Rodgers tight-lipped over Remy to Liverpool deal

first_img Queens Park Rangers and France forward Loic Remy 1 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has remained tight-lipped over reports the Reds are close to signing France international Loic Remy.An £8.5million deal for the Queens Park Rangers forward is thought to be virtually completed, with the 27-year-old pictured arriving at the club’s American pre-season training camp on Tuesday in preparation for his medical.But when quizzed on a possible move for Remy, Rodgers refused to disclose any information about the Frenchman, as well as any of the side’s remaining summer transfer targets.The Merseyside outfit have also been linked with approaches for Atletico Madrid right-back Javier Manquillo, Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri and Southampton defender Dejan Lovren.“Until they are signed and agreed to come in I will only talk about them then,” the Reds boss told a press conference ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Roma at Fenway Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox, on Wednesday.“I shall not talk about speculation on any player until they have signed.”The Northern Irishman was, however, more vocal about a player who has recently left Anfield – Luis Suarez.The forward signed for Barcelona in a £75million move following the World Cup, where he was guilty of another biting storm.But when asked whether he or Liverpool felt let down by the Uruguay striker after they stood by him over the last two years, Rodgers said: “No, not at all. Luis, in my two years at the club, has been sensational in his game.“Of course there’s been issues which is well documented but it’s in the past. He was a brilliant player for us, for me I’ll always see him as a good man and a good friend.“He gave everything to Liverpool and he left Liverpool after his time as a world-class talent. It’s obviously a shame he is not here but Liverpool is a club that is bigger than any individual.“He’s a fantastic player but we will move forward and there’s real excitement going into this season.“We’ve qualified for the Champions League, we went close in the title. I’m really excited by the player’s we’ve brought in – young players with great profile who play how we want to play and that will allow us to go on and hopefully continue to progress.”last_img read more

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All you need to know about the teams left in this season’s Champions League

first_imgALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BORUSSIA DORTMUNDOutright winner odds: 10/1Last five matches in all competitions: WDWWLIt’s been a funny season for Borussia Dortmund and coach Thomas Tuchel, who finds himself linked with Arsenal.Dortmund haven’t had the best of campaigns by their standards and find themselves sitting in fourth place in the Bundesliga.While they have won three of their last five since coming back from the winter break, the team are reeling after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to bottom side Darmstadt on Saturday.Player to watch: Ousmane Dembele – While many will highlight Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Borussia’s main man, it’s arguably the young Frenchman who has been their standout player this season.The winger was excellent in their German cup-tie against Hertha Berlin and has been a creative force since signing from Rennes in the summer. The Champions League is back and Ronaldo is looking to add to his collection Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid (first leg 21 February/second leg 15 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BAYER LEVERKUSENOutright winner odds: 100/1Last five: WWLLWLThey qualified ahead of Tottenham for the knockout stages of the Champions League but domestically it’s been far from rosy for Leverkusen.Sitting in ninth, well below their standards, they are on a run of three wins and two defeats in their last five domestic games.However, they suffered a real blow at the start of the month when star midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was banned for four months following a contract dispute with Turkish club Trabzonspor.Player to watch: Javier Hernandez – Chicarito is Leverkusen’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in all competitions.The former Manchester United man is still capable of being a threat and, should he get the service, you would fancy him to finish well. 1 Have you got what it takes to be the best in Europe? Sign up to Dream Team’s new Fantasy Football game and you could win £100,000!Benfica v Borussia Dortmund (first leg 14 February/second leg 8 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BENFICAOdds to win the 2016/17 Champions League: 125/1Last five matches in all competitions: WLLWWThe reigning Portuguese champions are at it again, sitting top of their domestic table, one point clear of FC Porto in second.Manager Rui Vitoria has guided Benfica to the knockout stages in successive seasons, for the first time in the Champions League era, and the Lisbon side are in decent form going into their tie with Dortmund.They’ve won three of the last five in all competitions and are on the back of two successive 3-0 victories against Nacional and Arouca.Player to watch: Kostas Mitroglou – The former Fulham striker, who made a solitary three appearances without scoring during his time in West London, is a different prospect these days.The Greek international has six goals in his last seven games and, though he is yet to score in the Champions League this season, he remains a threat. Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona (first leg 14 February/second leg 8 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PSGOutright winner odds: 33/1Last five matches in all competitions: DWWWWFor a team so used to having it their own way in Ligue 1, PSG must be finding it strange occupying second place behind high-flying Monaco.However, the French side haven’t lost since 17 December and, in manager Unai Emery, they have a European specialist who has won the Europa League with Sevilla for the last three years.PSG beat Bordeaux with an impressive 3-0 win on Friday and will be a real challenge to visitors Barcelona.Player to watch: Marco Verratti – The diminutive Italian may be small in stature but his presence in central midfield is huge.He is one of the main creators for PSG and should he perform to the best of his abilities he can cause all sorts of problems. Real Madrid v Napoli (first leg 15 February/second leg 7 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUR REAL MADRIDOutright winner odds: 9/2Last five matches in all competitions: LWDWWThe reigning Champions League winners are flying high in LaLiga and Zinedine Zidane’s side will be looking to add a 12th European Cup to the club;s honours list, despite finishing second in their group.Real have been outstanding in the league, though they hit something of a bump after losing to Sevilla on January 15 and were dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Celta Vigo soon after.While those remain the only real blemishes for Zidane and his team this season, they did have to work hard on Saturday to beat bottom side Osasuna 3-1 away.Player to watch: Casemiro – Real may have some guy called Ronaldo on their team but don’t underestimate the impact of the Brazilian.Virtually untouchable under Zidane the midfielder adds crucial balance to a Madrid team bustling with attacking flair. Manchester City v Monaco (first leg 21st February/second leg 15th March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MANCHESTER CITYOutright winner odds: 12/1Last five: LDWWWThe Pep revolution is yielding results a little slower than most would have anticipated but Manchester City are undergoing something of a rebirth.  The atmosphere around Guardiola’s side is far more positive, since the 4-0 drubbing they suffered against Everton, though the injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus at Bournemouth – which could see him ruled out for months – has put a dampener on things.There are still big question marks over the defence and it remains to be seen if the frail or sublime Manchester City will show up when Monaco come to town.Player to watch: David Silva – With Gabriel Jesus out injured and Guardiola seemingly not a big Sergio Aguero fan, City will need their little magician on top form if they are to get past the Ligue 1 leaders. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BARCELONAOutright winner odds: 10/3Last five matches in all competitions: DWWDWA team that needs no introduction to the Champions League, Barcelona are currently playing second fiddle to Real Madrid in LaLiga.Even though they have won three and drawn two of their last five games, and haven’t lost a domestic game since January 5, Barcelona currently sit second in the league, one point behind Real, having played two games more.In the Champions League Barcelona have been dominant, apart from a 3-1 defeat against Manchester City, but they know they face a tough tie against PSG.Player to watch: Andres Iniesta – While Barcelona possess the formidable attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez, it is the magician Andres Iniesta that could help decide this tie.The Spanish legend has won pretty much all there is to win and has a habit of shining on the big stage in crucial games. Expect the same again. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONACOOutright winner odds: 80/1Last five: DWWWWWhat a season it’s been for Monaco and manager Leonardo Jardim, who are topping Ligue 1 ahead of PSG.They are unbeaten in their last 10 games, with just one draw in that time, and are receiving plenty of praise.After thrashing Metz 5-0 on Saturday, Manchester City can expect to face a confident side by the time the first leg comes around.Player to watch: Radamel Falcao – Remember him? After his torrid time in England with Manchester United and Chelsea, the Colombian is back scoring goals.With 16 in the league and two in the Champions League, Falcao could remind everyone in England that he can still find the back of the net.center_img Sevilla v Leicester City (first leg 22 February/second leg 14 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEVILLAOutright winner odds: 33/1Last five: WWLDWThe Europa League specialists are ready to make a splash in the Champions League and, under the stewardship of former Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli, they have been making all the right noises. After replacing Unai Emery in the summer Sampaoli has led Sevilla to third in La Liga, with just four defeats, and they enjoyed a 1-0 win against Las Palmas on Sunday.In the Champions League they finished runners up to Juventus in group H and will prove a threat through attacking talent like Samir Nasri and Wissam Ben Yedder.Player to watch: Steven N’Zonzi – The French midfielder arrived as an unknown quantity when Blackburn signed him for just £500,000 in 2009.It proved to be money well spent and, seven-and-a-half years later, N’Zonzi is proving pivotal for Sevilla since he was signed from Stoke City.After signing a new contract last month the Frenchman remains a pivotal cog in what Sampaoli is hoping to achieve at the club. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NAPOLIOutright winner odds: 50/1Last five: WWDWWNapoli are on a terrific run of form after winning seven and drawing one of the last eight.Sitting third in Serie A, Maurizio Sarri’s side have coped well this season since losing Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus, and beat Genoa 2-0 on Friday after thumping Bologna 7-1 the weekend before.Napoli won their Champions League group finishing ahead of Benfica and will be in a confident mood ahead of their Real Madrid match-up.Player to watch: Dries Mertens – The Belgian has been prolific and is a large reason why Napoli are in good form.With 16 goals in the league and four in the Champions League, Real Madrid should be wary. Porto v Juventus (first leg 22 February/second leg 14 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PORTOOutright winner odds: 125/1Last five: WWWWWThough they sit in second in the Portuguese league Porto have won their last five on the spin.Under former Valencia manager Nuno, Porto finished runners up in their Champions League group behind Leicester and have only tasted defeat twice since October.Player to watch: Andre Silva – The 21-year-old is Porto’s top scorer and, should he carry his form into the games against Juventus then expect him to be a threat.The forward has a total of 16 goals this season with four of them coming in the Champions League. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JUVENTUSOutright winner odds: 10/1Last five: WWWWWThe Old Lady are at it again sitting top of Serie A and on course for a sixth successive title.Manager Massimiliano Allegri has had to tinker with his tactics this season, but has unleashed a daring formation that puts all his attacking stars on the pitch at the same time.With Miralem Pjanic sitting deeper, and an attacking trio of Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic sitting behind Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus will come into their match with Porto high on attacking flair.Player to watch: Paulo Dybala – Higuain gets the goals but Dybala has drawn plenty of praise since his move from Palermo two summers ago.The 23-year-old Argentinean has eight goals this season but his dribbling skills are sure to cause problems. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ARSENALOutright winner odds: 20/1Last five matches in all competitions: WWLLWThey finished top of their group ahead of PSG and everything seemed rosy for Arsenal and their fans. Then they were drawn against Bayern Munich.It’s a familiar tale of late for Arsene Wenger and his Gunners, as their confidence took a huge hit after damaging losses against Watford and Chelsea.While they managed to beat Hull City on Saturday they were far from their best and will need to rediscover their form as they gear up for a trip to the Allianz Arena.Player to watch: Alexis Sanchez – A world-class talent whose desire to win is clear at all times.If the Chilean is on song he will be a thorn in the Bayern defence, but he’s just as likely to be waving his arms in celebration as he is in frustration at his teammates these days. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEICESTER CITYOutright winner odds: 50/1Last five: DLLWLOf all the Champions League last 16 teams surely there is no other side enduring a worse run than English champions Leicester City.The Foxes have won once in seven games, an FA Cup replay against Derby County, and are in danger of being relegated as they sit one point and one place above the drop zone.The heroics of last season are a distant memory as the players fail to perform and Claudio Ranieri’s side were thumped 5-0 by Porto in their final Champions League group game.Player to watch: Demarai Gray – In amongst this season of misery the English winger has shown glimpses of quality. But they have only been glimpses.Should he perform as he did against Derby, Gray may have a hand in deciding this game.However, like most of his teammates, he could also fail to show up at all. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ATLETICO MADRIDOutright winner odds: 8/1Last five: DLWDWDiego Simeone’s side have had a rather lacklustre season compared to the heights they have previously scaled under his tenure.Atletico have won two of their last five, and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona, but will be buoyed after a dramatic 3-2 win against Celta Vigo on Sunday.Though they sit in fourth place in La Liga, Atletico have built a reputation as one of the best defensive sides in Europe.Should they revive that defensive resilience that took them to last year’s Champions League final they will be a difficult team to break down.Player to watch: Antoine Griezmann – Courted by Manchester United, the French forward is highly rated and sought after.With nine goals in La Liga and three in the Champions League, the Atletico number seven is capable of deciding games even if he’s having a quiet match. Bayern Munich v Arsenal (first leg 15 February/second leg 7 March)ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BAYERN MUNICHOutright winner odds: 4/1Last five matches in all competitions: WWDWWThe German giants sit top of the Bundesliga once again having won the league title for the last four years.Despite the fact they are top of the tree, there is a sense, however, that Carlo Ancelotti’s team haven’t quite fulfilled their potential.Bayern have won four of the last five domestically and their last defeat in all competitions came in the shock 3-2 defeat to FC Rostov, in the Champions League, that left them second in their group behind Atletico Madrid.Player to watch: Robert Lewandoski – The Polish forward keeps on scoring and you wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it again.He’s grabbed 15 goals in the league and has five in six Champions League games. Arsenal beware.last_img read more

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