is unhappy with his current situation – a reserve player unlikely to get a first-team place, and hardly even getting any first-team outings. If an offer is made for the player – either as a loan move or a permanent move at the right price – he’ll be allowed to leave, especially with the signing of Jan Kromkamp this week. Le Tallec is currently on loan at Sunderland, but is not out of Rafa Benítez’s long-term plans and so it seems unlikely that he’d leave. As for Neil Mellor, Rafa Benítez is a big fan of the striker, who is only just returning to fitness from his double-knee surgery.

The Scottish club have also made an audacious bid for Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko. The Mali international was only signed in the summer and has become an important member of the first team squad immediately. According to the Edinburgh Evening News, Liverpool politely turned down the bid, quoting a source as saying: “Romanov asked about Sissoko but the inquiry wasn’t taken any further as he is very important to the team and cost a lot of money.” The paper also reports that the moves for Darren Potter and Francis Smith are taking longer to be finalised than Liverpool expected. The same source told the paper that, “Liverpool think it’s all agreed but they are still waiting for Hearts to come and tie up the loose ends. Liverpool thought that on January 1 it would all go through but as yet they haven’t heard from them on the Potter deal. As far as Liverpool are concerned there is a deal in place and Potter and Smith want to go, but for some reason nothing seems to have happened.”

The Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov is a controversial character in Scottish Football. He’s seen Hearts become the first club to look anything like being able to challenge the Glasgow dominance of the game in the country, but has been reported to the Scottish FA for remarks made about Celtic recently.  Last season the Lithuanian owner was fined £5,000 for insulting a referee.

The strangest thing we’ve heard about the Hearts interest in all things Red is their attempt to sign a player from Liverpool that left some time ago. According to The Liverpool Way website, Hearts asked Liverpool about the availability of a midfielder, Carl Clampitt. Clampitt left Liverpool three years ago after realising Liverpool wouldn’t offer him a professional deal. Preston came in for the player but in the end a knee injury saw them release him at the end of his contract. The most recent team he played for was Cammel Lairds, currently in North West Counties Division One.

The sudden interest came as a huge shock to the player, and he got as far agreeing personal terms and going through a medical. It was the fact he failed the medical that saw the deal fall through, which was obviously a massive blow to the player.

Hearts fans will be concerned that their club are making efforts to sign Liverpool players that left so long ago though – it suggests their scouting reports are about three years out of date. The club have already upset a lot of fans by bringing in Graham Rix as team coach despite the personal history of the former member of the Chelsea coaching staff.