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Liverpool latest: Rodgers on Ferguson, goal targets & Coutinho fitness

All the latest news and views from Anfield, plus transfer rumours.

The news surrounding Liverpool in the past 24 hours has focused on manager Brendan Rodgers hitting out at former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson over comments made about Liverpool players.

Rodgers defended both Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson yesterday from Ferguson’s criticism, describing Gerrard as ‘world class’ and Henderson as ‘one of the most honest players’ he’s worked with.

The Liverpool boss told the press afterwards: ‘I think there is a sadness to it as this is something that will probably stay with people for a long while.

‘His achievements in the game have been well documented and seen by all. I think every football person would have enjoyed seeing him go out and leaving the legacy he had.

‘But now people are only going to talk about the comments in his book.’

Specifically on Gerrard and Henderson, Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: ‘In terms of the personal stuff about Stevie and Jordan, sometimes it can be like that when you don’t get players that you want.’

Also at the press conference, Rodgers revealed that playmaker Philippe Coutinho is in line to return for next week’s clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Rodgers said: ‘I think, after the weekend, he’ll be fine. He has got really good strength in his shoulder now; it’s just getting him up to speed in training and joining the group.’

The Reds’ boss also said he does not need to set striker Daniel Sturridge a goals target for this season – having already scored seven goals in the first eight games.

‘I believe he’s a natural goalscorer, it’s just about him understanding his role in the team, with the ball and intensity without the ball.’

On to transfer rumours, and Liverpool are believed to be interested in Manchester City’s 21-year-old striker John Guidetti according to the Metro.

The striker has 18 months left on his contract, and City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he will struggle to get into their side. City are believed to want £5m for the player.

The Daily Star are also reporting that Liverpool will pursue former Manchester United goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler from Hannover 96.

image: © Sanjiva

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