Liverpool latest: Russian club threatening Salah deal, Sturridge could return this weekend

Anfield Pitch

A round up of the latest news and transfer stories about Liverpool from the past 24 hours.

In transfer news, there could be a potential obstacle to Liverpool’s pursuit of FC Basel star Mohamed Salah. TalkSport has run a report which suggests Russian side Zenit St Petersburg are also interested in the £8 million winger, but prepared to offer a higher fee of £12 million to get the deal done.

Liverpool have also been dealt a blow in the form of Valencia midfielder Ever Banega. Valencia boss Juan Antonio Pizzi says the club don’t want to sell the Reds target.

“At the moment we are not considering letting anyone leave. We have not thought about Banega departing,” he said.

A more realistic target could be Benfica’s Ola john, linked with a potential loan move to Liverpool. A Dutch website has claimed John is available on loan after struggling to break into the first team regularly at the Portuguese club.

In other news, Daniel Sturridge has reacted well to full first team training duties. The striker could be in line for a return against Stoke City after six weeks out with an ankle problem. Liverpool will be hoping Sturridge can rekindle his superb partnership with Luis Suarez in attack.

Brendan Rodgers has encouraged his team to switch their focus back to the Premier League. Liverpool won their FA Cup match against Oldham last weekend but Rodgers says the league once again becomes the priority. Liverpool face Stoke, Aston Villa and Everton in the league this month.

The boss has also given his backing to under fire forward Iago Aspas. Aspas grabbed his first goal for the club against Oldham and Rodgers is backing him to kick on with his Liverpool career.

“It was nice for him to get the goal and I’m sure that will give him a big boost,” he told Liverpool’s website.

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Liverpool defender Martin Kelly has spoken of his delight to return to first team duty. Kelly suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2012 and played 90 minutes for the first time since in the FA Cup win against Oldham.

“It was brilliant. I was probably more nervous for this match than any I’ve played for Liverpool, because after 15 months that was my first start,” he told the Liverpool website.

Former Liverpool forward John Aldridge says loanee Victor Moses needs to buck up his ideas. Aldridge used his Liverpool Echo column to question the desire and hunger of Moses after being given a ‘big opportunity’ when Brendan Rodgers signed him on loan for the current season.

Another story connected to Moses relates to a reported pursuit from Liverpool for Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand. Chelsea are set to block any approach from the Reds for the defender owing to Moses not receiving the first team playing time they anticipated.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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