Liverpool news – Lucas backs Ronaldinho signing, Reds in for French defender, Hodgson wants Champions League

Hodgson chasing Fanni.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Roy Hodgson has identified 29-year-old Rennes defender Rod Fanni to bolster a defence weakened by the long-term absence of Jamie Carragher. Fanni is capable of playing at right-back or centre-back, and it is thought to be his versatility which has attracted Hodgson to him.

Speculation about Fanni’s arrival puts the future of Daniel Agger – who hasn’t featured for Liverpool since September – and Glen Johnson in question. New England Sports Ventures are believed to be very wary about spendthrift transfer policies, meaning that should there be transfers in, there will inevitably be players departing. However, Liverpool’s pursuit of Fanni may be challenged by Marseille, who were also reported to be attempting to seal a deal for the versatile defender on Wednesday.

Hodgson wants Champions League.

Liverpool’s recent revival has elevated the team far beyond the destitution of a relegation battle which their early season troubles suggested. Indeed, such has been their recent resurgence that Roy Hodgson is refusing to give up hope of finishing inside the top four, securing UEFA Champions League football at Anfield once again.

“We’d like to think so,” he told Liverpool’s official website when asked about the possibility of challenging the current top four. “But when you start as badly as we did then it’s sensible for us to keep our feet on the ground.” He cited improvements in the form of three key players as vital to Liverpool’s run of form. Maxi Rodriguez is overcoming initial doubts about his quality with a productive run of form, whilst Glen Johnson and Fernando Torres are putting difficult starts to the season behind them.

Lucas backs Ronaldinho signing.

Speculation that Liverpool are chasing out-of-favour Ronaldinho is not just generating excitement on Merseyside. Liverpool’s dressing room is buzzing in anticipation of the Brazilian’s revival, if Lucas Leiva’s thoughts are anything to go by.

“I am not aware of anything in terms of Ronaldinho signing but I would be very happy if this was to happen,” he admitted to “Everyone knows Ronaldinho and what he can do.” Whilst he may lack the burst of pace which was the crux of his sensational form at Barcelona, he still possesses flair and creativity in abundance – characteristics which have been lacking in Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool team.

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