Liverpool Latest: Benitez to poach summer target? Ayre: Reds were 'seconds from disaster'

Rafa Benitez Tour

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

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is reportedly ready to try and tempt Reds target Ivan Rakitic to Serie A. The Sevilla midfielder has been suggested as a summer target for Liverpool but Brendan Rodgers could get dragged into a tug of war with Napoli according to talkSPORT.

Managing director Ian Ayre has admitted that Liverpool were ‘seconds from disaster’ under the previous ownership regime. Liverpool could have been financially crippled under Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

“It’s no secret, it’s like that TV programme ‘Seconds from Disaster’ – we were in that sort of vein. It was horrific to see the football club in that state,” Ayre is quoted by the Daily Mail.

Daniel Sturridge has thanked Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool’s fans and his teammates ahead of the Reds’ game against Chelsea this weekend. Sturridge’s career has been revitalised since he moved to Anfield in January last year.

“I am thankful to Liverpool, to the manager, fans and the players that have made me feel so welcome and given me an opportunity I never had,” Sturridge is quoted by the Evening Standard.

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has called the transformation of this Liverpool side amazing, suggesting not many teams would have been able to go from seventh last season to the verge of winning a Premier League title this season.

“I don't think many teams will come from seventh to win it, certainly in such a competitive league as the Premier League. Huge credit to him (Rodgers) and the rest of the team, which has some outstanding players but have been guided superbly by the manager,” said Owen.

Former Arsenal star and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson says he wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool won the game against Chelsea this weekend easily.

“You have to say everything is going right for Liverpool, though. They are taking advantage of that fortune, which is what you've got to do and it wouldn't surprise me if they won this easily,” he predicted.

TalkSPORT has also suggested Liverpool could make a move for 15-year-old Kuki Zalazar, following a report from Spanish newspaper Marca. The striker will be able to sign professional terms with a club as soon as he turns 16-years-old.

In other news, Liverpool boss Rodgers won’t be happy with the actions of winger Luis Alberto. The 21-year-old has been found guilty of a drink-driving offence and has received a 12 month driving ban, a fine of £1,500 and has been ordered to attend an alcohol awareness course.

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