Most of the Sunday papers are of course concentrating on International matches right now, so stories relating to Liverpool are a little thin on the ground. The announcement from Steven Gerrard yesterday is the main Liverpool-related story, and most of the papers have left the story at that. Except one. The News of the World feel that just reporting that Gerrard wants to stay at Liverpool isn’t exciting enough for their readers, so they’ve added the angle that Liverpool have had to offer him unbelievable amounts of money. £26 million in fact. Exactly where they got this information from isn’t clear, but nobody else seems to know about it.
Meanwhile we’re forced to look to former Liverpool players for any more news. Michael Owen left Liverpool last summer after stalling too long on his contract. Owen has struggled to get into the Madrid team this season. Many say this is because of the influence of Raul – influence that means Raul must be picked to play by whoever manages the club (and this changes regularly).
Raul seems to have never taken to Michael Owen – and now according to Sunday papers such as the Sunday Mirror, Raul says the following: "I know Michael Owen has been linked with a return to England but all I can say is that Real Madrid has to have players who really want to play for this club. If anyone is unhappy here I think it’s best that they leave. And that means anyone, including Michael Owen. We only need people here who are desperate to represent Real Madrid."
Owen scored for England yesterday in a game where he did look a little rusty at times, and it’s quite likely that he’ll leave Spain in the summer if things continue at the club the way they have done. Newspapers are linking him to offers from Arsenal and Chelsea (who else?) but whether this happens remains to be seen. It’s highly unlikely that Liverpool will be able to afford to buy him back at this stage, as his value will be much higher than what Liverpool received when they sold him a year ago. Owen of course is entitled to stay and pick up a very good wage packet regardless of whether he plays or not – like Steve McManaman did for some years – and so Real Madrid may consider re-thinking the transfer fee they want should Owen express a preference for which club he would join. Expect speculation on this issue for the rest of the season anyway.
There’s more internationals on Wednesday, then normal service is resumed. If you are missing seeing the red-men in action though, don’t forget the Tsunami benefit match at Anfield today. If you aren’t able to go in person, there’s coverage on Sky Sports, and also on the official Liverpool FC website through the "E-Season" subscription service.