Liverpool latest: Southampton build up, Rodgers hits back at loan star

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

Daniel Agger will keep his place in the Liverpool side for tomorrow afternoon’s late kick-off against Southampton. Speculation has built all week that Agger would be dropped for a poor performance against Swansea City last week but Brendan Rodgers has confirmed he will feature.

Mamadou Sakho is also closing in on a return but won’t feature against the Saints, but Rodgers has confirmed that the Frenchman has been in first team training for the past week.

Rodgers has confirmed that goalkeeper Pepe Reina is unlikely to return to the club after his loan at Napoli expires. Reina recently said he didn’t think he had a future at the club and the boss has confirmed those doubts.

“He wrote a goodbye letter didn't he? Obviously Pepe made it very clear when he went to Napoli that he was looking to move because he penned a great big letter saying he was going to work with the best manager that he'd worked with Rafael Benitez,” Rodgers told the press.

Rodgers has also said there is nothing wrong with the club’s supporters dreaming of Premier League title success after playing down Liverpool’s chances of winning the title earlier this season.

“It’s great for supporters to dream. It’s great being in the city and listening to supporters talk, I sense a real excitement and anticipation and they deserve that,” he’s quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool’s Head of Performance Glen Driscoll has suggested Rodgers puts greater demand on his players than Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho or Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti. Driscoll worked with Mourinho and Ancelotti during his time with the Blues.

“We have a manager who inspires and demands more from his players than any other manager I’ve seen. Tactically, he demands both a relentless, high energy press, but also an electric transition and counter attack,” he told Liverpool’s website.

In transfer news, holding midfielder Nigel De Jong has revealed that he’s only concerned with playing for AC Milan. The Dutchman has hinted that he won’t be tempted into a move to Anfield any time soon.

“I want to try and stay at Milan for another four or five years,” he told the Daily Star.

Liverpool have been linked with Inter Milan defensive prospect Ibrahima Mbaye. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Livorno and has been connected to Manchester United in the Premier League as well as Liverpool, with interest from Lazio and Juventus in Serie A.

The Metro has claimed that Liverpool will make a bid for Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino at the end of the season. The 22-year-old is reported as one of the most exciting attacking talents in the Bundesliga with Rodgers confirming that he wants to improve the number of attacking options in his squad earlier this season.

image: © Bernard C

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