LFC: Hyypia’s not off to Roma

Liverpool today took the relatively unusual step of issuing a denila over a transfer story.

Liverpool ‘keeper Jerzy Dudek spoke this weekend of how he anticipates dirty tricks in the build-up to the Chelsea game. One of the tricks he expected to be played was linking Liverpool players to moves away from the club.

Today the News of the World printed a story that Liverpool’s vice captain was set to leave in the summer to join Roma. The newspaper said that the Finland defender would be sold for £3million, the deal almost agreed.

Liverpool’s spokesman Ian Cotton denied this story in no uncertain terms. He said: "There has been no contact with Roma at all. The story is absolute rubbish."

Hyypia had lost his place as a first-choice centre-back in the derby last month, when after recovering from injury he was still kept on the bench. Pellegrino was his replacement, and it would be pretty difficult to shift Jamie Carragher from the defence right now. The talk about Hyypia leaving was therefore inevitable.

We can safely assume that Benitez will bring a new centre-back in during the summer if funds are available to bring in the player he has in mind. Hyypia will then be fighting for his place with more names – but this doesn’t mean he’s afraid of the the challenge.

Meanwhile another Red’s defender is hoping for a contract extension before the summer. Djimi Traore was brought to the club as a youngster by Gerrard Houllier, and after spending time on loan and making some high-profile mistakes in the Red’s first team, he seemed destined to finally leave the club last summer. t

Everton were very interested in him and if Rafa Benitez hadn’t intervened at the eleventh hour, the Frenchman would now be playing for the enemy. Under Houllier Djimi seemed to be treated very inconsistently.  Poor performances were rewarded with a long run in the team, at the expense of some of Liverpool’s other young defenders. Traore seemed to fit into neither a centre-back or full-back position.

Benitez however saw the potential in Traore and he’s made a decent number of appearances this season. John Arne Riise has spent more time further forward in midfield than previously, and Traore and Warnock have shared the left-back role for much of the season.

Traore now feels that his home is Liverpool. He’s one more year left on his deal but certainly doesn’t want to leave. He said: "Every summer it is always the same. I have been going to Blackburn or West Brom or often to any team back in France that will have me, but all I want to do is play for Liverpool."